Saturday, March 12, 2011

Why I Hate Studio Pictures

Well, most of them I guess.  Most of the ones I've ever gotten.  Why do they have to be so...cheesy.  So posed and stiff and unnatural.  I mean no disrespect to anyone who has ever gotten or to any photographer who has ever taken the kind pictures that I'm about to talk about.  I just hate seeing myself in pictures like them.

We just had our family pictures taken at a studio in Des Moines and I knew going into it what I didn't want and what I would probably get anyway.  I hate "now you sit here, and hold her like this and put your hand like this" and "snap" goes the camera.  Repeat.  The smiles look fake, the body positions look, well too positioned and severely lack anything natural.  With kids the age of mine, it's not as bad.  In fact, I loved the pictures we got of them at this very same studio in September.  You just can't perfectly "pose" a child that young, so there's always some hint of genuineness.  But with adults...gag!

I was hopeful that we'd have a better experience than we've had in the past with family pictures...until we walked in the door.  They were super busy and I knew it was just going to be a race from start to finish.  It was nothing less than that.  We were led back to our room, asked how many outfit changes we had, then told how many we were going to get (I had one outfit change for everyone and then I wanted to get a couple shots of Brynlee in some of her BabyLegs which so strenuously involved taking off her dress and putting on the BabyLegs which would have taken up 2.8 seconds longer than what we were allowed.  So we couldn't do that.  Whatever dude.) 

Then down came the white backdrop.  This was fine.  Then came the instructions.  She posed us in exactly what I didn't want.  But did I speak up?  Nooooo, of course not.  We'll just work with it, I thought.  This is what we got first:

Eh.  Whatever.  Yeah, I think we all look okay, and the pose isn't hoooorible I guess.  But I didn't want the whole session to be like this, so I decided to try to convey that to our photographer by adding my own natural twist to it.

Notice what I was trying to "tell" our photographer?  I would like more relaxed, candid pictures.  The first one is pretty cute, but as soon as Cade saw the flash he got confused and thought he should be looking at the camera, so the next two he was trying to figure out what he was supposed to be doing.  In the last one, he understood that he could look at his sister and play with her, etc.  But our photographer was satisfied and moved on.  Ugh.

The next several pictures were of just the two kids and were okay, but I think the biggest issue was with Cade's white shirt on the white background.  We also told her we didn't need any of Cade by himself because he hasn't changed any since September and he has school pictures too but she "had to because corporate says so."  Whatever, let's just waste our precious time.  You won't let me put BabyLegs on my baby for two pictures but you make time to take pictures I don't want.

Brynlee got some by herself too and because she wasn't going to get her BabyLeg picture with the pearl necklace I had, I threw it on her then.  They're okay, but not what I wanted.

Moving on, down came the black backdrop.  I really didn't want this.  I'm just really picky about black backgrounds.  I think they look the least natural of them all.  When the kids were at this studio in September, they took black background pictures and they turned out really well, but I wasn't feeling it this session.  She didn't really get good ones of the kids with this background. 

AND not to mention, she wanted Brynlee to sit high up on a backless stool and have Cade hold her steady there.  Really, woman?  It ended up being fine, but that's not how I would have sat any child under the age of 2.

Next, "corporate" also required Cory and I to have pictures of just the two of us.  Ugh.  They're good pictures of us and all, but NOT what we came here for!

Then we had our outfit change and we changed rooms too.  I'll say now that when I called to schedule these pictures, I told them that I wanted a particular room that I knew had more creative backdrops.  I was told I could request this when we got to our session which wasn't entirely true. 

I loved this backdrop, but not with our second outfit set.  I thought the first outfit set would look okay but Brynlee's BabyLegs would have looked perfect.  I told you that, Miss Photographer, before we even started, but whatever.  I'm just a naive customer that can be pushed through here in 23 minutes and 47 seconds.  No more, but hopefully less.

See that baby doll?  I would like to have seen her face, but I didn't even get a second to move it to reposition her before we were moving on again.  Oh, but let's not forget that Cade got pictures by himself again with this backdrop.  Posed "criss-cross applesauce" just like the other pictures.

The second outfits we had were my favorite.  And this is what I got of the four of us.

HUGE disappointment.  I don't know why I went along with this pose.  I think it's probably my least favorite of all.  I mean, first, don't you like our heads?  That's all you can see, after all.  I hate the open space, the weird proportions and Cade towering above us but Brynlee disappearing below us.  And second, sitting like this is so uncomfortable.  This is seriously all we got in these outfits of all of us.

What's most annoying is that I think we all look really good (good hair, pretty colors, no scratches or other blemishes) and we have mediocre pictures to show it.  This is just another reason I'm petitioning for a nice DSLR camera.  I've wanted one for months but there's this thing called priorities.  They suck.

I'm hoping to get with a friend of mine that does photography and maybe get some that we'll like better.  Any suggestions?  Anyone else have annoying picture session stories?


Anonymous said...

First off, your family is gorgeous!

Second is there a college or university with a photography program nearby? I know lots of photography students back home looking to build their portfolios, and they are always more than happy to get creative!

But I'm with ya, I hate chain studio portraits. I always feel like I don't look like myself in them!

Jen said...

I think they turned out really good! I completely agree with you though! Ours have been MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENTS! We really got screwed though because we weren't allowed to change -at all- and we had the same poses as the previous year. BOO!

The worst part is you pay so much for them and they are disappointing. You probably could have taken what you paid for the pictures and at least put a dent in a really nice camera.

I think we are definitely doing ours outside this year so they are a little more natural. I am just grateful for any professional pictures because they are of the four of us and normally I'm behind the camera :)

Breanna said...

Thanks guys :)

I'll agree, they aren't horrible. I just really don't like traditional posed, stiff looking pictures. I shouldn't have paid what I did because I bought some that I didn't even want taken. That's how they get you though!

And Jen, I completely agree that it's nice for Cory and I to be in some pictures too. I have so many of the kids!

Anonymous said...

You're beautiful and so are your children :)

Amy said...

I think they are all lovely Breanna! You all are such a cute family. I agree though, I hate posed portraits. We have friends that are photographers in Ames that so the natural, candid photos and have always been super happy with all our photos from them. This year we ended up with our photos with a photographer in Cedar Rapids since my parents wanted whole family photos, but next year I am definitely going back to our friends. Their names are Karen and Eric and they are K and E Productions.
No idea what their prices are right now since it has been two years, but I can guarantee you would end up with amazing pictures. :)

Breanna said...

Haha Amy, I just read the philosophy of K and E Productions and it says exactly what I was "hoping" our family pictures to be in my head! I LOVE their portfolio and all the family pictures they have were exactly what I would have wanted! I will definitely keep them in mind. Thank you for the link.

Steve @ babydickey said...

I think the pictures look great and you all make a beautiful family. The pictures of Brynlee are outstanding. What an angel.

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