The Magic Goes On…

Dear Millie,

You’re not going to believe this, but I have an update from the photo studio.

After I hung up my favorite portrait from our disastrous photo session, I decided that I wanted it larger.  They only print up to 8×10.  It’s been awhile since our last experience, but I thought I’d take a chance and call to see if they happened to still have the photos from our session.  They did!  They only guarantee they’ll have them for 2 weeks, so I felt pretty fortunate they still had them nearly two months later.  $40 and I could buy the cd along with rights to reproduce the images as I pleased.  I’d passed on it before because I’m cheap!  I think this’ll be worth it though.  I told the lady she’d be seeing me soon, and off we went to pick up the cd.

When we got to Walmart, I zipped right around the corner to the studio and there was a group of four or five kids, two moms, and a baby.  It looked like they’d just finished up their session.  The original photographer from my session was there.  When she spotted me, she said, “Oh hey!  What’s your last name?”  I told her, and she said that yeah, she thought Lucy looked familiar.  Huh!

She met me at the register computer while another assistant helped the other group pick out their favorite photos to print.  I stood there and waited, and waited, and waited some more while she clicked all over her screen.  Finally, she said, “I can’t get the pictures to pull up here.  I don’t know what’s going on.”  I laughed and said that I’m just really unlucky.  She picked up the phone and called someone.  After a few more minutes of waiting, I said that if the other group was finished and just printing photos, I could wander around a bit and come back later if it would be easier to do what we needed on that computer.  She said that’d be great, so the girls and I headed over to try to find some pants.

Oh, pants.  Walmart pants.  Pants from Walmart.  Never a good idea, those Walmart pants!  After our phone conversation last night, I think we need to swap unfortunate pants stories!  I ended up buying a couple of things after we’d wandered around and tried things on for a half hour or so.  The first group was still there and there was another mom with a baby sleeping in her arms.  In the time we were shopping, she’d had her baby photographed and was just waiting to to pick out her portraits.  By now, the photographer was helping the group.  I stood back and waited.  Lucy was being a 2yo and I tried various things to entertain her.  After 10 minutes or so, the first group left, the other mom went to have her pictures printed, and I walked up to the register.  The photographer turned around and said to the assistant, “Oh, she just wants a cd from a previous session.”  She turned to me and said, “I finally got the pictures to pull up!”  As I responded with, “That’s great,” she interjected with, “But now our credit card reader isn’t working, so we can only take cash.  Can you go use an ATM or something?”

I went to the money center, but there was a long line.  I decided to make a quick purchase of something (anything, really!) and get cash back.  I stuffed my purchase in my bag and had my cold, hard cash ready.  When I got back to the studio register, the assistant wasn’t sure how to ring it up, so we had to wait for the photographer to finish printing the photos for the mom with the sleeping baby.  My girls were bored, and having to stay in the cart wasn’t sitting well with either of them, especially Lucy.  I held her, I put her next to Vanessa in the back of the cart, I dug in the diaper bag for old, hard fruit snacks.

Our turn!  The photographer was ringing up our purchase and I joked that I should get a discount or something.  She didn’t seem very amused and said that she couldn’t do that just because she’d like to.  I selected the three pictures I wanted since I might as well get what I can for what I was paying, I paid the money, and then she sent me to the other computer with the assistant while she talked to a friend who’d come up behind me.

The assistant couldn’t find the order.  When she did, all the pictures from our session were in there, not just the three I had selected.  I picked them out again, and she couldn’t figure out how to drag them onto the cd to be burned. She kept highlighting all of the photos, then trying to unselect the ones I hadn’t picked, but ended up somehow duplicating them and now there were multiple copies of the ones that I’d wanted.  This went on while the photographer was telling her friend how swamped they’ve been–she spends part of her week training another manager at a studio an hour or so away on top of running this studio. And her regional manager has been busy opening new studios all over the Midwest and New England.  It sounds like you’ll also be getting a studio near you!  YAY!!!

The photographer came over and helped her select, drag, and drop the correct photos onto the cd, and I asked about her assistant who’d had pink, purple, blue, and blonde hair (and the Disaster tattoo).  She’s been busy training people too.  “No one’s quit on me yet!” the photographer said.  Lucy was starting to cry at this point and the photographer said to her, “What’s wrong?  Do you want to take some pictures?”  I wasn’t sure what she’d meant and asked quizzically, “Really?”  She responded, “Oh, well, she’s fussing about having to sit in the cart.  That isn’t the worst thing.  Taking pictures would be worse!”  ??

I’d texted Gordon at 12:02pm that I was going to go pick up the cd.  When I turned on the van to head home, it was 1:47.  My track record is not the best!  At least I now have a king size Payday candy bar and a bit o’ change in my diaper bag for the next time.  The photographer said they’re going to start doing canvas wraps and larger prints there in the studio, so maybe I’ll hold off ordering one from somewhere else.  I’m a glutton for punishment!

Love,

Grace