The One About the Photo Studio

What did I do Saturday evening?

Well, I decided to take Celeste, our now 10 month baby, for the very first time to JC Penney for a photo shoot. Oh…my…gosh, where to start?!

If you are looking for the ideal recipe to annoy your baby, annoy yourself, annoy anyone who accompanies you (my mother in this case) and then end up annoying the sales lady because you’re adamant about what you do and don’t want, then this is the place to start.

And why is it that whenever someone tries to forwarn me about something, I always think, okay, okay, but it can’t be that bad. Last time I thought that was when people kept telling us how miserable the first 3 months of having a baby are. I was wrong then too, thinking it couldn’t be that bad. So my mom had given me a heads up “we’ll be there for a while, at least a couple of hours”. What? A couple of hours? Okay, okay, but it can’t be that bad. It was.

The whole fiasco started at 4:00p, which is around the time I was getting Celeste ready after she took a much longer nap than I’d expected. But atleast she was well rested and I had just fed her so we were good to go. In my mind I thought, we’ll probably be back by 6:30p, 7p the latest. That’s not too bad, Biggie (our bulldog) will be fine waiting til then to be walked/fed. We ended up getting home at 8:15p. Yes, 8:15p.

Our appointment was at 4:50p and as we pulled into the parking spot at 4:40p, we made a mad dash to the store and what do I see as I turn the corner into the waiting area? About 20 people. No joke. And among those 20 people there were about 7 babies ranging from about 3 months to 10 months of age. I remember getting this funny feeling, I think it was that little voice saying…oh it is going to be that bad…but I ignored it. So we waited, and waited, and waited. And then I saw the lady that had checked in before me starting to get her pics taken. Yay, did that mean we were next? But as I looked around the area I thought, what about those other 13 people still sitting around waiting? So I go up to the register, give the lady my name, and ask if we’re next. She then tells me with just a slight hint of attitude “we don’t have anyone else left except a party of 13”. Um, yes, you do, us. So I explain that her other assistant checked us in, etc, etc, and she does some tapping on the computer, apologizes, and I catch her shooting a very nasty look at the other gal as she tells me that said gal forgot to put our paper on a clipboard, and adds “good thing you came up, otherwise you would have been waiting longer”. Longer?!

So finally it’s our turn, and Celeste is looking cute as can be in her dress and bow and I sit her down on the floor and that’s about the time she realizes there’s a strange young girl with a huge black thing pointing straight at her (the camera) and decides she’s not down with this at all. We quickly start to distract her and make little faces/claps and she’s smiling and laughing and snap, snap, snap. Just like that we have 3 awesome photos. Then I hear the gal from the register saying to the photographer “nothing is loading” and as I’m trying to entertain Celeste on the floor I here snips of conversation between the photographer and the register lady “you’re not plugged in”, “you didn’t capture any”, “you need to make sure this is on…” and that’s when I realize, those awesome first 3 shots? Gone. And now Celeste is wondering why she’s sitting around instead of crawling and exploring. After that, it was endless antics (and lots of sweating on my part) to try and get a few shots of our tiny love smiling/happy.

Finally we’re done and it looks like the entire experience may have been worth it, until we get to viewing the photos. There were some awesome shots, and as I’m trying to check each one out, and choosing some favorites, the gal helping us (the one that had originally checked us in) is doing some collages and frame enhancements and I’m thinking, can I just enjoy one photo at time. So voila she shows me her creations and I’m thinking okay, yes, some of them are nice. And I stop her and ask “how much does all this (fluff) cost?” and she says we’ll get right to that next, she just wants me to see all the potential and different things we can do. My inner self is groaning, but fine, I go along with her. Except now Celeste has had enough, she’s hungry again, and we’re still at the studio. Thankfully my mom entertains her and starts to try to feed her her solids.

Suddenly, as I’ve got one eye on my mom and Celeste and the other on what the gal is doing, she brings out her price list and she points to their $229 offer (yes $229) and how that includes all her enhancements and asks “how does that sound?” I’m positive I’ve gone wide eyed at this point (my husband knows this look well) and I quickly respond “Expensive!”, and I can tell I’ve sort of shocked her with my response. I guess direct honesty is not common policy anymore. So I tell her no, I have a coupon, this is what I want to spend, which is nowhere near even $75. And then as if all that wasn’t bad enough, when I tell her which photos I want, and that some are doubled up (because I want more quantities of that one shot) it’s like we’re suddenly both speaking different languages. But it doesn’t end there, then she starts adding up the stuff wrong and what I think should have only taken 10 minutes to check me out, has now taken atleats another 30 minutes. I was so glad when we were finally out of there.

By this point it’s 7:45p. We haven’t had dinner, Biggie hadn’t been walked or fed, Celeste’s shirt is filled with some of her solid food (I mentioned she was annoyed right?), she needed a diaper change and was sleepy, and I needed to feed her/put her to bed before I even thought of putting any food in my own mouth.

Thankfully when we made it home I saw that Biggie didn’t have any accidents and got everything together to walk him. And as I’m walking along at 8:15p, trying to scarf down a granola bar and feeling faint, I suddenly think, oh great, please, please don’t let me pass out because my phone is dead. I had visions of me laying on the ground and Biggie hopefully having the smarts enough to run home and show my mom he has arrived sans owner. But no, seriously I thought, oh my gosh, will Biggie be like one of those hero dogs that has the brains to run back home or will he just a) ditch me and go explore/find mischief/food or b) just sit there with me until I come back to? Sometimes he can be a bit on the self interest side, so I was thinking things could go either way for me. Knowing that beast, he’d probably ditch me to find food, then come back after not finding anything and just sit there with me hahahahahahaha!!! Well, I never found out what he’d do because we both made it home safe.

Thankfully I didn’t subject my husband to any of this and did this while he was at work.

And yes, I realize now in hindsight that I should NOT have booked on a Saturday afternoon, but that’s not the point. Live and learn. We did manage to get some cute pics though. I’ll share some on here as soon as we get them.

I can’t wait to do it all over again, hahahahaha!!!!


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