To begin with, the studio was running one appointment behind. I had calculated how long it would take to change the kids' clothes (I was an idiot and planned an outfit change) and dressed them in the first outfit - only to have them sit and wait and roll around on the floor (the boys, not Mabel) for 30 minutes before our session.
When it was finally our turn, we were introduced to our photographer - she was brand new and had no experience photographing families. Which meant she had no experience coming up with casual poses on her own (I detest the Stepford poses they usually do), no experience photographing squirrely little boys, or managing a family photo situation at all. She was super sweet, but sweet just didn't cut it. Well, she was mostly sweet until she made a comment that she hoped she never had kids like ours. Nice, huh?
My heartache (and high blood pressure) began with the very first pose for the very first shot. One of the boys starting saying potty words and making the other one laugh. Then the other one made farting noises while we were trying to get them to hold still. Youngest boy wants to play Hide and Seek behind the hanging background. Oldest boy thinks it would be hilarious to body slam his brother mid shot. There was poking, farting (actual and fake), laughing (not by Dad or me), a potty break and clothing change, one dirty diaper and seriously starving infant, finally a second photographer to keep the boys' attention, and all around wrestling for almost 3 hours. Nope, not kidding. Our appointment was at 1:20. We left JCPenney at 4:00, Folks. Seriously. Part of the reason was that I refused to leave without decent photographs... because no way in hell was I going to do this again!
Some of the rejects that made me want to cry at the time, but now seem a little bit funny. Just a little bit:
Here's one the inexperienced photographer shot of my daughter's upper nostrils as I stood on the sidelines and tried to gently say, "shouldn't we sit her up more? I can see right up her nose... I'm not going to like this... please, can we move her?" to no avail:
This one would have been my most favorite if the photographer actually knew what she was doing - and that you DON'T SHOOT UP A BABY'S NOSTRILS. Seriously.
I did end up with this gem (I have NO IDEA how):
EDITED TO ADD: I am able to post our pictures online because I purchased the digital images from JCPenney for $5. It's called Smiles by Wire. I was told I would have a high-quality photo with which to scrapbook or make Christmas cards, etc. Folks, do not do it - well, don't do it with the hope that you'll actually be able to use any of the digital images for anything worthwhile. They appear to be perfect for blogging, but that's about it. They're lesser quality than physically scanning in a photo. I'm going to have to wait until the actual photos come in and do my Christmas cards the old fashioned way. Poo. So, my Smiles by Wire review is that it's a bit of a waste.