Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Worth a Thousand Words

I took the boys for professional photos today, and let's just begin with this sentence: this whole process is so much easier than it was two years ago. Or even one year ago. Everyone understands the purpose, they know how to independently sit up and momentarily sit still, and they smile on command. I'm telling you: a breeze.

And, I may be perhaps slightly biased, but my kids pose for some brilliantly adorable photos. That only gets tricky when it's time to make purchasing choices... which is when the whole scene seemed to go downhill today.

Cody, photographer extraordinaire, downloaded heaps of adorable photos for us (my mom and me) to view on the ginormous computer screen. I'm telling you, he took like 85 shots, and at least 79 of them were worth framing.

So then he said, "Now, if you'd like to go ahead and order all of these, your total will be $780."

Okay, it wasn't quite that astronomical, but it was high. And it was flashing at me in bright red numbers in the right hand corner of the screen.

Okay, no, it wasn't. But it was there for me to see and affirm that these charming photos would not all come home with us.

"Well, I think I'd like to narrow it down a bit." Because I love my children far more than you do, Cody, but 79 new poses to display in our home would really be quite a few.

"Oh, of course. Let's go through and and select the favorites."

We narrowed it down to 56.

"Excellent. And if you'd like to purchase all of these, your total will be $473."

"Well, see, what I'd really like is to choose this one pose, my very favorite, and take advantage of your special to get four million of them to share. And I may choose one other collage of a few photos. That's what I'd really like to do."

"Mm-hmmm. And you know that by not choosing a package you will not get the CD of all the photos taken today? And you know we keep nothing on file?"

Translation: If you don't spend at least half your monthly income, we're trashing everything you leave behind.

"Well, I would like to spend fifty dollars. So, show me how far that will get me."

He was not pleased. As long as we were both talking straight up numbers, we were operating on opposing teams.

Still, he showed me once again these darling photos, one after another. "Ma'am, if you choose this package of seven poses, then your total will be $109.89."

"But I'd like to keep it under fifty. Can I choose this collection and that collage?"

"We're not ready to choose the collage yet."

Right. Because you're busy ripping my heart out as you delete one photo at a time. "Could we scoot ahead to the collage part?"

To his credit, he was patient. And I seemed to lose all focus and decision-making abilities just as I realized Tyler wasn't in fact clothed and playing with blocks, but he was in fact naked and headed straight for me.


In the photo studio.

So, you know, we'll go ahead and take care of that. One moment, Cody.

Then Tucker was jumping on the chairs, and Tyler (now dressed) barked at a woman to get her purse off his house (the chair he had claimed for his imagination and play needs). Awesome.

"Cody, could we speed this up?"

"Absolutely. If you choose these five poses, your total will be $99.99."


"Okay. Here's what I want. Give me this pose, in the package that gives me four million, and give me this collage of three poses. That's what I want."

"And that will bring your total to $46.00."


He did not agree, and I apologize to his commission check for my personal budget constraints.

We slipped out of there with the hard-fought pictures I wanted, and I had to force myself not to think about the dozens and dozens left behind.

Because the ones that we got are pretty freaking amazing. I'm just sayin'.


Kathryn said...

You should really look into having an independent photographer do it rather than one of the studios. We paid just over $100 for ours and got almost 200 pictures and I have the cd and the rights to print what I want. I hate choosing at the studio, I am sad for the lost cute pictures!

Tricia said...

We're doing Precisely That this weekend. :)

Elizabeth@Romans8:15 said...

I am thinking I know exactly where you were!!! Because I was there this past Christmas with my 2 boys going through the SAME thing! Those photographers are like car salesman!!!!! Good for you for sticking to your guns....which is more than I can say for myself.

my3boys said...

Here's the thing. I'd pay "just over a hundred" for a professional photog and the rights to the images, but where the heck do you find a deal like that? I usually do Kiddie Kandids and stick to my guns (they aren't that high pressure there, anyway, but they only take like 6 images per sitting). Where did you go?

Tricia said...

We went to Portrait Innovations for this one, and I highly recommend them for their photographer's experience and the $9.99 package. It's a great deal for 'four million' photos to share with friends and family.

We're doing a family photo shoot with a private photographer this weekend, and that's where we'll get the many different poses that we can customize into packages that work for us. :)