What I'm trying to establish is that I didn't go into this thing with high expectations. Honestly, I don't think I even had expectations, so when I tell you I was disappointed by our picture, that should tell you something.
Here's how it happened. Our appointment was at 6:10. Madison woke up at about 6:00. We rushed around the house like crazy people, shouting things like "fix it in the car", "I found her pink cardigan", "she spit up(and peed, and spit up again)", and about six or seven different occasions of "did it get on her outfit?" We managed to arrive at the church about ten minutes late, apologize, and then walk into the waiting room where we discovered we could have been another twenty minutes late without causing any delay.
Once they called our names, we had to get Madison ready again, since she had lost both shoes, mussed her hair, and removed the cardigan. Okay, I'm actually the one who removed the cardigan, but you know what I mean. We hurried her over to the "set" (hello, bluish blackish tie dye backdrop, I haven't seen you since my high school graduation pictures), then got in the standard Mommy on stool, baby in lap, Daddy on stool behind Mommy leaning forward and elevated to make him seem disproportionately taller than Mommy.
The photographer (I was sorely tempted to break out the quotation marks there) then proceeded to pull out this naaasssty old stuffed duck. I think it used to be yellow, but grey is the closest description I can give for its current color. Madison seemed about as impressed by it as I was; smiles were just not happening. The "photographer" (sorry, couldn't help myself-now we'll call him Jim) took one picture with her not smiling, after which Patrick said, "Shoot, I blinked." Then Jim decided that we didn't want a non-smiling picture. He and the lady he was working with labored in vain for a smile for about three minutes.
I gradually became more and more involved in operation make-baby-smile. First, I just bounced her on my lap. Then, I bounced her on my lap while tickling her. Finally, what ended up working was bouncing her on my lap, counting "One, two, THREEEEE!" and tickling on three. We took four or five shots that way, then called it a wrap (rap? I'm totally not up on the America's Next Top Model lingo) and went to the product pushing table.
Pat and I had discussed beforehand that we were sure we'd get a great picture of Madison and want to buy it, but that we weren't going to. Let's just say God removed all temptation for us.
The first picture was okay for Madison and me, but as I'm sure you remember, Patrick blinked. No problem. Picture 2 was great for Patrick and Madison, but thanks to the "THREEEEE!", I look deranged. Seriously, I look as likely to eat Madison as I am to tickle her. No problem. One of the next three pictures was sure to be an improvement, right? WRONG! In every single picture, I have the same expression.
On the bright side, people use the directory (which includes phone numbers for each willing member) to call and ask for things like babysitters, substitutes for Sunday School teachers, etc. I'm pretty sure when they see my face in that picture, they'll just keep on moving. Oh, and one more silver lining: Madison's smile in the picture we selected (2, if you want to know) is beautiful. Big surprise.
I think we'll get our complimentary 8X10 in a few weeks. I promise to share it with you once it arrives! In the meantime, please spare me the "I'm sure it can't be that bad"'s. It is.
What's the worst professional picture you've ever taken? Was it for school, prom, maybe even a wedding?