Church Directory Portraits


We did our good deed. We made our appointment and showed up on time with a 2 year old and a 7 week old for our church directory family picture.

We’ve done it before, pre-kiddos. We knew the drill. And, crazy enough, we still did it.

When we were called in, we loaded the family into the room, and smiled happily. All the while #1 didn’t want to pose, and #2 wanted to cry unless sucking on her bright yellow paci with ducks on the front.

They took the pictures and we did the goofy poses and smiled when they said to say “cheese.”

There was some crying involved from both kids, but we got the pictures done.

Then, we had to go back into our church hallway to wait to be called into another room to see the pictures…call this room the “sales pitch” room.

When we are called in, #1 decides she needs to go potty for the millionth time, and #2 is once again crying. Mr. Serious takes #1 to the bathroom to leave me with the sales lady….it’s okay, I’m good at being the bad guy.

Once I’m in the room, she closes the door. I felt like this was some secret society. Only the cool people come in, right?

She starts her script by thanking us for coming in and because we come in we get a complimentary church directory and a free 8×10. Additionally, they come in at no cost to the church and hope that we will help support that with our purchase. She then mentions that the pictures will make great presents to our families. Thanks, but no thanks, lady representing the large photo company that rhymes with Smolan Fills.

So, she shows me these side-by-side pictures of an older woman. The one on the left is supposedly the picture of her “as the camera sees her.” Umm…unless she is Skeletor, I think not. The one on the right is “retouched.” More like normal to me. Mr. Serious later said that he thinks they retouched the one on the left…I agreed. Can you imagine being the lady in that picture that they use that looks like crap? Really, the lady looked like she had crevaces on her face. Not just wrinkles, but creases.

So, blah, blah, blah, we can retouch your pictures. Great.

Then, she shows us the pictures and tells us to pick the one for the directory. We have to choose between one where #1 looks cute and #2 is crying, or one where #1 looks like she got smacked in the face, but #2 is calm. Mr. Serious decided that the second was a better choice. So, we picked that one.

Then, we were supposed to pick one of #2 that the photographer took. They were really cute, but again, she had that bright yellow paci. So, I said no to all of those.

Are you noticing a trend? I’m trying to be polite while declining the pictures. Maybe I should have taken a different approach. Maybe I should have just said up front that we didn’t want the pictures.

As she shows us more, and we have #2 screaming and #1 tearing the room up, I finally say, “I’m sorry ma’am, but we are in no position to buy pictures at this time. We just purchased pictures of our kids for our families.” (And, this was completely true).

She got ticked off. She wouldn’t look at me anymore (see…I’m the bad guy…it suits me)!

She’s still trying, though. She wanted to go through the pictures one more time. I had to tell her again we weren’t interested. We are here for our directory picture.

She finally gets it…or at least I think she does.

Then she says, “well, do you at least want to retouch your free picture.” No thank you.

And, I walked out the door. Mr. Serious waited for some receipt that said $0. Then, we were headed home.

On the way, we started talking about the lady again because she seriously wouldn’t look at me.

And, it dawned on us…she implied that our family picture needed retouching. I’m sorry…my family is beautiful and there is no retouching or photoshoping required. Besides, I don’t want to end up looking like Skeletor.

And, if there is any retouching to be done, I will be the one doing it.

BTW I know she was doing her job, but she was just a little TOO pushy. And, she didn’t say anything like “take a minute and get your daughter calmed down” or anything like that…she just kept on trucking through her sales pitch. This is another reason I will never go to a “fancy” studio. I like my Portrait Innovations and I’ll take that experience over this one any day.

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  1. I hate pushy sales people! I feel so bad saying no, but I don’t want to waste my money on something I don’t need! The photo places always try to pressure you with the whole “gift” thing! Ugh, sorry you had a bad experience!

  2. I am having a flashback of when I was younger and we did a church directory photo. Very similiar experience! Sorry you had to go through all that. Your skills and talents are way better than theirs and who needs pushy people in life!

  3. Oh man. I hate pushy sales people. It’s even worse that they’re at your church doing it.

    Can you imagine how horrible you guys would’ve looked if they had done THEIR form of retouching? Someone would’ve been missing an eye!!

  4. When they are pushy it really ticks me off! I know they are trying to sell something, but come on!

    Good for you for sticking with your word–and your family is so cute!! No retouching is necessary!!

  5. When LM was born a photographer from the hospital came to the house for a free 8×10. They were so pushy on the phone after I declined about 20 times that I finally said ok but I am not buying anything. The guy shows up to sell me my pics and it was just a mess. We ended up exchanging a few words and he slammed my front door when he left. I was polite, told him we couldn’t afford a $50 5×7 and he laughed at me. The cheapest package was $385 and it barely had any pics. I know he probably needed a commission paycheck but I needed groceries. No thank you!

  6. It drives me crazy when sales people just don’t get it. Come on, leave me alone!

  7. I think that same lady came to our church too. lol

    Actually we had a guy and he was wretched.

  8. This is where I turn into the bad guy too. And usually it’s me because I can be mean right back if someone is out of line. I hate pushy people like that. There is no need. I cannot believe she would not look at you!

  9. For some reason this post seemed to go along really well with your blog title! I mean I can totally see you looking at her and saying, “Really, Are You Serious?!” ; )

    P.S. Smolan Fills needs to get with the times, their pics are too old fashioned looking for me…

  10. Hmm. I’ve never been to PI, because we’ve always had such great luck with PP…but that? Would’ve pissed me off. And, I would’ve been far less polite than you were.

