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#1 of 59 Old 10-06-2003, 09:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Why is it that people take their children to get pictures done(presumably pics of them smiling and happy), but then force them with tears and all when they don't want to do it, you know, yell at them to "just smile", etc.

I can't tell you how many times I have taken my kids to get pics done and the photographer compliments the fact that I/we don't push the kids, and how we handle them. I really think these places bring out the worst in parents. I always see someone there forcing a child to get pics done who clearly doesn't want to, and is upset by the photographer touching them etc.

The other day we went and saw plently of that kind of thing, and also saw this:
There was a man with (I'm guessing) less than 1 year old twins in a stroller (he was picking up his pics). One boy started to fuss, which started the "knock it off, you are fine" comments, then he continued and it was the same comments along with rolling the stroller back and forth. So, I am trying to give him the benefit of the doubt and thinking, he probably figures if he picks him up, he'll have to pick the other one up too, and that would be a handful (I've never experienced how hard twins are, YK?) Anywho, *quiet twin* falls asleep and the other boy is still wailing, and he still won't pick him up. I am still trying not to judge *trying*, maybe this man has a back problem: Anywho, then in walks his wife (this is after about 20 minutes ) and probably 11-12 year old son. They are still waiting (he had asked to have some re-done), and the stroller gets passed to the son who starts rocking it back and forth while baby is still crying, and mom and dad are just standing at the counter . When they finally left the studio baby was still crying in the stroller after about a total of 30 minutes.

Well, I managed to keep my mouth shut (for once) but I really think I have determined that portrait studios bring out the worst in people.

OK, vent over! Feel free to flame me for being judgemental, or share your own portrait studio horror stories

:Patty :fireman Catholic, intactalactivist, co-sleeping, GDing, HSing, no-vax Mama to .........................:..........hale:
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#2 of 59 Old 10-06-2003, 04:11 PM
 
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It is weird how it grips you. I went with a dear friend of mine in the spring. She hada good deal to get pics done but the deal was for so many poses she offered to share it with me. One pose of just my DD and one of our kids together. We are both totally on the same page AP-wise, etc. We agreed we would keep it fun and not care if we got good pics or not. So we get there and the kids are more interested in exploring and playing with each other than posing. It actually did get really frustrating faster than I could have imagined! Suddenly I hear my friend promising all the kids cookies if after if they will just co-operate! I was amazed! We laughed about it after... "The possession of Mama!" Of course the bribes didn't work... we sort of turned a corner back to cheerful (had a pretty good photographer who had a lot of patience) and we got some decent pictures... but yeah... those joints are teh belly of the beast, baby!
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#3 of 59 Old 10-06-2003, 04:45 PM
 
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I used to work at one of those portrait studios (1hr. place in most malls) I loved working with the kids, the parents were/are a pain though. I tried hard to get smiles, but sometimes that is not going to work and a lot of times non-smiley photos are just as cute if not cuter then toothy grins all the time.

I only had one parent leave her child's line of site so that she would calm down. I shot her poses, got some great ones, and the mom ended up loving all her shots. The child was about 7 or so. So, she wasn't a baby. Mom was in hearing distance. That was nice.

Also, from the employee's pov, we were on a time restriction and only supposed to spend so much time with each sitting so we could get to the next one. I'm sure you don't like waiting 20 min. for your sitting you reserved any more then the next person. I always tried to be patient and smile and just go with the flow. I also refused to wear that STUPID hat!!!

I now shoot portraits but i work for myself and I go to homes or locations. Everyone is MUCH happier this way. And I have plenty of time to spend with the family/kids.
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#4 of 59 Old 10-06-2003, 06:40 PM
 
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I have that problem with the portrait people. They always have to tell the people I don't care if they smile or not just take the damn picture already! I had this one lady try to the hardest to get my DD to smile but it wouldn't work and I kept saying that she didn't need to smile to take a cute pic but she was insistant"I'm gonna get a smile out of her". Finally I said never mind I won't take the pics so she went ahead and took one, just so happens Dd decided that she would smile after all!
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#5 of 59 Old 10-06-2003, 11:44 PM
 
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I totally don't agree with forcing kids to stay if they don't want to have their pictures done. We've have left appts twice when Christian just didn't want to sit still for the camera. No biggie. Sure, we could've stayed and all been miserable, but what's the point?

