Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Today I will be taking Jack to the fancy schmancy photography studio to get his one-year portrait done. This session is the last in the "baby panel" series, after which I will not be returning to the fancy schmancy photography studio. It is nothing against the pictures; the pictures are gorgeous. It is more the cost of said pictures. You see, the "baby panel" is a promotion run by this studio that includes sittings at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months and one 5x7 from each session, all for $79. Now, this is quite a deal, I have to say, even though I didn't find out about this studio until after I had already missed the 3-month session. So it is not the $79 that is the problem. It is more the cost of prints above and beyond the 5x7s that are included with the promotion.

At the 6-month portrait sitting which took place at 7-months for reasons I will discuss momentarily, I received a booklet of their package prices and I almost dropped dead from the shock. That was when I discovered that by choosing one of their packages, I could save $1700 over the cost of buying that many prints individually. I could SAVE $1700. Saving money is all well and good, but trust me, buying the prints a la carte would not come to a total of $1800.

I also found out that in order to choose the prints, The Husband and I would have to come back to a formal "viewing" where we would be shown a slide show of each picture from the session and anything we didn't choose that day would be deleted. The pressure! We tried to harden our hearts before the viewing and decided to choose only one pose for the cheapest option, 24 wallets, but naturally, we caved and bought two poses divided among one 8x10, one 5x7 and 8 wallets, because adding the 5x7 to the wallets was only $50 more and adding a second pose and the 8x10 was only $50 more on top of that, and that's practically the same price, really, when you think about it, I mean, the 8x10 is practically free, and how could we possibly be expected to choose just one pose of our adorable child?

But why was the 6-month session a month late, you ask? Well the studio has a lot of rules. The "baby panel" is designed to be a series of photos of the baby lying down (3 months), sitting up (6 months), standing holding on (9 months) and standing unassisted (12 months). Jack, naturally, was not able to sit up unassisted at 6 months. About a week before his appointment, I called the studio to tell them he could not yet sit up, as they had requested me to do. "Oh, no," said the guy who makes the appointments. "Well, when will he be able to?" Since Jack had not informed me of his schedule, I had to tell him that I really didn't know. "Well, let's just schedule for next month and hope," said the man at the studio, and we did. Fortunately, Jack got his act together in time and, although he was a little tippy the day of the session, we were spared having to wait until he was almost 9-months to take the 6-month shots.

After the 9-month portrait, the photographer asked me to call as soon as he could stand up unassisted, since she did not like to take portraits of toddlers if she could avoid it. I assumed that this would not be a problem, because Jack was up on all fours rocking back and forth for at least 5 weeks before he actually managed to crawl. I figured we'd have plenty of time.

I called the studio on a Friday and left a message that Jack could stand unassisted, and we should schedule the 12-month session. They did not return my call for 3 days by which point Jack was already teetering around the house pretty skillfully. "Yeah, he's walking," I said. "Sorry. He's pretty wobbly now, but this is happening really really fast, so I imagine he'll be running by next week." The studio panicked and gave me the next available appointment, which was for last Wednesday. But once again, Jack refused to cooperate and instead came down with a cold, so we had to reschedule. That turned out to be a very good thing, however, because the morning of the original appointment, Jack fell on his face and scratched the heck out of his nose. Not something I was anxious to memorialize for eternity.

So the photographer is going to have a little adventure trying to catch Jack standing still for long enough to snap some pictures. We'll schedule the viewing, spend a bit more money than we really want to, and go to Sears or someplace for his next portrait. Because I just don't have $1700 to save.


Emily said...

I have already looked for you, and there is no Portrait Innovations in Massachusetts. Wait, did I spell Massachusetts right? I don't think I did. Anyways.

The solution to this problem is simple, really, You just come down here and visit, and we'll go have Jack's picture taken somewher awesome and also cheap. I am the best friend ever!

Even though I know the ones you have done will be adorable. Because Jack is.

Heather said...

I wouldn't go to Sears if I were you...I wasn't pleased. I don't have any suggestions of where you should go, so I am of no help really. I bet I am the only reader who already knows that you didn't have Jack's pictures taken today after all. Jack may be speaking in full sentences before he gets his 12 month pictures at this rate!

maggie said...

I am late to the party here, but loooooved this post. Hee-larious.

Leah Lar said...

Sears!??! What about your good friend Leah Lar who is right now in class writing a ridiculously improbably business plan to own her own loft live/work space to start a non-traditional portrait studio? Hmmmm??!?!?! I'll give you a coupon! :)