The Chocolate Lady

Friday, November 2, 2007

Christmas card photo saga, Part 9

The hostess to the photo party welcomed us into her home, and I quickly scanned the premises in search of the photographer and her set up. I had been told it would be a white backdrop, and as I looked around the family room, Beauty began to squeel, fearful of the family dog that was barking and racing towards her.

Thankfully, there was a baby gate that kept the dog from reaching us. I calmed Beauty, as the hostess encouraged us to follow her, and led us to the backyard.

Suddenly, my mood shifted. As we entered the filthy, smokey, COVERED IN ASH AND SOOT, backyard.

The photographer was a very young gal, who greeted us with a warm smile, and as much as I tried to muster one in return, I was in a state of shock, still soaking in the fact that my beautiful children in formal wear and white stockings, had been ushered to the darned backyard. on a smokey day. when even the schools had closed down.

This house was in a prime location, if you like the view of a fire. It was up on a hill, overlooking the valley. Instead of a fence or wall, they had glass (or plastic) partitions, so we had a sweeping view of...of....fires and smoke.

What the heck?

The darned hostess, who was no doubt getting free pictures for hosting the party, hadnt even cleaned the place at all. It was gross. And she wasnt much of a hostess, as she sat herself down in her own house, with breathable air, while me and my lovelies were stuck in the thick black cloud in her backyard.

I looked around, still astonished at the situation, and wondered where my kids were supposed to be photographed. The young camera-laden gal stretched out a piece of white butcher paper. The roll was on a rod about 6 feet up from the ground, and she pulled it down to form a backdrop ...with some extra stretched onto the CEMENT, for my kids to sit.

Despite having on brand-spanking new shoes, as soon as they stepped onto the crisp white butcher paper, they created tracks of dirty soot, carried from the backyard.

Me: Um, this is getting all dirty

photo chick: No problem, I can edit that out.

And I wondered, could she edit it out of the stockings too? Cause this is gonna get real messy, real quick.

And Pooper, who has lung damage, by the way, began to cough and hack.

The kids sat down, and before I could get Beauty to put her legs to the side, or straighten out her dress, the photographer began to snap a few shots. The kids werent even straightened up or situated yet. She got about 3 shots in, and then Little One started to cry.

My kids are pretty good at going with the flow, but the circumstances were not conducive to getting good shots. I mean, they were on butcher paper, which had already torn, I might add, in two places, sitting on the hard cement. There was no room to walk or move, as the paper was narrow (4 ft. wide?), and besides, any movement would result in more paper tearing or soot sharing, it was just a joke.

I picked up Little One, in an effort to calm her down and comfort her. Beauty and Pooper were coughing, and my eyes and sinuses were blazing. I cant imagine that Little One felt comfortable at all, and sitting her on that tiny little spot on the hard, soot-covered butcher paper, was not going to make her feel any better.

The photo gal was taking pictures of the older two, not sure why, clearly Im not going to send a Christmas card with only two kids.....

I made one more attempt to put Little One in her spot, next to Beauty and Pooper (who by the way sat stoicly, smiling between gasps for air)...and Little One screamed even more.

I looked at the photographer and said:

Me: I dont think she is going to calm down in this environment, and honestly, I dont like my other two sitting here breathing this horrible air either.

Of course, professional that she is, she didnt say anything.

I asked to see what shots she had so far, and she showed me the three she took with all of them. In one, Pooper's eyes were closed, the second one looked like it might be ok, and in the 3rd one, Little One was trying to escape the scene. I asked if she could show me a close up of the second one, so I could see their expressions, and she said she couldnt. liar.

I said, "Well, I guess Im taking a big chance that the one picture you got is a good one."

Again, no comment from her. No offer to not charge me, or offer a reshoot, or an apology for being so unprofessional as to expect people that signed up for indoor, formal portraits to be taken out to a smokey yard on a day that the air quality had been deemed unhealthful and dangerous.

And the hostess, she's just as guilty. I would be embarassed to invite people over, and then send them out to a filthy yard where they could barely breathe.

It was 14 minutes after we had arrived, and my dear kids and I packed up in the car. They knew I was not happy. I let them know that they had done perfectly, sitting nice and smiley when it was terribly uncomfortable. I wasnt mad at them, I was mad at the two ladies that had such bad manners, that they would ask us to sit outside in the smokey, filthy backyard.

I wont get the disc for 3 weeks. I have no idea what the lone possibility of a Christmas card photo will look like. Ill probably go take my own crummy shots with my broken down camera, and see what I can get.


And, while Im griping....what is the deal with the "Writers Strike"????

I just heard that The Tonight Show with Jay Leno will be having reruns. Really! I understand that he has a "team" of writers, Ive always assumed they 'helped' with the monologue.....kinda crazy, that it takes a collective GROUP to come up with a handful of commentary and jokes. Ok, so they are on strike, but cant Jay come up with anything on his own? The monologue lasts about 5 minutes.....he gets paid big bucks, not to mention, wasnt it his own talent that GOT HIM THE SHOW? If you are the host of The Tonight Show, for crying out loud, at least be able to crack a few jokes on your own, every now and again. It's not like the world hasnt created lots of material......with the Presidential candidates, Kim Kardashian doing Playboy (didnt she cry about her 'sex tape'???) and I guess she'll be featured on that fold-out page, so they can fit her rear end in. Cant Jay just send Ross the intern over to a turkey farm to run around and ham it up?? I dont get all the hullabaloo over the Writers Strike....I guess we are all stuck watching Reality TV (new Amazing Race started!! What's with KYNT and VYXSEN??) TV at all, read blogs instead!

1 comment:

The Running Girl said...

I'm so sorry your picture saga turned out so horrible this year. I would be furious, especially given Poopers history. Hopefully somehow you can get a great picture.