Speaking of pictures though.... I took Christian the other day (and he did great!!!) and there was a Dad in there with his DD who looked to be about 18 months. She was running all over playing and he was being so mean to her. She came up to us and touched our stroller and her dad came over and JERKED her away and literally YELLED at her. I just wanted to give that little girl a hug. Then, later, he slapped her behind fairly hard for not sitting still in her chair.

It made me so sad and mad to see that. The guy then complained about his DD to his wife and said she was pushing our stroller and could've hurt the baby, so he HAD to disclipline her. LIE! Christian was in the sling, not the stroller; only the diaper bag was in it. So, there was no way she could've hurt a thing. That is honestly the first time I have ever really seen someone just treat a child so meanly and it was heartbreaking.
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#6 of 59 Old 10-07-2003, 12:43 AM
 
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Ive always had good experiences with getting our photos taken.. I book with Sears & explain my son is disabled .. so getting him posed will take more time & they book us 2 slots .. they have always been great for us

my daughter has only had her done twice though & shes 2 1/2.. but both where really easy.. she loved taking them

whats gets me is when people take tiny little babies & then spend 30 minutes trying to get them to open their eyes :

I was in walmart not long ago & a mama had a little bity baby.. had to be 4-5 weeks & the baby would not wake up.. so she sat their smacking it cheeks not hard.. but still you dont do that.. leave the child the hell alone allready
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#7 of 59 Old 10-07-2003, 09:23 AM
 
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I've worked for a high-end photography place and am a photographer myself, so the stories I have...

I might be a little snobbish, but IMHO I think that when folks try to market ultra-commercialized, factory portraits (I'm talking the industry, not the consumers), you lose a great deal of artistry. You sacrifice art for poses and backgrounds, kwim? It all becomes forced and unnatural--of course the photos are going to suck and people will be crabby.
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#8 of 59 Old 10-07-2003, 09:53 AM
 
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ITA Indiegirl. I worked at one of those "hollywood style" photo places. While the props were very cool, a lot of the pictures came out sort of crappy. The parents were the worst. One lady kept telling her son to smile, and I said "does he smile big a lot at home?" She looked suprised and said "well, no". I suggested she get the photos done of the boy looking natural, and not forced. When we went to preview the pictures she totally agreed that the ones where he was not trying to force a smile looked much much better. He was such a thoughtful pensive looking boy and the one photo of him was just beautiful.......he was not even smiling or looking right at the camera. One of the other of my favorite photos was where we dressed this little girl up in a fairy getup, set her on the giant mushroom and she freaked out a little. The picture snapped while she slithered off the mushroom holding the wand aloft was one of the ones the mama bought.

Anyhow, in those sort of places you are for sure paying for the background and NOT the photographer. many of them had a one hour training on the camera. You have a 30 minute slot, and boy if you think being rushed is bad you should try to deal with the 7 angry families waiting for thier 1/2 hour! No one likes to be held up when they are all paying good money too. One person taking "just 10 mintues more" really pushes everyone way back. If everyone begged 10 more minutes, after the first 5 appointments we would run almost an hour behind. The other thing people did that made me crazy was 1) not bringing snacks for the kids/feeding them and then making the appt. for 6 pm. Duh, the kid will be cranky and hungry. And why on earth would you make an appointment for a little toddler for 9pm? hmmm, I want my kid to be tired and crabby for the shoot. and 2) trying to force them into brand new itchylooking clothes right before the shoot, or even worse bringing 10 outfits :

The Tabbie Family; DH , DS , DD , a few :, a couple : and me.
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#9 of 59 Old 10-07-2003, 10:00 AM
 
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These are the multitude of reasons I've never had portraits done of my DS (with the exception of school pictures, of course). I remember taking my son to have his passport photo done at one of those places, and he watched in horror as small children were forced into giant Santa pants and photographed, screaming all the while. He got very quiet, and as we were leaving he said, "Mommy, thank you for never doing that."