  11. I don’t like pushy folks either–sounds like you handled her well, though! How do you like Portrait Innovations? I’m thinking of having Aiden’s 1-year photos done there…

  12. oh oh and oh – too bad!! this is sort of why we didn’t even sit – 3 kids – argh! We went to a fancy studio once – TERRIBLE – I didn’t buy ONE photo – they all sucked! I was so ticked

  13. That has got to be a horrible job. I would HATE to have that job. And at the same time, COME ON LADY! I’ve got two tiny kids screaming here! Give me a break! Yipes.

  14. UGH! We had the same group come to our church about a month ago and we had the same experience…including the old lady with the “re-touched photos.” Yea right…nobody looks like that! Her face looked like elephant knees.

    Needless to say, we didn’t buy any pictures either.

  15. Oh, ICK! Just from the pushy sales lady ALONE I wouldn’t want to buy any!

  16. i totally can’t stand sales people. it is so hard for me when we have to buy a new car or something big like that…but even the picture people are bad!! i hear you! btw… your fam is adorable!

  17. jOni lAnE says:

    You go She-Ra! (I have no idea if I spelled that right). At least you won’t be confused with Skeletor. Way to stick to your guns.

  18. I have been waiting for this post since you told me about it over the phone…and after working 13 hours today, it sure did make me laugh and anger me at the same time. ‘TOUCH UP’ you and Papa Bear and Blubs and Sampson….WTF? (sorry, it’s appropriate here) That lady needs to take her sales pitch to the pearly gates….will Jesus ‘re-touch’ her before she gets in? Just my thoughts. And, if they are having retakes while I am there….please, oh please, let me go in the room with her behind closed doors! I think I can be pretty good at making her rethink her terrible sales pitch.

  19. Whoa… what a poopie-head.

    I though you did good. And of course you guys are perfect.

  20. Mrs de Miranda says:

    I think that girl needs to “re-touch” her attitude!! What is wrong with her?

    and you know what else? When you’re in sales, you have to be okay with “no”….EW. I don’t like her. at. all.

    I do however, love your cute little family 🙂

  21. Well, that lady sounds like she needed a nap! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Enjoy your week!

  22. Too bad you don’t live closer to us. We do photography and at the moment, Hubby only charges $50 and you get the CD with full quality pictures. Places like this urp me, especially when your in the business and you see how much they’re making on prints. I mean, Hubby uses and can get 8X10 prints for under $5. We’ve used Portrait Innovations here locally before and while I was happy with them and they took time with us, most of them were out of focus! I know that’s a photographer thing, but it was still frustrating!

    Ok, I’m off my soap box now. ;oD

  23. I remember having to take family pictures when I was younger. Usually all 3 of us behaved, not as much crying but my brother always refused to smile no matter what we did. If we offered him a toy, and he would look like a person horribly faking a smile. But, I guess that is better then nothing!

    Yes, I hate pushy sales people. I know its there job but I don’t have the patience for it. I try, really I do, but I usually end up being really rude.

  24. Ugh, I hate people that just can’t take no for an answer! And you’re right, you have a BEAUTIFUL family, no retouching needed!

  25. The Gerster Family says:

    oi! I simply DO NOT like pushy people. Everything within me wants to say something along the lines of “I was actually thinking about doing/purchasing _______, but since you are being so pushy about it, I’ve changed my mind. Thanks for making my decision easy.”

  26. we had that same experience at our church pictures a few years ago…you would think they knew that some people just didn’t want to buy! geesh.

  27. My mom says that I am rude because I totally ignore pushy sales people. One time a lady handed me some paper about a product, I said no thanks… while walking. She kept talking… I balled the paper up and threw it away… in front of her. Haha! oh well. she shutup.

  28. Same thing happened to us last December. It was awful and I got mad at my church for the pressure. I will print this out and show it to the pastors for next year. Just a shame this happens at a church.

  29. I know it is a fund raiser for the churhes and all and plus the Directory but I wonder it has to be that way. I mean if I was the sales person….I would understand that I am working with a CHURCH for goodness sake. I would never be pushy….aw….that is why I would never make a very good sales person I suppose. LOL LOL LOL AH the LIGHT!!! YOU are right though YOU guys ARE perfect…more than perfect!

  30. wow! what a piece of work. I think that same co. came to our church at the time about 11 years ago. Same set up and retouching thing and all.

    Anyway, I hate being the bad guy too, but someone’s got to do it.

  31. Ughhh! Not fun! You guys DO NOT need re-touching, you’re perfect the way you are!

  32. Are you kidding me? I think you were more than nice, and hello? Suggesting that someone’s family pic needs retouching?

    Eeek, that lady should be thankful that you didn’t starting using the same approach that I use with Dell.

    🙂 I think you were great just getting your pics done in the first place.

  33. This is why I don’t do studios..In Okalahoma there is an on location photographer that does on-location sessions for only $40. She comes to you, no wrestling the kids or trying to pin them in a studio. Hawaii isn’t so cheap but I’d rather do it myself year round and splurge for an on location session. When will people learn that pushy does not sell. Hugs and GOOD LUCK 🙂 Jen

  34. i just read this post, but I think we had the same lady, and she was the same exact way to us when we did not purchase any photos….what a pain!

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