Saturday, July 30, 2005

Behind the Pictures: Picture Day Exposed

Well, yesterday was picture day. What a production! We had to get her dressed up, drag her to *gasp* Wal-Mart, and wait. Meanwhile, she's getting hungry, unbeknownst to us. When it was our turn, we put her on this table covered with an icky blue carpet which was draped with a black cloth, both having a foot long slit down the center. Corresponding with the slit was a propping contraption. This piece is meant to prop your child at a 80 degree angle so that you can get a nice face shot. The black fabric is swaddled over the device, in an effort to conceal it... like babies can naturally hover at that angle. Meanwhile, a parent must sit on a stool next to the table, arm above the icky blue carpet yet below the black cloth, and place their hand on their child to steady her through the slit. Once in this position, the photographer procedes to jump up and down, making crazy gutteral sounds meant to amuse the child. She also holds a toy from her box to rub against the baby's face. Maybe I am an overprotective new mom, but, ewww. Gross. I'm sure she's done that to every posing child. So I'm not smiling, but somehow, through the noise and chaos, Aveline does. Poof! Flash! The picture comes up on a small computer screen halfway across the room. The photographer then looks for approval as the image appears. We vote nay or yea, and depending upon our choice, the whole process starts again. This is when Aveline gets really hungry. She decides that her dress would be a nice thing to munch on. She begins pulling her dress up to her gnawing mouth, a newfound skill mind you, and procedes to flash the camera. Now my job as the baby holder has expanded to include keeping her hands and dress down. After 10 minutes or so spent unsuccessfully getting that perfect shot, we decided to try to feed her. The photographer was incredibly patient through this whole ordeal. The milk did the trick. She still wanted to chew on her gorgeous red gingham checked dress adorned with tiny cherries, but it did calm her down. Now we had to contend with drool and bubbles. This process continued for another hour. By that time, we had gotten 7 semi-good shots. I was tired. Dan was exhausted. Aveline was asleep. I believe this was the photographer's wear you down before the sales pitch. Brilliant sales move. Adorable pictures of our child coupled with our desire to just go home. She sat us down to show us our options. Whoa. I did not know it was so expensive to buy pictures. We settled for the least expensive package, put our money down and left. For all the production, we love the beautiful pictures we will keep for a lifetime.

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