My parents never had portraits done of my brothers and myself either. My father was good with a camera, and felt that candids capture more of the essence of a person than a posed picture. My DH and I agree - even our wedding pictures were not professionally done, and I think we were all the more relaxed because of it.
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#10 of 59 Old 10-07-2003, 10:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Glad to hear I am not the only one freaked out by these places

Oh, and I brought my ds home the other day (I had hoped to get his 2 year picture, and he wasn't into it) and tried to take pics myself of him, and they're ok, but nothing I'll blow up and frame. My BIL is pretty good with a camera, but unfortunately ds doesn't like him either.

Now, I get to go back there, right now, to pick up the pics they took of dd, wonder what fun I'll see today:

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#11 of 59 Old 10-07-2003, 10:05 AM
 
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with the exception of the one I got for free of the whole family while I worked at the photo place we never got portraits done either Veggiewolf! Our wedding pictures, birth pictures, ect were done by "amatures"
I try to take one roll a month of each kid, that way I know for sure I will have at least one good shot per month of each of them.

The Tabbie Family; DH , DS , DD , a few :, a couple : and me.
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#12 of 59 Old 10-07-2003, 10:51 AM
 
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I agree, Serenetabbie, that kids often look best with a natural expression rather than a forced smile. There are a million nice facial expressions. We no longer go to portrait studios, but take lots of home photos and my kids look great whether they're smiling or looking wistful or thoughtful or even sad. I have some priceless photos of angy faces.

When my oldest child was about 5 months, we took him for a portrait. All went well, but I remember the mother who's baby was scheduled for a portrait right before mine. She had her little girl (an infant, maybe 9 months old) dressed up in an uncomfortable looking dress with a silly velcro bow in her hair. The mother seemed very disappointed with how her session had gone and the baby looked kind of tearful. I overheard that mother complain about how her baby "didn't perform very well." Yikes!
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#13 of 59 Old 10-07-2003, 11:07 AM
 
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I am honestly feeling sooooooooo lucky right now after reading some of these!! All three of my children have always been very good when we've had pictures done. The only times I can complain about are last year when the oldest two wouldn't cooperate (11 and 7 1/2) and just did it to tick me off. They also were butts when I went to get all three children's pics done in April so I only got one decent pose. Sadly the 5 month old at the time was the best of the bunch. : BUT when they were little they were so easy to photograph and always had a smile and so does the baby.

I just had the baby's pics done last week and got 9 poses out of him. I really liked the photographer because she kept the poses simple and played with him so that he enjoyed himself and for three of them we just let him pose himself and they turned out soooooooo cute! I'd rather have a pic of a smiling 10 month old climbing on a little bench than a screaming one refusing to sit on it.
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#14 of 59 Old 10-07-2003, 01:21 PM
 
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All these reasons are why I don't get studio pictures done. Also my dh has a dark room and equipment to take the kids pictures himself. One time a friend bought us this gift package to a studio, we got a free 8x10 every month. Dh loves the natural no forced smile pictures and the photographer the first time we went in and dh reguested that she not make dd smile looked at my dh like he was insane. So we passed on the package to a friend of ours. I think to get good pictures kids need time to adjust and feel comfortable and the mall type places just don't offer that.
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#15 of 59 Old 10-07-2003, 01:34 PM
 
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i had tons of portraits done of dd -- every month her first year and every 3 months this year. i would get one good shot out of her, and then tell the photo girl to just snap 6 more real quick so she wouldn't get in trouble, and i only bought the "special advertised package" for $5.
sometimes she smiled and sometimes she didn't. sometimes the photo girl was really shitty and we'd just leave. i always stopped the session if dd was scared or anxious and held and nursed her.

but it got to be a pain in the ass, because it was walmart and all and it was loud and hot and annoyingly bright so i cut that out.

