Never again...

I got a coupon in the mail for the Sears portrait studio...and since how I've never done portrait studio pictures of the girls, I thought I should try it. It was a major fail. My main goal was to get some pictures of Charlotte and I hoped for some of the girls together.

First off, Hailey woke up from her afternoon nap horribly grumpy. We've discovered that if she wakes up grumpy, that attitude persists throughout the day (this was confirmed by our outing to Sears - yup, grump). Charlotte started crying as soon as we got there....so they tried to warm Hailey up to the whole situation while I fed Charlotte. Charlotte wasn't interested in eating. Food seemed to be a 'happy' place for Hailey though, so I started giving her snacks. This worked for a minute or two.
Hailey figured out what we were trying to do and promptly started crying again (you can see the tears in her eyes).
We decided to try and get some pictures of Charlotte while Hailey threw a fit.
Charlotte still wasn't feeling great...but she looks remarkably happy in this picture.
I wasn't planning on being in any pictures, but this actually turned out pretty well (I have a similar shot from when Hailey was 3 months old too).
We eventually got Hailey to have a dance party with a bear. It was really cute. She was kind of loony at this point...running in circles, falling, and giggling like crazy the whole time.
The bears were a good idea. She really liked them...
Then we thought, "Hailey is happy, let's throw Charlotte into the pictures!" Um ya....that didn't work so well.
This is pretty cute. Wish you could see Hailey's face (she pulled out her pigtails in an earlier crying bout).

It was near closing time and they didn't have time to edit the photos...so asked us to come back the following day. They also suggested that we try to get additional pictures when we came back. We agreed.

Soon after we arrived home Charlotte pooped - and it was a big thick yellow log. Yup. I just described my kid's poop on a blog. It was very strange and it was very easy to understand why she had been SO fussy all night. The poor girl was having a heck of a time pushing that out... At nearly 3 months old she should not be having thick poop like this!

Oh right, back to the photo session story. Right. So....we went back the following day (yesterday). I made sure to leave the house shortly after Hailey's nap...and seeing how both girls were happy upon arrival, I decided we would try for a few more pictures. They weren't busy and were happy to try again.
Charlotte started crying as soon as we got into the room - she seemed hungry. We decided to get some shots of Hailey while I tried to feed Charlotte. Hailey caught on and started saying "no" in the sweet little whiny voice she has familiarized us with over the last few weeks.
Ahhh...props. Love the props. Hailey loved them too. Well...okay, love might be a bit of a stretch. She still didn't like the fact that this girl was trying to take pictures of her...props were fun, but when that girl tried to take a picture of her, she was not happy about it and eventually slid off the platform she had been on and proceeded to play with the props on the floor - behind the camera. Charlotte didn't want to eat...she was just fussy because she was trying to pass some gas (and boy did she!). We decided to try to get some pictures of her while Hailey was entertained with the purse and pearls on the floor.
Here we have the classic baby in a basket photo. This time the camera (or was it the operator?) was messing up and the pictures turned out with this lovely blue tint. I'm hoping Pete can correct it a bit in photoshop - otherwise they will have to be black and white....like this one......
So by the time we finished with the pictures, I was totally spent. The girl taking the photos seemed to be a bit slow in everything she did....by the time she got everything set up she'd leave the room...right as Hailey and Charlotte seemed to be happy and ready for pictures. It was like she'd get a phone call and abandon us. She would come back eventually and then we had missed the 'happy' window. So frustrating. Oh ya, and I would assume that if you work in a portrait studio you know what to do (how to set up the shots, what background to use, how to prop up a baby, etc)...but this girl didn't seem to know. She asked me what background I wanted and I asked what they had. Her response was, "we have so many options, so many...what do you want?". Um....that's not helpful! How am I supposed to pick something when you haven't shown or told me what you have?

I was glad I requested the white background for the first day - I should have just stuck with that.. The blue/white background she picked the following day was kind of cheesy, but the whole experience was so stressful/tiring that I just didn't even care anymore. I would be standing there asking, so...where/how should I put Charlotte for pics? And she would hmmm and haw and finally tell me to put her on her belly on a pillow with her elbows under herself to hold her up higher. News flash - this almost 3 month old doesn't like to be posed. She was NOT fond of laying ON her arms and it didn't make for a happy camper. It was so frustrating.

The photographer (aka person pushing the button on the camera) told me they needed about 15 minutes to edit the photos...so the girls and I headed to Starbucks in the mall (always a good pick-me-up) and Hailey got to enjoy a yogurt parfait while we waited. We went back to view the pictures and I wasn't sure they had edited them at all. No wait, they did make this beautiful collage while we were at Starbucks...
Hailey and Charlotte were ready to be heading home, as was I.

I kept asking what my options were for photo packages and the girl was NOT helpful. I still don't understand what my options were as she couldn't seem to tell me what they were. Maybe this is part of a scam so that you just end up buying the disk with all the pictures. Well, they got me. I was so confused trying to figure out why the girl couldn't tell me what my purchasing options were and I was getting more and more frustrated that the girl helping me wasn't actually helping me. She kept getting up to go help other people...which was annoying considering my two girls were on the verge of another meltdown. I was so confused and didn't have more time to sit there trying to drag the details out of her. At that point I had no idea if I even liked any of the pictures - I barely got to review them! I think it was out of sheer exhaustion that I told her I would just buy the CD so I could deal with the details on my own at home.

...and that is why I have all these wonderful pictures to post here and tell my story - because I'm the sucker who purchased the disk with all the pictures. I guess at the end of the day, these images will always serve as a reminder to me of why I should never take the girls to a portrait studio ever again.

At least not any time soon anyway...