04 January 2010

Fiscally Minded, We Are

Last week, we (as in all 4 of us) dragged ourselves to the local Portrait Innovations and had, yet another, family session and individual photos made of the boys.

We weren't there 5 minutes before Michael looked at me and said "I really hate doing pictures".

I could not agree more.

Don't get me wrong, I love Portrait Innovation, but having the same backdrops in all of our photos (as in, all of the photos from the last four years) is frustrating me. Equally as aggrivating is seeing the same 10 or so poses repeated in a different order by a varying amount of photographers. Then, of course, there's also the issue I have with them looking too staged. What other time are either of my boys sitting still, facing a wall with an angelic gleam about their rosey cheeks, prim and proper in a lovely (read: ironed) button down shirt? With socks on?
Ok, maybe Christmas and their birthday (maybe).

Of course, there's also the price. Twice a year, I go into panic mode looking for outfits that don't necessary match, but at least belong to the same color palette. Of course, this results in me hauling us to the mall to find a missing neutral long sleeve, or a pair of khakis that don't fall off my tiny-waisted children. All of those things being less than cheap. 

The actual price of the pictures isn't "department store" high, but it's also not "do it at home or at the local drugstore" cheap. For this particular trip, our bill tallied at exactly 200 dollars. But that doesn't factor in the $70+ I spent on clothes since Chase would have otherwise modeled the same outfit as Conner's did in his photos at Chase's age (in the act same pose with the exact same backdrop. See my problem here?)

The pictures are lovely, I'll admit that. The photographer was kind and amusing (aside from the fact she needs to get a better "trick", the one she was using became old after the 10th time). They are surely memories I'll cherish forever.

I wanted to break this rut though, and I've long wanted a nice (niceish) SLR camera so I could take better photographs and need a professional studio less often. Honestly, however, I underestimated the power of a good financial sense and never presented this desire to my husband.

Until, it is, we came home that day after busting our butts for these pictures, simply drained from Chase's run-on tantrum and Conner's incessant proclamation for a bowl of ice cream, and a friend of Michael's mentioned that a nice camera could, possibly, eliminate the need for the biannual Portrait Innovations merry-go-round.

He, having a profession in the financial sector, was sold. For the same price of two of these sessions, the camera would be "paid for". 

This is the part where I introduce all of you to our new, money-saving, less-headache-producing, thank-god-because-seriously-matching-outfits-for-pictures-makes-me-want-to-cry, Nikon D60.

Someone teach me how to use it?


  1. The Nikon rocks!! My dad has a D40 that I use all the time. It is amazing at picture quality and even picks up the tiniest smudge of anything on the kids face when I take their pictures. For real, keep it charged and ready with a card at ALL times. Candid moments happen more when you are ready and prepared. Some of my pics in my album photography on a pretty day are done with it.

  2. Cool! Now I expect more printed pictures of the boys.

  3. jessleonard05 January, 2010

    Nice!! Have fun learning all the bells and whistles!! =)

    If you lived closer.. I could have totally helped you out with your pic dilemma....

    Looking forward to more pics since you have such an awesome new toy!! =)

  4. Amen on the same poses/background/annoying "get-your-kid-to smile" tricks. We used to go there all the time, but every pic in my house started to look the same! Not to mention if you go around Christmas you're destined to wait FOREVER since some people bring like 14 outfits and they've booked 12 people in the same time slots. We dread going there so much that 1)we pretty much quit except for birthday shots and 2) for the last two years we've taken our own Christmas card pictures (which = less posed and more like us). Here is a tip if you every go back to PI...take your own props. We have taken cupcakes for the kids to eat and have icing on their faces, balloons for the background, our own blankets/toys, etc. We've also dumped one kid off at grandma's while we had pics done one time. Geez, can you tell I've given this thought before?

  5. I sense a tinge of "WHY DO YOU ALWAYS EMAIL ME PICTURES?!" in this comment. WALGREENS, MOTHER, WALGREENS!

  6. Sigh... we've tried bringing our own props and whatnot.. it's just.... SO MUCH STUFF AND HARD TO REMEMBER AND . :)
    But i do love the idea of bringing "smash cakes" to the pictures. I'm going to def try that.
    I think we are going to go once a year for a family shot and ONE individual of the boys. I think I'm just going to have to get creative on the poses.


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