we're doing her 2-year photos in 2 weeks with this wonderful photographer. he did some portraits last year for us with dd and i nursing and a bunch of just her and some of all 3 of us. he even uses one of our photos on his business cards. he's about 40 times as expensive as the photo factories, but the pictures are so beautiful and in our 45 minute session he took 157 photos for us! (digital camera)

oh, and yes i know i was excessive with the photos -- i was overcompensating for the fact that my parents didn't keep any photos of me or baby books or any of that and i always felt unloved and unappreciated. at least dd can see from the 8 photo albums we have of her and the 15 different portraits that i thought she was worth looking at and remembering.
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#16 of 59 Old 10-07-2003, 04:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by serenetabbie
And why on earth would you make an appointment for a little toddler for 9pm?
hee hee...well for us, that would be because the hours between 9 and 11 pm he is the happiest, most giggly pleasure to be around. If I took him in the morning, IF I could get him awake, he would scream, in the afternoon, he is shorter on patience and slowly gains a good mood as the day goes on.

Mom to 10yo Autistic Wonder Boy and 6yo Inquisitive Fireball Girl . December birthdays.

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#17 of 59 Old 10-07-2003, 05:41 PM
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I remember when my sister and I were young, mom would take us to get our portraits (usually for Christmas) and it would be SUCH drama! She'd bring us to the store maybe an hour or two before the appointment to buy our dresses (nothing like buying clothes for little people when you are on a deadline, lol). Then we were all bothered and cranky before we even sat down to wait for our slot. My sister and I would make good use of he downtime by antagonizing each other until it was our turn for pictures, and mom would be in a lather trying to contain the situation.

I am amazed at some of these stories. I am sure it is possible to get some great portraits at these studios, especially if you have a child who loves having their pictures taken, like my friend's dd. We took her to get her pics done, and she was having so much fun she did'nt want to leave! It also helps to luck out and get someone who enjoys kids... IMO they should ONLY have people in these jobs who love working with children. Otherwise, what's the point?

I am now even MORE excited that we are going to Indiegirl for our family portrait this year. Our families have been nagging us for a portrait of Mike and I for years, and now that we have DS I know that everyone will want a portrait of the three of us. Ezra is hypersensitive to other peoples' energies. We need to have someone who will honor this or we'll never get a good picture of him. Besides, he and Mike hate the mall :LOL

I trust her 'eye' and I am excited to see what she comes up with!

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#18 of 59 Old 10-07-2003, 06:19 PM
 
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Can I just say how happy I am that the girl at the Wal_mart photo place is my brother's old roommate, who Seb loves?
She is always patient, and knows that we only ever get the promo package, so she just snaps that and we go.
That said, I have seen how some parents get, and it scares me. I can be a bit of a meanie to Seb (I can't carry him for more than 5 minutes, and will make him walk) but I never yell at him to "just smile!" When he tries to jump off of that platform they put the kids on, we leave instead of fighting him.
If you have to go to the mall portrait shop, I would recommend going at your kid's happiest time. Lucky for us, that is 8:30 am, when the place is deserted anyways.
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#19 of 59 Old 10-07-2003, 06:21 PM
 
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Does everyone doll their kids up? I have been SO tempted for a while now to make an appt and then put Bonnie in standard play clothes and take her to the park... run, jump, play in the sand, sweat, let her pig tails get all loose and lopsided and then take her in... I mean, THAT'S what she looks like!

Has anyone ever done that? DO they look at you like you are nuts?
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#20 of 59 Old 10-07-2003, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I don't let them go dirty at all for it, but I don't really take them anywhere dirty. For me, they pick out their clothes, I clean faces, and brush hair while we wait, but I don't do hair bows and that kind of thing, and nothing frilly, we don't own any frilly!

