Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Future Model?

Like an idiot, I had Lauren's portrait taken this week. During the holiday rush. When every other family in the world is having pictures taken. Good plan! I *thought* I had a reservation with Picture People, where I normally have the kids annual photos done, but the numb-nuts there couldn't find it. Couldn't find it! I had called exactly 45 minutes prior to make the appointment, but they managed to lose it in that short time. And I had to wait nearly 20 minutes in line just to find out they had no record of me and couldn't fit me in - yay!

I was not going to be deterred. Lauren *never* agrees to be in a dress - never - but was willingly wearing one for her pictures and I was NOT going to waste the opportunity. So with two kids in tow and a mall full of people, we began to hunt for a place to take her pictures on a walk-in basis. Oh what an adventure - ! JC Penny - nope. They actually had to surpress the urge to laugh in my face for even suggesting a walk-in appointment. Sears, however, saved me. They were running late, but if I didn't mind coming back in an hour they could fit me in. We killed the hour by playing with the bowling toy and basketball hoop toy down near the tools, and by watching the last 40 minutes of Ice Age 2 on a huge 50" television in amazing HDTV. An hour well-spent.

We returned to the portrait studio and were added to the line-up of waiting families, all of whom except us were there for holiday photos. The group ahead of us was an extended family of no less than 16 kids. The place was a circus, to say the least. And not to sound catty (oh, who am I kidding - I'm totally going to sound catty!), but the girls in that big group were wearing the ugliest dresses I've seen in a long time. Seriously bad. Like bad holiday prom dresses being recycled on these girls. One coupled scrunched knee-high black boots with a shiny satin tea-length dress with shoulder pads that would make Crystal Carrington weep with envy. It was NOT a good look and I had to bite my tongue. Most of them were wearing those gawdy frilly holiday dresses you see in all the mall stores this time of year. The ones that make me shudder in their horribleness. The ones that look terribly tacky instead of classically tasteful. The girls all looked very awkward (but I'm sure they thought they were the height of glamour) and I can't imagine how that photo shoot ultimately turned out. Yikes. Pity the grandparents who I'm sure are the intended recipients of this trainwreck for having to display that photo for years to come.

Finally, we were called. Being December and all, they assumed we were here for holiday pictures as well and had the backdrop all set up. "um, no - we're here for her 3 year old portraits.". So without discussing anything with me regarding the photos I was hoping for beyond knowing what was prompting the visit, they started setting up a backdrop with really cartoonish birthday presents and balloons and such crap. "Um, no. I'm not really a fan of that sort of photo image. I'd like a cleaner, simple and classic background for the pictures please." (sidenote: do a lot of people really go for that sort of tacky background? Really? Because to me those are the worst! I am not big on props or backdrops or anything "fake" in studio photos.) We settled on a simple white backdrop and nothing else. Perfect.

The photographer started out by having Lauren sit on this pedastal, which she did. Then she was asked to cross her hands on her lap, which she did. Then the photographer said "smile!", and she did. Lauren moved easily from one pose to the other, being a pliable little model and going with the flow. She never complained, never shuffled about, never cried. She simply moved where she was asked, and once in place, turned on a big, beaming smile. Right on cue. Like she's been modeling for years or something. Of course, many times the smile was overly exaggerated and over-the-top, but she was doing it and performing like a champ. We got a lot of great shots from which to choose. The photographer commented to me that Lauren was the easiest 3 year old she's ever worked with, and that's sayin' something considering how many kids she must deal with in her job. We were in and out of the studio in about 15-20 minutes. Record time for the day. But since the other groups were taking a friggin' eternity to view their pictures and hogging all the computers on which to do so, I elected to return the following day to view them and place my order.

We went back the next day and saw the photos. Lots of cute ones! I'm NOT a photo studio ideal customer in that I rarely buy much. I'm only after 1 sheet - something I can frame and add to the collection of special family photos. All those packages? Yeeeahhh - no thanks. I'll just take my 2 5x7's and be done with it, and I'm only getting 2 of those because you can't buy just one 5x7 (to which I add a white mat and black 8x10 frame - all very consistent with the other pictures.). But since we live in the digital age, they give me a link to all the photos from the set - for additional orders. But me? I save a copy of the electronic image to my computer and send out the photo via email to friends and family vs. buying and sending an actual photo. It works for me.

I long for the day when we can have stunning photos taken from somewhere other than a mall studio. Not that they do terrible work, but it just doesn't compare to the photos generated by a truly talented photographer who's not churning out formulaic pictures for the masses. Sadly, our budget doesn't support that kind of photography - yet. Someday. But for now, we'll enjoy the photos we have and cherish them always.

If you'd like to see a few more of Lauren's portraits, go here.

