Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Portrait of a Disaster

Last week, I got the kids all dressed up and we went to get studio portraits done. Little Guy had them done twice before, once at three months (Sears) and once at early two (J.C. Penney's), and Zen has never had them done. I figured now would be a good time since she'd be able to easily sit with Little Guy and he would be good and cooperative about following the photographer's directions. The first two portrait experiences I just mentioned went pretty smoothly. My sister was there both times to help get Little Guy comfortable and smiling and I loved the results. The second time, Little Guy had just turned two and was in a very willful mood and it took so long to get him coaxed onto the photography platform that we almost bailed on the whole thing. But once he got up there, he did great and the photographer was so patient and good with him. I was very appreciative and impressed so I thought I'd go back there for these. Mistake.

We were the first scheduled for the day and got there before the photographer. We were not early. But the kids were happy and calm and still neat in their clothes, so I didn't mind. The photographer starts turning on the lights, checking phone messages, and various other morning tasks. Finally she leads us back into the studio where she starts up the camera and shows she is thoroughly confused about how to start it up and use it.

Then she pulls the white backdrop over the little platform, proclaims it "filthy" (which it was), and says she doesn't have time to put the clean one up that she just brought in because the next people are scheduled for 10:20. My appointment time was 10:10 and we got there at 10:00. At this point, it's about 10:08.

So she pulled the black one over and we tried to put Zen on the platform. Then she told me to take off her tights. I thought they looked cute but off they went. I stepped away from the platform and Zen started to cry. We gave her juice and Cheerios and Little Guy got up on the platform with her but she was still pretty fussy. The photographer was over-aggressive with her in trying to get her to laugh which just made her cry more. Little Guy followed every instruction to a T.

I sat down on the platform with them and the photographer focused so I wouldn't be in the picture and there were a few seconds where she could have gotten a decent picture but didn't even press the camera button. This all happened in about three minutes. Then we heard voices in the waiting area and the photographer started telling me to reschedule and that Zen needs a nap! I told her she had already taken a nap, but thanks. She tried to get me to reschedule for the following Tuesday and told me what a great photographer she is and I would love what she does. I said Little Guy had his first dentist appointment that day so, no. And she said, Ok, so bring them after that! Ummm, no.

So after being practically kicked out after a five minute session, she still tried to get us to reschedule as we walked out through the waiting room. So I said, "Well, even if we were to reschedule, what would be a time of day when we would have some time to get the pictures done?" It was horrible and I was so disappointed.

Since then I've had two separate recommendations for the another studio so I guess I'll try there sometime this spring. But we'll never go back to that studio in the mall.


Blogger BettyBetty said...

How awful. Well, now you know where not to go. You should write a letter. They don't know they are doing a bad job until you tell them. Getting pictures done is always a stress-fest. I've used a MotoPhoto for the last 5 or so years and have been happy with the results. I don't know if you have those by you. Again, it depends on the photographer - we were lucky in that it was a young hip personable guy that my kids liked.

1:32 PM  
Blogger Camille said...

Betty-Yeah, we're definitely not going there again. The photographer makes all the difference. I guess I'll look into Portrait Innovations which was the place I got two separate recommendations for.

8:29 AM  

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