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#21 of 59 Old 10-07-2003, 06:46 PM
 
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I make appointments when there are no black eyes, or head bumps so big that he looks like a Klingon. Other than that, I put him in clothes that aren't too stained, and go from there. I have some really sweet shots of him just wearing a soaker and t-shirt.
His hair is cut in a 2-4 step, so combing it is pretty easy.
I think I only have 3 pictures of him wearing shoes. That's about as often as I can get them on him.
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#22 of 59 Old 10-14-2003, 01:07 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by kama'aina mama
Does everyone doll their kids up? I have been SO tempted for a while now to make an appt and then put Bonnie in standard play clothes and take her to the park... run, jump, play in the sand, sweat, let her pig tails get all loose and lopsided and then take her in... I mean, THAT'S what she looks like!

Has anyone ever done that? DO they look at you like you are nuts?
I have an awesome picture of ds1 when he was 5 or 6 after he had been playing in the park, his face all dirty. It's a great pic though because he looked natural and happy in it. I enlarged it to a 5x7.
Ds2 doesn't like to cooperate anymore for pictures.
I have an awesome picture of his from this past spring with a grumpy look on his face and his arms crossed! It's one of my favorites. No matter how grouchy he is about pic I always manage to get a few good ones.
I wouldn't let him cry or yell at him for not wanting to sit for a picture. A lot of times I have wanted to give up after the first or second shot and the photographer keeps wanting more. Gotta get those 5-7 shots!!
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#23 of 59 Old 11-04-2003, 08:56 PM
 
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I hope I haven't revived a really old thread; I just wanted to vent as well.

We took 2-yr-old dd to Sears yesterday. We took her there last year and all went well, but this time I noticed they had a lot fewer background choices so we had a hard time picking out one that would match her hair and clothes. I don't like those cheesy cartoony backgrounds, or "sky," "beach," "living room on christmas," etc. I want the focus to be on dd, not the lame background! What happened to classic solid colors?

The photographer kept trying to get dd to sit still with her hands in her lap. How is that ever going to happen? I felt she missed a lot of opportunities for good pictures and the ones she took weren't that good. Last time it was like, Oh, there are so many good ones, how can we choose? And this time it was more like, OK, which of these would I not feel too idiotic paying for? I really think they should let the parents hold the clicker thing. They can aim the camera, but let the parents be the judge of what would make a good picture!

I decided there were 3 poses I could live with, and when I went to pick them out one was gone. The person said she didn't like it so she deleted it. Why is it her decision? I'm paying for these! I ended up paying $80 for something I wasn't really happy with, when last year we paid $60 for really good photos. I guess it would have been better to just not pay, but I didn't want to make dd do that all over again. She was getting upset. But for that price I could have probably gotten a professional.

Oh well. I'm sure the relatives only care that it's her, they won't be thinking of all the times a good picture was passed over. I got my picture taken every year when I was a kid and many of them are not good. I always went to JC Penneys but there are no studios where I live; I had to go to the next town.: Next year I will ask if I can hold the clicker.
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#24 of 59 Old 11-05-2003, 12:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Once at Walmart I got the girl to give me the clicker, but I doubt most any would allow that She was young (and a bad photographer) and I was pushy, I don't think she knew what else to do when I told her I wanted to do it.

I find that with Walmart, Kmart, Sears, Penny's, they all try to have the kids hands in their laps, and always smiling, etc. That's their training I think. I even had one at Sears trying to get me to pick certain pictures of my kids, b;/c one was looking to the left and the other was looking to the right, and she said on the mantle they would be looking toward each other, never mind that the pics sucked I think if you go to one of the aforementioned places, you should just get the coupon deal with the package for under $10, but if you are going to spend $80-$90, you could get someone better to take the shots.

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#25 of 59 Old 11-05-2003, 12:42 PM
 
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A few years back I took a little cousin of mine to a K-mart studio. That womans only comcern was that the child was centered in the picture! She didn't care if she was happy or sad, just centered! Then when my cousin moved she overreacted thinking she was gonna fall and jumped toward her. She went on to say to me that it's not her job to make sure the child doesn't fall.
DUH! Nobody asked you to watch her!
That's what I told her.
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#26 of 59 Old 11-05-2003, 01:07 PM
 
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I kinda have a love/hate relationship with these portrait places.

