Monday, January 05, 2009

Just for You, Mom

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!


Gretchen said...

GORGEOUS!! These are wonderful! I think I like the one of you with the girls the best. What a sweet picture. No wonder they use them for the ads! :)

Jennifer said...

Those pictures are gorgeous! Of course, it helps if you start with a good lookin' family! :)

Anonymous said...

Rachel - The pictures are wonderful. The girls are all so beautiful!

Kay Rucker

sandra said...

Oh my goodness. First of all the girls dresses are beautiful! So pretty! And your Mom is doing your scrapbooking! Does she have any time to scrap our family? ha!

And you know I am super excited about you getting 29 pictures for free! Whenever we go, I always take lots of props (his toys, trucks, etc.) because I know they like to add the elements in there. So if they need the elements, then they might as well be ours.

We just did a photo shoot at Sears and I have to say that I missed my little local studio where I can get whatever I want on my jump drive for 10rmb per photo and then print as many as I want.

Anyway, great photos! The girls are just growing up too fast. Have you thought about stopping nutrition? ha!

Kellie said...

These are great! They did a wonderful job - not to mention the beautiful models they had! Great Job! We look forward to seeing you all soon!

Ethan said...

...but John in a cammo uniform might be kinda cool....:)maybe next time.

Great to see pics of your beautiful family.

Happy New Year!

The Culbertsons said...

Those pictures are beautiful! I know they are even prettier to you because they are free!

SingerMamaMelody said...

That's hilarious! I giggled through your story. Glad to hear that you got a free photo shoot - how awesome! Way to go, persuasive friend. :) I'm all about trying to talk businesses into free things. And you all look SO beautiful!

Rachel said...

Gretchen--Thank you! I liked that one too, and John wanted it for his office; his four girls!

Thanks Jennifer! I'm slightly amazed that everybody looked decent at the same time for the photos!

Thank you Kay! Nice to hear from you here!

Sandra, that is a great idea about taking our own props. I will do it next time. Also, I forgot to mention in the post that usually I pay about $45USD for 10 pictures . . . so we really got a good deal!

Thanks Kellie! See you soon in the sunny south!

Happy New year to you too, Ethan! We're still enjoying a taste of Platteville around our house!

Thanks Dianna! Yes, there is some sweetness in the fact that they were free . . . this time!

Melody, thanks! We had fun with the free shoot!

Jodi said...

Rachel, I just saw these pictures and read the great story. Beautiful family, beautiful dresses (thanks, Grandma!). How God has blessed you and John. Thanks so much for posting them.