lukasbrandon

Unphotogenic

In Uncategorized on May 20, 2010 at 10:20 pm

A few months back, we decided to have a family portrait taken at the Sears studio in Fargo. We had done this once before and we were determined not to have a stressful experience this time around. Determination isn’t everything.

The shoot itself went well, but our photographer was stressed and it showed. She spoke of how tight their schedule was and how overbooked they were, so I expected that after the photos were taken we could choose a package and be on our way.

We wandered the appliance and electronics areas of the West Acres Sears for some time, then returned for our speedy checkout. I took off with the boy while Nelly and baby endured an endless cross-selling spiel that ignored our carefully planned budget. Nelly held the line, but the tantrum clock was ticking just a few hundred yards away as Dylan’s demands took on a dangerous creativity. “I need the snack with the baseball dinosaur!”

It was too late for a clean getaway. He boxed my ears, our brisk pace and urgent siren parted the shoppers as I carried him toward the photographer’s. Nelly met me with a sympathetic look and the car keys and we were soon safe in the parking lot. “What took so long?” I demanded when the ladies finally showed up.

Our saleswoman/photographer would not take no for an answer and had the nerve to tell my wife that any rating less than an “8” on her satisfaction survey wouldn’t count. We will not be going back to Sears portrait studio.

A few weeks later a professional photographer that Janelle knows socially asked if Julia could be her baby model and a beautiful shoot took place at the Plains Art Museum in downtown Fargo with none of the time and economic pressure of the Sears experience. Please click this link for the pictures.

I used to think it would be silly to pay an independent professional photographer when coupons for Sears come in the mail every few months advertising a cheap and easy experience. Now I know better. When someone looks great in the medium of photography she is photogenic, as the image exceeds the reality. Next time I will seek the unphotogenic. Maybe you should too.

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  1. Hey, Lukas! This is one of my favorites! Most people cave, I think, to the pressures of expectations and tantrums. That’s why these machines are strategically placed and the candy bars are in the check out line. Also, harried parents do what they must to not cause a scene or just get the heck out. I admire you and Janelle for holding fast to your convictions! I had an awesome experience with Kristen at “Thru Him Photography” in Perham. She was able to make the shoot enjoyable and memorable for GREAT reasons! Love the link to the Spray Photography. I had not seen the final pics. Thanks for the great article and food for thought!

  2. OBTW, the pic of Dylan shows how BAD he wants to be good and please his parental unit. Great photo!

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