Long story.....I took DD into JCPenney's for a 1 year pic and it ended up disastrous. There were WAY too many kids there and by the time she was taken, she was sorta grumpy. I figured, we'll get what we can get and go home -- I don't like to force her to do anything, but we were already there, so why not try?

The "photographer" rushed us through and told me to stop standing so close to DD! Um, hello, I'm not going to let her fall off of this pedestal just for your convenience. The girl told me that she would make sure DD wouldn't fall....yeah, how ya gonna do that when you're 10 feet away from her. : I ended the session early with 3 pics, but the girl tried to sell me on them BIG TIME. Unfortunately, DD took a small tumble, started to really scream (with all of these parents just STARING at me), so we went to the side and took a break. We ended up just going home, and I figured I could go back in a day or 2.

Fast forward 2 days and I decided to take DD to Target for pics. Lo and behold, the same girl from Penney's was at Target. No thanks! I returned to Penney's to retrieve my coupon (it was a good one, I admit) where I was told that they threw it away. : They honored my coupon if I took pics on the spot, so we stayed and ended up with decent pics. But I still felt rushed and pressured. And don't get me started on the $4.99 I wasted on the Smiles By Wire thing. Grrrrrr....

FWIW, I did get good pics in the summer at Sears, and some cute casual pics at Walmart. And I like the Picture People, but not their high prices.
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#27 of 59 Old 11-05-2003, 01:26 PM
 
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Because my grandma is in her 90s, my mom paid for a professional photographer to come to her house when we visited when my baby was only ten weeks old. He took photos of my whole family, a four generation picture with me, my dad, ds and my grandma, and some other groupings. He used a digital camera. My son was freshly nursed and diapered, but he still got tired after awhile.

The professional photos came out okay. I think the pictures that my husband takes are much better. He did a series of my son with my grandmother on that visit that were incredible! The way their faces came together, it was something intense. (They really like each other. )

Our friends gave us a digital camera...first they loaned it to us, we thought we were trying it out and were going to buy it. Then after awhile, they gave us a photo album with a card, saying "The other part of this present is the camera."

I've taken a few photos that came out okay, but my dh has taken the majority--I think we have something like 3500 shots now. I am starting to wonder if maybe my dh should be a portrait photographer? Since he always takes candids. I guess since we don't keep our own chickens or bake bread every day, it's cool that we can take our own photos.

Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
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#28 of 59 Old 11-05-2003, 01:37 PM
 
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I think we have something like 3500 shots now.
I think i'm addicted.
My ds2 is 2y 5m and I have 14,700 mostly digital pics of him on my computer. (Some I've scanned in)
I need help!
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#29 of 59 Old 11-05-2003, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally posted by captain optimism


Our friends gave us a digital camera...first they loaned it to us, we thought we were trying it out and were going to buy it. Then after awhile, they gave us a photo album with a card, saying "The other part of this present is the camera."
OK, maybe it's b/c I'm pregnant, but that is so sweet it made me cry, that together with the part about your Grandma, and your babe, how beautiful!

:Patty :fireman Catholic, intactalactivist, co-sleeping, GDing, HSing, no-vax Mama to .........................:..........hale:
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#30 of 59 Old 11-05-2003, 05:18 PM
 
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Sorry to go a bit OT, here, but:
I’m not crazy about portraits (more of a candid shot fan), but some members of our family are bummed because we haven’t had ds’ pictures professionally done (apparently if it doesn’t have a fake backdrop, it’s not suitable for framing. ) So, I’m thinking of having his portrait done soon, but having an excess of neither photographic ability nor money, we would be stuck with the chain store portrait studios.
Reading this thread has given me pause, though.
Which store shall we try?
Which would you recommend?
Any advice/pointers would be much appreciated!

TIA,
AlsoSarah

I just happen to like apples, and I am not afraid of snakes. ~Ani d.
These dolls and toys confuse me so; Confound it all, I love it, though!~J. Skellington
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