Photo Shoot or Torture Session?

Well, I FINALLY, 5 1/2 months into it, took Jack and Anthony to get professional pictures today. I had purchased one of the Living Social Deals for a 6 sheets of pictures and it expires this Friday, so the deadline was on! I brought my mom for back up, it is ALWAYS a good idea to have another adult with you when you do this, if possible grandmothers are the best assistants, because they LOVE pictures of their grand babies so they will be way more patient with the whole process.

Our appointment was at 1:30 at a studio about 45 min from my house. There are locations closer, but to get the deal, you have to go to this particular spot. Fine, I get all of the clothes I want the boys to wear packed up, I’ve got my voucher for the free sheets, extra clothes in case of disaster, even printed out directions. I was fired up.

Well, Jack had one of his snooze until 11am days. (I have nicknamed him “Country Club” because he’ll sleep in until about 11, get up, have a little breakfast, maybe have a stroll around the gardens, then a little lunch, take a dip in the pool…) Once 10 am came and went, I was torn. Do I let him sleep? Wake him up and feed him? I began doing complex calculations, such as:  if he eats at 10:45 and he is prone to spitting up 2 hours after his  bottle, what time would I need to feed him again to prevent spit up, but have him be full enough to be happy, but not so full as to make him sleepy, but with enough time to get a nap, but nap means food after and I can’t feed him while driving, and Anthony can’t feed him in the car, because not only is that just wrong, but he can’t burp a baby in the car seat….. and so on. I finally pulled him out of bed just before 11, bottle, cereal, dressed (NOT in the picture clothes, just in case of natural disaster, such as poop or spit up explosions). Fed Anthony, loaded both boys, my mother and my 3 (yes, 3!) bags all into the car and off we went.

We actually made it to the mall early. This would have been good news had it not been for the Chuck E Cheese which sits directly across from where we needed to be. My son spotted it instantly. And then the fighting began….

Not a strong start for happy pictures. We finally settled that disagreement when Grandmother threw a nice Ice Cream bribe into the conversation. DONE! Sold to the lady with the sprinkles. Made our way over to the photo shop, now I won’t name names, but the PICTUREs taken by the PEOPLE working there were on display for you to gaze at longingly while waiting for 45 minutes for your name to be called.

Now I don’t know about your kids, but after a certain period of time (about 4.3 seconds), sitting in a waiting room tends to lose it’s luster. Fortunately there was a Stride Rite next door so Grandmother swept the big child off to get some new sneakers. (Thanks Grandmother! Double bonus shopping trip!) Meanwhile they check me in, tell me to get the boys ready and I will be called in shortly. I get the baby dressed, giant bib back in place, only a tiny drop of spit up on the jeans, no problem. I gather my 5 year old and his clothes, dash towards the bathroom only to find a giant sign, “Do Not Enter, Out of order!” taped on to the door, securing it closed.

Desperate times being what they are, I changed his top, (it’s a long shirt) and whipped off the shorts and into jeans right at the mall opening. (Solid Parenting!) Those of you that know me, know my germaphobe tendencies were on high alert for a trip like this, so at this point of the adventure I am hosing Anthony down with hand sanitizer about once every 6 minutes. It’ll be impressive if Anthony still has skin on his hands tomorrow, poor little man!

We finally get called in about 20 min late for the appointment which was about 45 min after we checked in. Our photographer, was not overly ambitious or enthusiastic, but he was alright. He only took 24 pictures total, it was like he was waiting for the perfect shot. I almost grabbed the camera out of his hand about 4 times, but it seems to me that screaming “TAKE THE #*[email protected]()&@#) PICTURE” may not have been the best way to get the boys to smile. Although, I tried everything else, from literally jumping up and down waving my hands and singing to straddling the photographer while he lay on the floor and making crazy faces over his head. Perhaps profanity was the answer. It sure would have helped me feel better.

Anyway, we made it through the session with tears, Anthony refusing to speak or stop smiling like he was crazy and Jack rolling around, screaming, but God love him, he didn’t spit up until right after we were done. (Then he unleashed a good one all over the floor!)

We wait another 40 minutes for the pictures to be edited. Grandmother escorts the boys to the indoor play area. Conveniently located directly in front of the photo shop… REALLY people?!? Could you  make it any HARDER on parents trying to keep their kids in your damn store?!? Why not give away free puppies across the hall way?!? Maybe some candy. THANKS for that.

So I finally get called over to the computer. Here’s the first image I see:

Off to a strong start.

We had a few other beauties:

I will admit I actually ordered this one because I thought Anthony’s face was HILARIOUS. In all fairness, we ended up with some nice pictures. It only took about 4 hours (5 1/2 if you include driving and ice cream time) but we ended up with some great shots.











So my tip of the day is this: If you are doing studio pictures, bring another adult with you. If you are doing these pictures with more than one child, bring an adult… and a flask. If at all possible, find a photographer who will come to you and who can spend more than 12 minutes (out of a 5.5 hour journey) with your kids. They will have the chance to understand your kids’ personalities and that makes for excellent picture taking.

Check back on Tuesday (and of course every day before then!) when we start our featured guest section with fantastic tips for taking pictures of your kids from a really phenomenal photographer… I only wish she still lived near me… I could have avoided this entire debacle!


(PS, if you aren’t using Living Social yet, click here to sign up for the emails. There are awesome deals and if you follow this link you get 50% off your first purchase!)


Tara is a stay at home mom to two sons. She is a lover of family, friends, food and laughter. Her life is a roller coaster ride full of hilarity, diapers, exercise and fun.

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5 Responses

  1. Grandmother says:

    This page cracked me up. I am lol and the funny part is that I was THERE and it still makes me laugh.

  2. Crazyfirsttimemom says:

    Hysterical! The boys are so photogenic even the first three are adorable.

  3. Kelly says:

    I guess this makes me feel better that at 12 and 9, I only have had studio pictures of my son twice and daughter once. Maybe they are old enough now that I could take them and actually have a good outcome, you are a strong woman Tara!

  4. Heather Pillow says:

    Bwuhahahahahaha! Those first three are total keepers. I see them being busted out for the rehearsal dinner slide show at their weddings.

    You are a stronger woman than I. This is exactly why I have three whole pictures of my three kids all together and only two of the entire family.

  5. natalie says:

    YOu crack me up!!!! Thanks for always starting mymorning with a good laugh 🙂 And I can totally relate…went the PICTURE place once, and only once….because of almost an identical situation. At least you got some cute pics!

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