Saturday, November 8, 2008

Olan Mills Disaster

What a long, useless, stressful day I had at Olan Mills. Don't expect a Christmas card from us! So right now, I'm trying to decide whether I'm just spoiled rotten by Jami's photos or if those Olan Mills people were just as terrible as I'm going to say they were. Lets see, where do I start? I booked a 3pm appointment because the girl told me they get back from lunch at 3pm. I specifically did this because I wanted to be the first in line after lunch, avoiding large crowds in the Olan Mills waiting area. That is also the reason I came 15 minutes early. Next came in a mom, dad and baby. And then an entire lil cute Pentecostal family. And when I say 'came in' don't get the idea that there was a studio of any sort. It was located directly across from the Belk shoe department. Two rows of chairs and a large curtain covering a tiny, tiny room. And we waited...and waited...and waited. Finally 2 ladies come in together and have us fill out some form. I finish mine first and pick up an aggravated Avery assuming since we had a 3pm appt, showed up first and finished our form first, then we were first, right? The nice Pentecostal family was called in first. Don't ask me how all 7 of them and the photographer crowded in that tiny room! But once they were in after they took tons of pictures and we waited at least 30 more minutes, I hear the nice mom say "Now lets do them individually". I should have left at that moment and kissed that $15 goodbye and I knew it. But, as cheap as I am, I wanted 'my money's worth'. So I waited and waited and waited some more. Thank God we were next. By the time she got to us Avery was much less than happy. I think she was hungry and sleepy but it was time. I told her we were doing Christmas pictures, I had already decided there would be no time for wardrobe changes. After she set it up she said "Now sit her down". Hmm...easier said than done. I told her I would try but she didn't sit too well on her own. She looked confused and said "Oh, how old is she?" Extremely irritated at that point I simply replied "She's 9 months...but she started at 2 lbs - so we're a little behind." I said it like it was no biggie but I coulda drop kicked her right there. So we tried and tried and fell over and over and she finally decided she would 'get out the infant seat'. Well, by then Avery was so tired she had the grumpiest look on her face and was not about to smile. I kept hearing a terrible cough come from a child in the waiting area and told the lady that we were done. Long story short I ordered 24 cards that probably will not get sent out b/c I felt obligated to buy something for her time and I declined the huge $15 package that I originally bought the pics for, because there is no way any of those pics are going on my wall. While waiting for her to take my money and give me my change I realized she was adding all these tacky collages and all different kinds of Christmas cards. She said they 'made' her add all these options to prove that she tried to sell them to me. After listening to that same kid in the waiting area cough a million more times, I just threw the $40 down and told her to keep the change. So the point of this story is DON'T BE FOOLED. You will not get 1-10x13, 1-8x10, 2-5x7, 16 wallets and 6 Christmas Cards for $15. You will get 1 long, stressful experience and 2 dozen Christmas cards for $55. Oh yeah and one mad baby. And tears all the way home because you've convinced yourself that Avery will surely catch whatever that snotty nosed kid had. Of course, once we got home Avery was ALL SMILES!

Now why can't this be the smile on our Christmas Cards?

We didn't celebrate Halloween this year, but she sure is cute with ears!

The only happy part of the day: getting this in an email from my mom
My BEAUTIFUL portrait from Jami is now framed! YAY!


Jami Ainsworth said...

"Why can't this be our Christmas card?"...why not!

I am combining my "just babies" for November with the Christmas promo, but if nothing goes really bad, I was planning to do something in December too...that is if I don't get too overwhelmed. I want to offer Happy New Year's cards for those running behind

{Louisiana.Bride} said...

I don't think I've ever not waited and waitede and then thought the outcome of the pictures weren't ugly from Olan Mills but that is who does church directory. And for some reason those ulgy pics always follow us home and get distributed haha. Avery will be ok and if not we will just go beat up the coughing baby at the mall. (all these coughing children and sick adults make me wanna wear a surgical mask all the time haha)

Cristi said...

I remember that "Sears" photography session with you. You cried and cried and wouldnt stop. You didnt want that woman looking at you or touching you. The only way you would even take a picture at all was if you were in my lap. So there you were shyly smiling and here I was with a fake smile and aggravation lines on my face. LOL Dont worry about the pictures We have tons of her beautiful face and more to come! Love yall, Mom

mallory said...

awww, poor avery! it's funny how she knows when to speak her mind :) she did NOT want that woman taking her picture, haha!

those studios just aren't what they were when we were kids, daniel has some olan mills pics from when he was a baby that are gorgeous! but now they probably don't have that many requirements in order to work there, so just anyone can "be a photographer" these days.

thank God for professionals like Jami! maybe you can schedule an appointment in time for cards. or if she's booked up i know my mom would love to take them, she did some beautiful portraits for a friend's new baby.

LucieP said...

you are so cute! Seriously!

I am not a fan of Olan Mills...!

Target is not bad and there are no sitting fees! There are coupons in the paper sometimes too.

JC Penny is cute too but they charge sitting fees.

Do you have photobucket?
My friend made my son's invites on there and I uploaded the jpg file on a website that costs 9 cents a print so I spent about $2 on the 20 invites!

LucieP said...


Don't feel bad! Keep your $$! Just wait til you take Avery for a haircut and it gets messed up!

Then next time you go (when you decide its ok like years later!) you will be hovering over the person and every single hair!

Gotta love being a mama! Don't mess with our babes!!

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

i have so many photos of crying children, mostly olan mills too. they have been around forever it seems...

smiles, bee