The day before Christmas, to celebrate Clara Anne's four years of life, we went to get her photos taken, hoping to get some family photos taken as well in the process. Ever since her first birthday, I've been taking her and then the other girls, as they were added to our family, about every six months for photos. We always go to the same photography studio, aptly named "Golden Childhood." Because, you know, even if your child doesn't have a golden childhood, at least their pictures will make it seem like she did! They do a pretty good job and over the years have gotten used to my strange requests like: "Don't put that plastic apple in the picture! No, I don't want to dress my child in a cammo uniform! Please don't give her a fake grapevine to hold!" I.e., I usually like to keep our pictures simple. A plain background, a pretty outfit, and a nice smile is all I'm usually looking for. And that can be a challenge with young children anyway!
Just a few weeks ago, a teacher at Clara Anne's kindergarten had come up to me and said that she thought she saw Clara Anne and Chloe in the newspaper. She found it on her desk, and sure enough, there was a picture of the two of them from last Christmas, used in a big advertisement in one of this city's most popular daily papers. She gave me the paper to keep and I laughingly showed it to a few friends. Each time I've gotten the girls' pictures done, the studio has asked for permission to use the photos in advertising, and I've always said yes, thinking there would be no harm in that. The first time they gave me a slight discount for the advertising permission but never after that.
However, this time, all our local friends were indignant. "Look, they used such a big photo in such a popular paper! They should give you a photo shoot for free! You shouldn't have to pay for photos the next time! You are giving them a lot of credibility since they have the beautiful blonde foreign babies in their advertisements!" I sort of laughed it off, but finally one friend convinced me that we should at least call the photo studio and give it a try.
Our friend Lynn called for us (she has excellent persuasive bargaining skills) and, after about 20 minutes of discussion, a 2 hour wait, and finally a call back from the manager, we had a free photo sitting!
In the past, this photo shop always wanted us to buy a package, and we had to highlight one child. There could be a group photo of all the children, but the rest of the photos had to all be of that "chosen" child. But this time, we bargained for pictures of each of our kids, family shots, and various groupings--and they gave them all to us, 29 photos total--for free!
Photos are particularly important to my mother, who is an expert scrapbooker. Truly. Her photo albums are not only wonderful remembrance books of our lives, but are works of art. She enjoys scrapbooking so much and does a beautiful, beautiful job with it. I am so thankful that she loves to do this because beyond doing a baby book for my girls, I haven't done any scrapbooking at all. There is no Hobby Lobby down the street or Creative Memories consultant nearby, so I just take the pictures and leave the scrapbooking of them to my creative and talented mother!
So Mom, these photos are for you. Merry Christmas! And thanks again for the beautiful outfits![I will try my best to get the CD of these as well as a bunch of other current photos to you soon!]
Here's a selection from that day. Enjoy!