Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bad, bad pictures :_(

It's November which means it's Christmas picture time!! I enjoyed getting Cali's Christmas pictures taken so much the last 2 years so I was even more excited this year now that we have TWO daughters! For those of you that don't know...we live in a small town so every time we get pictures taken we go to Sears in Billings or Great Falls. I made an appt for Tues the 16th at 1pm. I wanted to get there early so I could buy the girls their Christmas dresses.

(I do need to make a very quick side note...I need everyone to know that we're still living our lives as though Brooklyn didn't have a nevus. This means that we use our OWN money for anything and everything. We are BY NO MEANS using any of the donation/Brooklyn's Best money for our own personal use. I have said & I will always say, and mean, that that money is being used for insurance deductibles, anything that insurance doesn't pay, and for our trips to/from Chicago. So when I talk about getting Christmas pictures taken this is just like EVERY OTHER YEAR meaning that we save up for them & use our OWN money. I just wanted to make that clear, so that I don't have to repeat myself time after time!)

Anyways, we got to Sears just after noon, found 2 matching adorable red dresses with velvet darker red polka dots on them with a red velvet belt...soooo cute! I'd brought white tights & then my mom bought them cute black shoes. We got to the portrait studio at 12:45pm & was told that it'd still be about 15 mins. We got the girls dressed & waited. Then we waited some more...and more...and waited more. It was 1:15pm & we were still waiting. Cali was running around & dancing around, playing with their toys. Thankfully she was being a very good girl.

The lady that was there taking pictures was finishing up with the people there before us. She had to "fix" their pictures & then show them their pictures. Right as it was our time to go in, another lady came in with her picture CD & asked to go through her pictures on their computer. So the lady taking the pictures helped her first! By now it was 1:30pm & we'd waited 45 mins. Then the lady said that she had to help the people before us actually place their order so she had the girl there that was training start our pictures.

VERY long story short, we had to show the girl how to place the girls on the table thing with the background b/c she didn't know. Sears takes 9 pictures for you to choose from. Well this girl started by just practicing & she took a horrible picture of Brooklyn.

Finally the original lady came in (who I found out later was the supervisor of the place) & she started our pictures. By now it was like 1:50pm. She did get out some cute backgrounds and she got Cali to smile beautifully.

Unfortunately though, my Little Miss Smily Brooklyn would NOT smile. She just had this fixed-jaw look like she was mad or confused! And to top it all off, she wouldn't take her hand out of her mouth. The lady wouldn't try to get her to laugh, smile, or take her hand out of her mouth. She'd just take a picture & tell us how "cute" it was, when we obviously could see that it was a bad picture. Then she'd tell us "oh it's ok we take 9 pictures...we still have a few to go".

cute of Cali but not as much so of Brooklyn

again...cute of Cali but Brookie isn't even looking at the camera!
 But by then she'd already taken the 9...and there were only 2 cute ones...unfortunately they were just the 2 individual ones of Cali. I don't at all want to say that the pictures of my girls were horrible, but believe me, they were not good! There was no way I could have picked out the pictures to share with everyone. I could NOT get excited about them & want to show them off.

kinda looks like she's falling...or flying!

this one's actually adorable of Brooklyn...but Cali isn't looking

It's 2:30pm now. So she "fixed" our pictures by adding borders & collages and then came & showed them to me...and then she said, get this...."ok well it's my break time now so I'll be back in 1/2 hr". And then she left!!! Another worker had come in at 2pm, but was busy taking pictures of another family. She said that if I got done picking out what pictures I want that the other girl would help me. I asked about pricing because last time we got a pretty good deal & this time I had a 40% off coupon. She basically only allowed me a $199.98 package or a $189.98 package. She said that the CD, even with the 40% off, would be $150. All I could do was laugh in disgust because their prices seem to change every single time I go in that place!

this is the fixed-jaw look that she was into that day!
 So she went on her much needed break...HA...and I just picked 1 of each picture (took me about 5 mins) and then stood up so the other worker could see I was done. I stood there for 20 minutes!! Finally she says to me "Did you need something"...uh hello?!!! "YES!! I just want to go!" I said. She came over about 5 mins later (at about 2:55pm) and started putting my order in the computer. Unfortunately for both of us I snapped at her a few times. I did apologize though cause she didn't have anything to do with it. Talk about being frusturated & sooooooo upset! I was trying SO hard to not let them see my beet-red face & tears in my eyes. THANK THE LORD my mom was there to walk around the store with the girls cause they were all antsy & just wanting to leave.

3pm rolls around & my original picture-taker comes back from her break & finishes up helping me. I paid & walked out (at 3:15pm - 2 1/2 hrs after getting there) without saying anything. I know what you're probably thinking..."WHY GET ANYTHING?!!!" I'll tell you...because these were my much-anticipated Christmas pictures! If I were to have left without getting anything then we'd be Christmas picture-less and I couldn't do that. The biggest reason, however, was because this is the last time that Brooklyn will have her pictures taken professionally in a very long time. The next time will probably be when Cali turns 3. I just wanted these to be special & I was so sad that they weren't good.

I had a day or 2 to "ponder" our experience. I was so mad that they didn't even apologize for waiting for so long & they didn't even offer me a price break or even a free 8x10!!! Naturally, I was pretty upset for the rest of that day, and then to top it all off we got stuck in Billings cause both roads into Lewistown were closed due to snow storms. So we had to go to WalMart & get toothbrushes, PJ's for the girls, etc. That certainly didn't make me happy! Anyways, I decided that I needed to either get my money back or have the Sears in Great Falls re-do my pictures. I couldn't live with these cause I couldn't pick a "good enough" one to send in our Christmas cards. I called the Sears portraits customer service number & the lady I spoke with was very nice. She apologized profusely & then looked at the pictures. She agreed that they were not good pictures. I told her bits & pieces of my story & she just couldn't believe it. I couldn't get away with getting all my money back because I had the CD, so I got 2/3 of my money back. I'm happy with that. Even though the quality of the CD is bad, at least I got 2/3 of my money back.

So now what...we still need Christmas pictures of the girls!!!!!!! I made an appt at a place here in town so hopefully they'll be good. I actually am fairly confident that they'll turn out cute. She just doesn't have the cutesy, cheesy Christmas backgrounds that Sears does. Why have I never gone to her before? Because even though I have the CD's, Sears keeps all the pictures on their computers. So we've just gone there every time. Our 2nd try at Christmas pictures is Monday the 29th. All good luck wishes will be appreciated!!!

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