Last night my family drove to our church to have our photographs taken for the photo directory. A large company takes photos and publishes the directory while working their hardest to sell people $500 in portraity fabulousness; maybe some of you are familiar with the process?
Let me first say that I truly did feel bad for the guy taking our pictures because obviously he had never met children such as mine. My boys, when put together and told to behave in a studio setting, somehow morphed into crazy performing monkeys who have reached their limits with the establishment and begin to fling their poo at the audience (the monkeys, not my kids).
Long story short, it was rough and felt rushed. The photographer kept switching us around, taking photos of different combinations and posing my kids unnaturally (I can honestly say my kids have never stood back to back with their arms crossed while grinning). After the first 20 attempts the photographer started saying things like, "gosh, I've got to get a good picture of the two of you!" as he began to sweat visibly. (Did I mention that I really did feel a bit bad for him?)
We did capture some gems though, like the required couple shot where I put my hand on Mike's shoulder and we both give the camera "soft" looks. Um, Mike doesn't know what a soft look is. And I think 90% of the time they end up looking silly. Really, if you're posing, why not smile? When you're 80 and you look back on your senior shots are you going to say, "Dang, I looked fierce! Why didn't I submit that photo to Vogue??" or are you going to say, "Gee, I sure wish I had smiled!"
I wanted to say, "it's really okay, I have no intention of purchasing these," but I knew he wouldn't listen. So we suffered through it and then went to the preview room, where he gave us the hard sale. I won't go through that, except to say:
- Photographers should know that women don't want their upper arms to look squished and fat in pictures. Or is that just me?
- We didn't purchase anything.
- The photographer may or may not have said, "you're not getting any younger or thinner."
- He DID say it.
- I did not slap him. Gold star sticker for me.
- We will get our complimentary 8x10 of the church directory shot, the only one we had with all four of us smiling semi-naturally and looking at the camera. Never you mind that half my face is obstructed and my youngest is on his way out of the shot in mid-leap.
At least people in the church will recognize us when they flip through the pages of the directory... "oh, I know who they are!"