Cute pictures. :)
The really funny part is that while you were biting your tongue and trying so hard to keep from giving these "trashy" and "tacky" girls fashion advice, they were probably dying to know why a mom would spend good money to set up her 3 yr old kid to "model" as mini-Mrs. Cunningham.
Love, Potsie
I can totally understand your situation MP. I am grateful everyday of my life, that we are able to higher the best of the best photographers in town.
But,when your options are limited, what's a mom to do? I mean we want to capture and preserve these precious moments in whatever way we are able.
As for Laurens chubby appearence, I was going to suggest that she might want to cut back on those kick-ass choc. chip cookies. Then I thought it might be that extra 10 the camera likes to add on.
Good to know it is just the dress. Thanks for clarifying that.
"But me? I save a copy of the electronic image to my computer and send out the photo via email to friends and family vs. buying and sending an actual photo. It works for me."

Please note that scanning images or downloading photos you have not paid for is a violation of copyright law.


CPI Corp.
Oh MP I cannot believe the comments you are already getting on this post! Rude people, please go away...if you don't like, don't read/comment. Lauren looks adorable. The pictures came out great. I am with ya on the cartoonish backgrounds & props, however, I think we are in the minority! People love those kinds of backdrops for kids. I have done both the expensive photo session and the mall one. The thing to do at the mall is just what you did, tell the person taking the pictures exactly what you want. The first thing I alway say is "plain backdrop please!"

I think the pictures are very cute. I also don't like to spend a lot of money on pics. I don't like the weird backgrounds either. Now that B is in school, we get school pics 2x a year also so I don't find myself going to a studio much. I always spend more than I want and buy pictures for everyone else.

And to anonymous, who I am sure is one person posting multiple times. GET A LIFE!!! What kind of person goes around to blogs and writes these kinds of things. You must have a very low self esteem to have the need to say mean and hurtful things, about innocent children nontheless. You have MAJOR issues. I feel sorry for you and your family.
I think Lauren looks very adorable!!! She is a natural for pictures, very sweet pictures.
First, it's not a copyright infringement to keep a copy of the digital images I PAID FOR, so no worries there. It's simply easier for me to send out copies of the photos electronically than to pay too much to have the studio print out sheets of them.

And the "potsie" comment actually made me laugh because he's RIGHT! Lauren IS dressed like a mini Mrs. Cunningham, now that I look at it that way. She's wearing a dress given to her by her great-grandmother and it's sleeveless, which is adorable but not season-appropriate so we kept the sweater it came with on for the pictures.

Yes, I can be snarky at times, but so can everyone. "IRL" I hold my tongue and follow the adage "If you can't say something nice...". But here? On my blog? I feel free to share whatever snarky comments/judgements I have about what I see around me. And the girls in the group ahead of really did look terrible. But it's not the girls' fault completely - I blame it on the parents and the fact that we're talking about tweens mostly, and that age is not known for good fashion taste, often subscribing to the "more is better" approach. My style tends to be more classic and simple and not over the top. To each their own, I suppose, but their overall "look" really did make me cringe. Probably because it was a total throw-back to bad 80's fashion right down to the permed hair with too much grow-out or even stringy hair hanging in faces that desperately needed a comb. Just bad, you know? I'm sure they're perfectly nice people and all so I wasn't critiquing THEM as people, just their outfits. CHILL!
What a little cutie! Don't even think about the rude anonymous comments on here. Like someone else said, Get a life!
I think she is as cute as she can be. Love, the pictures, especially the one with the cheesy grin. Cute.
She's growing up.

Do you know what I think?

I think that this whole blog AND all of the comments are ALL MP! In my opinion she is suffering from multiple personalities. She is YOU Jen, and the many anons, Holly, Laura, MCM, Cecilia, Barbara, Sa, Maria, Pilar, Kristine, etc. Do I need to go on? I am familiar with this strange syndrome, as my second cousin from Picayune, Mississippi has suffered from it for many years now. You see, they (you) are very good at convincing others of your personas. This blog must be a great outlet for you!

I must add that I am currently a Psychology major, and this blog has helped me tremendously with my studies. It is absolutely fascinating to read and experience the many moods and personalities of MP. She is truly an amazing case study, and I am forever grateful for her posts, as well as those responses of the "others." Thank goodness that her disorder does not usually get passed on from generation to generation.

Back to writing my thesis now.

Gretchen, wha - ??! If you're to be believed, then even YOU are a facet of my personality and I am you and wrote that comment myself. Yes? Really, I have no patience for you or other haters and respectfully ask you to no longer comment. I can't stop you from reading, but I can ask you to keep your nasty and completely idiotic remarks to yourself.
Gretchen, it is obvious that YOU are posting as anon. plus other names. I am definately not MP, I can assure you that. I don't know what she would gain out of posting on her own blog as different people and putting down herself and her kids. That is ridiculous. As I said before, you must have MAJOR issues and I feel sorry for people that feel the need to do this. Why post at all?? I had to close my blog to anon. comments because of what was most likely you posting nasty things to me, because I just didn't want to put up with it with all the other things I have going on.
Sorry Gretchen but MP is not Kristin or Kristine as you called her. I have my own blog and I highly doubt MP would pose as a mom to almost 4 kids. I think you need some help. I don't think MP has personality problems, I think it's you and you also sound jealous.

OMG, I am LMAO. The psychology major has gone psycho.

MP, you attract the strangest people to your blog !!

I think the pictures are darlilng! Lauren is such a cutie.

