Saturday, May 17, 2008


Chase and Harmonie show-off their yoga skills. Photographed for free, by me ....
Our kids are just too darn photogenic.
A few months ago, one of those photo places targeted me in the shopping centre. Usually, having been caught before, I avoid them like the plague. But this time, something in me weakened.

It's been ages since we had professional photos taken of the kids, and the roving salesperson - who after all, was only trying to make a commission - was offering me a coupon for $10 for a sitting, including photo.
We all know how this works. You get a cheap or free sitting plus pic, but end up loving all the photos so much you buy a whole collection. For hundreds of dollars you can't afford.
But I really wanted an updated photo of the kids to add to the collection on our walls.
I ran it past Kyle.
"Okay," he said. "But we'll just get the free one. We don't need the rest."
I agreed.
So after three failed attempts to get to the portrait place, we finally made it this morning. Kids in their hair-brushed, just-dressed, good-enough-to-eat best.
The photos were taken, and we were given about an hour to wander around the shopping centre while they got a slideshow of our session together.
"Okay," I said. "We're just going to take the free photo, right?"
"That's right," Kyle agreed.
But of course, in we go, and all the photos are so gorgeous, we immediately weaken.
Sensing victory, the salesperson suggests we take out any pics we don't like, to reduce the cost.
How can you take out pics of your own kids? But there are a few that look stiff, or not quite 'them'.
Once that's done, I tentatively ask the cost. $600.
"Are you kidding me?" I think, but say nothing. The pics are gorgeous, but $600 for digital photos? (Last time we did it, they were the old-fashioned version, so you'd think they would have come down in price.)
Kyle and I eye each other, warily, each silently willing the other to be the tough guy.
"You can take a few more photos out to reduce the cost," the sales lady says.
So we take a few more out.
"How much now?" I ask.
"Well, you're not actually buying a collection now, so the price actually goes up. To $649," the sales lady says.
Give me a break.
The next cheapest collection is $400 for half a dozen pics. I'm about to capitulate, when I catch Kyle's eye and remember our promise. Suddenly, sanity kicks in.
Yes, the pics are great. But we have a zillion great pics of our kids at home, and most of these aren't any better than we can do ourselves. Truly.
And the kids are playing up a treat, attacking each other with the free balloons they've been given while we're trying to decide how much to spend on perfect images of them behaving.
"It's so confusing, I can't possibly decide right now," I say honestly. "We'll just take the free one, and we'll think about the rest."
In the car, our decision makes perfect sense, and I realise we didn't really need a whole collection of photos anyway.
I hate these companies that prey on parents' love of their children.
"This is absolutely the last time we go there," Kyle says as we drive home.
I agree.
Until next time at least ...

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