We went to get family pictures yesterday. Normally, any time we get pictures made, we use Charlya. Charlya is AWESOME. She takes lots of pictures, they are good quality, and we get the CD with all the photoshopped copies of each picture inexpensively. It's perfect. I started using her when I had to stop using my previous photographer (who was a close personal friend who went batshit nuts and got herself kicked out of my wedding, lol). Anyway, we've used her ever since. She did our engagement pictures, my bridals, Trenton's 5th birthday pictures and my maternity pictures. She is greatness. Check her out: http://charlyawilliamsphotography.exposuremanager.com/
She is so good at what she does and is so fun to be around. I consider her a friend and not just our photographer. Anyway, recently, her boyfriend got VERY ill and ended up in the hospital for an extended time so OBVIOUSLY, she was by his side and we had to postpone the appointment I'd made. So to tide me over as far as pictures go, I made an appointment at the Picture People. It's some studio that promises pictures within an hour. I had Trenton's First Birthday pictures made there and they did a good job then, so I figured it was a good quick fix alternative until we could get back to Charlya.
I had a 4 o'clock appointment yesterday. At about 5pm, we finally got into the room to TAKE the pictures. Our photographer seemed... awkward to say the least. No connection with the kids, which surprised me since it's a chain that specializes in photos of children. I felt rushed, she couldn't make Carter smile, and she just rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe it's when she said, "well, if he could sit up we could take more poses..." (talking about Carter), which irritated the piss outta me because what am I supposed to do?! Not get pictures made of my 4 month old because she, THE PHOTOGRAPHER, couldn't think of anything to do with him? She said this after I asked for pictures of Trenton and Carter. 2 poses. That's all she wanted to take. Carter in Trenton's lap both looking at the camera, and Carter in Trenton's lap with Trenton kissing his head. Really? That's it? I was less than happy. I felt like she was rushing us because there were so many other people waiting. But that isn't my fault. I deserve good picture of my kids, regardless of the overbooking they'd done. Especially for the prices they charge.
Blah, blah, blah. I kept my mouth shut because I thought, well, the picture could turn out better than I'm thinking they will. So we went to eat. Did I mention this place is in Stonebriar Mall? Teenage morons were representing, for sure.
While standing in the food court ordering dinner, I happen to look down at Trenton, who is standing with me to help me carry food because Scott went to sit with Carter. While I'm looking at him, blood just starts pouring out of his nose. I leave the little cashier chick standing with my change extended and rush Trenton, whose arms and face are now dripping blood) to where Scott is sitting and thrust him in the general direction of my husband before charging back to get my family's food. Ketchup with your fries? Yeah. Gross. ::Sigh:: However, part of parenthood. It's amazing the things you can stomach after you have kids.
After finishing dinner (MAYBE 30 minutes later), we went back to the studio to view/order our pictures. I got to see our pictures at 8 o'clock. Pictures in an hour my friggin' ASS. I was slightly irritable at this point, having spent 4 hours in a mall observing the less than stellar parenting skills of the apparently retarded population of the North Dallas region.
How hard is it to watch you kids? One mom went postal on her daughter, probably 4 or 5, whom she left in charge of her 18 month old son. How shocking the daughter got distracted and "lost" the younger one while mom was completely oblivious. I say completely oblivious, she did watch the little one throwing blocks at people and say nothing. I could have slapped her stupid blond ignorant punk bitch ass. But she started yelling and grabbing her daughter's arm when she couldn't find her little shit... er... son. Seemed funny to me that she was pissed at her daughter for not watching her kid when she didn't know where he was either. Way to go, Mom! ::Rolls eyes::
Tangent. Anyway, so I finally got to see our pictures. They were as bad as I feared. And then they tried to upsell me on blowups and canvas pictures. I was pretty frank and polite when I told him I didn't like the pictures. I felt guilty, I mean these are pictures of my family, but I want pictures where everyone looks comfortable. I want my kids to smile. I want natural looking poses and the ability to look at the pictures in the future and see Trenton's genuine happy face, not the forced one and Carter's big toothless grin. I basically told the salesmen, my issues and that I thought the photographer could have done a better job.
I took a better picture than most with my blackberry while we were waiting.
He stumbled all over himself trying to please me. Come back, reshoot at no charge and get 20% off with a different photographer. I told him I wasn't going to do that if it meant wasting another 4 hours of my families life in a mall. I said it with a smile... but I think it was evident that I wasn't joking. He ASSURED me my next experience would be extremely plesant. We'll see. Tuesday we're going back to reshoot. Scott was less than thrilled, poor thing. He hated every second of the first try. Now I'm making him do it again.
Anyway, here's the one's we ended up with. The only ones I thought were at least semi decent. The actual quality of the picture is way better than this because these were scanned on the color copier where I work. But still, 3 pictures out of an entire session? Ridiculous.
The good news is, that Carter has been sleeping all the way through the night. He's been waking up once a night for months, but lately, not even waking up for the one night feeding/diaper change. Hurray!!