As for "gretchen", I'd be more than willing to share some of my crazy meds with her. What a twat.

You have a site meter, don't you? I'd be interested to see if "gretchen" is someone you already know!
what in the world? MP, I am sorry you are getting weirdo commenters. So not right.
Lauren is adorable. I had to laugh at the cheesy grin. She was a good sport for the photo shoot, and those are some pics you will treasure forever.
If you aire your personal information on a publically accessible message board, you are going to get all kinds of input.

Seems to me if MP really did not like all of this attention, she would not be airing all that she does, for the world to read....
......just a thought.

BTW, Lauren is really cute. Nothing wrong with the Mrs, Cunningham look ;)
JEN--you get (funny)criticism and comments and automatically assume they must be from the same person? What a wonderfully huge ego you have, as you are so assured that more than one person couldn't find you a dreadful, uptight bore!
I really enjoy mp and her blog, though -- just wish Jen would take her rigid ass on a hike and the rest of us can have an open dicussion (w/different opinions and a sense of humor)w/out her.
OK when I first read this today I thought -- great photos -- she looks so much like a happy littel girl. Then I saw you had 19 posts == and I thought I am not alone. But instead you got a bunch of -- well -- nutty talk. I usually find trolls entertaining -- but I am not all that cool with people insulting children. Not cool at all. Where do these people come from?

She's a doll MP
Jenn said "but I am not all that cool with people insulting children. Not cool at all. Where do these people come from?

Jenn, MP can do that all on her own...haven't you been paying attention? How can people be so clueless? Children deserve the right to privacy, no matter how old they are. I've never been to someone's blog where a mother talked about her daughters' stinky vagina. Will she announce the first day of her period to the world? Will she announce that she caught her son masturbating when he's 15. There is nothing shameful about any of this. The point is:
They have a right to PRIVACY! Doesn't anyone get that?
None of you could distinguish sarcasm if it bit you in the ass! I am in disbelief that you ladies actually are defending whether MP has multiple personalities! Can you not read the sarcastic tone? How can you be that naive? Doesn't anyone understand that the Internet is simply a tool that can used for impersonal communication? It is a super-highway of ambiguity. How do any of us know who is posting, whether they are male or female, crazy or sane, one or all the same poster? Why do you let comments such as these affect you? These resent posts have been written by purely random and different people. You guys are all caught in this online pseudo friendship world. Grant it, some of you do know each other “in the flesh,” and that’s great, but most people who chat or communicate in this way do not. I am absolutely amazed by the level of immaturity in here. The Internet is not (for the most part at least) a place of reality, and obviously it is NOT PRIVATE! If you choose to have an online journal, then you are taking the chance of this sort of thing happening. She is sharing information with the world, and this leaves it open to comment, both positive & negative. Yes, MP could change the settings on her blog, maybe that is exactly what people are hoping. Her audience will stop reading then, after all being a silent participant is no fun. I have a blog; granted I don’t write about the type of things that MP writes about, but I also get comments that I don’t always like. Frankly, I learn from them. Critique is not necessarily a negative thing. Now, I know some of you may be thinking that the person who is writing this, is also Gretchen, or one of the many anons… how do you know for sure? See my point? I think that what many of you are forgetting about, is how this works. The web reaches millions of people, so the likelihood of the comments coming from many different (diff. being the key word here) people, and parts of the globe are tremendous. Could some of them be from the same person? Certainly, if they are, which I know they aren’t, does it matter?

In order to be critical thinkers and come to informed conclusions about anything, we must first have true facts. This is not possible as a participant on one of these blogs, or chat rooms. People online can BE anyone, and SAY anything, and does it really matter what someone who you don’t even know says? Yes, it may piss you off, but perhaps it may even allow you to see things from a different perspective…but is it worth all this speculating about who, how many, why, and where do these people come from? For Jen to assume that the people on her blog were/are the same ones here, is not only being self-centered, but ridiculous. WWW=World Wide Web. I know you know this, but I still feel compelled to type-it-out-for-you.

Use your head, think about what you disclose into cyber space before you do it. Too much information is not a safe practice.

~everyone and anyone
I agree with anon, it would be one thing if there were no photographs of her family, then nobody would know who they were.
I'VE GOT IT!!!! All of the comments ARE by one person! It's...MR.CHICK!!!!! He has had it with the widespread knowledge about his jacking-off procedures, his daughter's "skanky" crotch, his son's geek status and, last but not least, his wife's uncontrollable bladder.

And Jen, how's life on yr protected blog now? Prob pretty darned fun what with all of the variations of "you are so clever, crafty, cute" you recieve from family members, etc. Must be a screaming thrill to even check yr responses now. Be sure to give yorself and your open mind a big pat on the back...
You all don't talk about things like your 3 year old daughters stanky cooter on your blogs? If we cannot talk about stuff like that on a public blog, where can we discuss it?

I was just going to link you all to my blog, which includes family photos, to ask for your input on my grandmothers hanging labia and my grandfathers sagging scrotum. I wanted to ask if this is normal for people their age, and now you are saying it would be wrong?

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