Thursday, December 22, 2011

Church Directories... The Devil's Idea

Back in November we had to get pictures taken because our church was putting together a directory.

I think church directories are the devil's idea.

You see...

I had to sign up for an appointment. I had no idea if Mike would still be working or not so I took an evening slot. There was a lot of thought that had to go into this. I have two small kids. If I did it too early I would hit nap time. Any time after that complicates dinner. We went for 6:00pm and ate an early dinner.

Thankfully we have a large church and they were doing photos for a month. I signed up for some time near the end. I needed a month to figure out what we would all wear. I can hardly throw together a good outfit that matches for myself... and now I had to coordinate outfits for four of us! That's pretty much a nightmare for me!

We had to spend money to buy Mike a new sweater since he had nothing at all that would match with what I had. THANKFULLY I had something to wear because I hate shopping for something like pictures.

Then the day came. And we had to wait until 6PM even though Mike wasn't working. It was a really long day at home. And it was a weird day with the kids getting baths in the middle of the day and dinner early and trying to keep everyone happy because it just wouldn't work well to go take pics that tons of people will see right after every one had a big fight.

We show up at the church on a super down-pouring rainy night. (Thank you church for having a covered drop off area!) We sit and wait our turn. We get fifteen minutes with the photographer and then they send us off to the salesman.

I looked for a pricelist and saw none so I started asking my questions.

ME: How much does an 8x10 cost?
HIM: Hang on a second. Let's do this first. (Starts going through more of the photos to see which ones we like best.) Sooo... you like this one. If you get an 8x10, a couple of 5x7s, 24 wallets and the digital copy it will be this much.

A price that is almost $200 pops up on the screen.

My jaw hits the floor.

ME: So how much is an 8x10? I just want a family picture.
HIM: Ok. So you want an 8x10 and five 5x7s to give as gifts.
ME: No. I'm not going to give any as gifts. How much is an 8x10?
HIM: Ok. So an 8x10 and two 5x7s for gifts. That will be this much.

Another disgusting number pops up on the screen.

ME: No. Really. I just want an 8x10 of the family.
HIM: Well we could do something like this. (Shows me more examples of how I could order several and display them on my wall.)
ME: I'm really not going to hang them on my wall. I have no pictures hanging on my wall. I rent and my walls aren't even really walls that could hold the pictures. I don't have any shelves to put frames on. I really just want one 8x10 of the family. How much would that be?
HIM: (clicks out of everything, pushes back from the table, looses all the charm he formally had.) Well if you just want one 8x10 it would be free.


I don't like when people try to sell me things I don't want.

After we settled that I would only get an 8x10 he then asked if I had recently had pictures done. To that I replied "Yes. I took them."

I'm sure he thought that I was like the masses of people who think they are good but in truth suck and don't have a clue. But I knew better and walked out with a smile. And I got my free 8x10 that came with the session.

But here's the thing... imagine I was a mom who didn't take pictures and hadn't had a family portrait in forever with all of us in it. And imagine that as that mom I also didn't have the money to spend on pictures... especially since it was Christmas time. And there I am sitting with a pushy salesman and I'm just not good at saying no and I feel obligated to buy something since I showed up. I'm guessing several people walked away thinking "I can't believe I just spent that much on pictures! But I just wanted one of the family together so bad!"

It was all just pretty much a stressful thing for me. I would be happy to never do it again!

The pictures that they got of us were nice enough... but they were studio portraits. Not quite my style and not something I would hang in my house. If I'm going to spend money on pictures I'm going to get something I love... not just something that I like and think is nice.

I just don't feel like these pictures represent our relationship that we have with each other... but like I said... they are nice. Just not us.

You can view some by clicking these links...

Image Center - Olan Mills Portrait Studios

I despise this pose... Image Center - Olan Mills Portrait Studios

Not a fan of this one either... Image Center - Olan Mills Portrait Studios

The kids were adorable though. But I hate the background and how dark it is. And I don't like the red.
Image Center - Olan Mills Portrait Studios

Image Center - Olan Mills Portrait Studios

Image Center - Olan Mills Portrait Studios

Image Center - Olan Mills Portrait Studios

I was all over their website and STILL can't find prices! Not cool.

Anyways... I have these for my memories...

IMG_9620 copybw

IMG_9654 copybw2

IMG_7848 copy

Are they perfect? Nope. Do I love them more than anything? Absolutely!

And the best part is that they were taken right in my living room and will cost me less than $10 to print enlargements of all three.

Have you had a church directory photo experience lately?

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