Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sears Nightmare Studio



When I was young I hated having my picture taken. I am telling you -- I. Hated. It. We have several years of Easter pictures that include me pouting, and in one of my favorite sets, I have my head turned against the wall with my arms crossed because I did NOT want to have my picture taken.

Even now, I don't really enjoy it, which I'm SURE made our wedding photographer thrilled to be taking our pictures on our wedding day.

So the other day when my mom told me she wanted me to take my daughter to a portrait studio to have her picture taken, I said "Are you out of your goddamned mind?", which was silly given that I already knew the answer.

She badgered me and badgered me and said "I WANT PICTURES OF MY GRANDDAUGHTER" and I said "BUT I TAKE THEM ALL THE TIME!"

And she said "NO! I want them taken IN A PORTRAIT STUDIO! By a PROFESSIONAL! YOU TREAT HER LIKE SHE'S YOUR YOUNGEST AND YOU JUST DON'T CARE ABOUT HER AT ALL!"

Yes, you're right. I just don't care about her at all. THAT'S WHY I KEEP THIS BLOG: BECAUSE I TOTALLY DON'T CARE ABOUT MY CHILD!

The one experience I can remember of having my picture taken at a portrait studio was when I was about 12 or so. My aunts took my brother and I down to the basement at Sears in Bakersfield, California and sat us down with their screaming 2 year olds for what seemed like HOURS, trying to get a good picture of the 4 cousins.

The one that finally came out of that set has my brother and I hunched over, backs to each other, with drooling 2 year olds in front of us. Nobody was happy.

Wanna know who IS happy? Everyone who goes to my grandmother's house and sees it in the frame in her hallway.

I finished my work early today, Phoebe seemed to be in a good mood, and I thought "Okay, today is the day, we're going to Sears".

I had heart palpitations the entire drive. "This is going to be a nightmare", I texted Kim.

Fortunately we were able to get right in -- there was only one family ahead of us and they were looking at their pictures, trying to decide how many keychains and mousepads they wanted (or whatever).

I am not kidding you when I tell you the minute -- the absolute INSTANT -- I put Phoebe down for the photographer to take her picture, she started crying.

Fortunately she was able to be cheerful for a few pictures, but there are a couple of her crying that one day she's going to look at and say to me "Why did you do this to me?" And I'm going to say "Go ask your grandmother" who BETTER have every single one of the images in a picture frame for making me go through this.

After the photoshoot was finished, I got to look at the pictures and the "packages" available.

The sitting fee was $20. Each "sheet" (1 8x10, 2 5x7s, etc.) was $20. The cheapest package that would allow me to keep a disk of the pictures (let's face it -- that's all anyone wants because -- hello -- Facebook) was $129.99.

BUT for an additional $10, I could keep the ones she'd "modified" (you know, softening the light, etc.).

So all in all it was $150. My mom said she was paying us $50.

I am going to send her a bill for my pain and suffering.

If I don't post anything for a few weeks, it'll either be because I'm too busy trying to find my dignity or Geoff has murdered me for spending $100 at the Sears Portrait Studio.











3 comments:

Jen ~ Localette said...

SO classic! It's a total rite of passage like photos of your kid crying in Santa's lap.




That said, I would also be tempted to send the bill to my mom ;)

Candice Lynn said...

I am dying over your post and pictures. Olan Mills (remember the "classy" gold signature in the lower corner?) was the portrait studio from hell from my childhood memories...although there was always a part of me that wanted the special effect of my picture with another one of me looking off into the distance and superimposed in the corner.

Meghan said...

Oh Candice, the Johnson siblings also went to Olan Mills. And somewhere buried at my mom's house is a picture of me circa 4th grade with a picture as you describe. I'm smiling in a blue sweater, but then in the upper right-hand corner, there is a more serious Meghan, gazing into the future.