Pet Peeve Alert! Portrait Studios…GRRRRRR.

The faint of heart (or those with an easy gag reflex) should probably just click off this page RIGHTNOW, because I am pregnant and standing way up high on my soap box mountain!

Every year since ol' Hazel has been alive, my mama has lobbied to have "professional" portraits taken of her.  You all might guess how I feel about portrait studios in big stores like Sears and Wal-Mart.  They suck.  The photographers aren't really trained, the pictures are unedited and sloppy, and most of the time the kid's smile looks like a cross between a grimace and a "WTF?" expression as they try to figure out why this stranger is making kissy-faces at them.  For a whole year I managed to keep Hazel out from under their bright lights, but for her first birthday my mama declared that she wanted to buy Hazel a portrait package.  I went along because I like the idea of having yearly portraits and because she so clearly wanted these pictures.  I don't do posed – I don't do cheesy – but I could let this slip by, because maybe they would turn out ok.  And they did – after I edited the bejeesus out of them.  Case in point:  
Not too bad, right?  Sure, the price was RIDICULOUSLY INSANELY EXORBITANT and I felt like Mama and I had both been raped as she signed the debit slip, but the pictures aren't all that bad, for posed photos.  So when she wanted to spend the same buttload of money for pictures again this year, I was pretty okay with going, especially since she promised to put them in her name to help me avoid the 800 unsolicited phone calls I got from Wal-Mart after Hazel's first portrait session.
This experience was nothing like the former.  The pictures are just horrible.  It's like there was blood all over the lens – just look at what I mean:

Just look at the difference!  I edited the version on the right as best I could, but the red was penetrating the picture to the point of insanity.  Taking it all out made Hazel look like she had jaundice or scurvy or something.  



And I just don't know what I could have been expected to do with this one…

But since I've been pregnant and struggling for a good mood with this new one, I have been trying to look on the bright side of things.  Sure, it goes against my nature, but I think it helps.  So here's the big one:  I think these pictures have cured my Mama of wanting to go the studio route.  See?  It was all worth it!

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