All I wanted was a freakin’ family picture

Wednesday started out as a good day.  We woke up late, lazed around in bed.  Had some scrambled egg crescent roll sandwiches.  Then we got dressed and went to the mall for DH to get his hair cut before our family picture.  We were even able to get a picture with Santa before he went on his lunch break.

See…we only get one professional family portrait a year and we kinda slacked on this one.  I wanted to get it when Podling was 3 months old (the same age as Babyhead when we had our first family portrait ever), but the time never seemed right and so here we are at the holidays wanting to get a family portrait.  I knew it would be hell, but figured being the middle of the week in the middle of the day it might not be as bad.

Now, Walmart has always been a walk-in studio.  Always.  We liked going there because they usually have some kind of ultra cheap package with an 10×13 and 2 8x10s, 4 5x7s and a shit load of wallets…that is one huge pic for us and 2 smaller ones for the grandparents and smaller ones for whoever else would like them…all for somewhere around $6 give or take.

However, when we “walked in” to get our picture they informed us, in a very rude manner, that they ONLY take appointments during the holiday season.  Which is ok I guess had they POSTED IT SOMEWHERE.  Upon hearing this I was miffed that there was NOTHING STATING WE HAD TO HAVE AN APPOINTMENT but was ok for the most part…until they said that they “might” could let us wait and see if one of their appointments didn’t show up.  Did I mention there was not a soul there to have their picture taken?  No one.  Nada.  Nothing.

Now, I could understand if they were slammed.  I could even understand if there was already people there for their appointments.  But there was NO ONE THERE.  AND…get this…AND not once did they offere to MAKE us an appointment.  They just said that we had to have an appointment, that we might could wait and see if someone didn’t show up for an appointment, then went back to doing whatever it was they were doing on their computer.

Now, I will say again.  I can understand if they were slammed and already had people waiting.  I could also understand if they had it posted so I would have known ahead of time and made an appointment.  I could also understand if they were NICE about it and at least offered to see if there were any appointmetns available any time within the next few days or given us the information to call to make an appintment if that was necessary (like Quest and the perinatal clinic I had to go to I had to call to make an appointment, they didn’t do it in the office).

But did any of the above happen?  Nope.  Nothing was posted to inform us we had to make an appointment.  They acted like we were intruding on their time when we asked to have pictures taken.  They didn’t bother to offer us an appointment or information to make an appointment.

I have to say, granted it has been a while since I worked in customer service…but I will say this…I was taught how to talk to a customer and that wasn’t it.  If policy dictated that they couldn’t take ANY walk-in’s ok.  They could have explained to me nicely that they weren’t allowed to take any walk-ins…however they could make me an appointment asap or offer me the information to make an appointment asap.  However, any good customer service rep probably would have offered to take our photos anyway since there was NO ONE THERE.

Hence…we went to Sears.

Now, granted Sears has more than one studio/photographer so they are able to accomodate more than Walmart who only has one.  Sears took us within 30 minutes since there were other walk-ins and a few other appointments.  The lady was totally nice to us and took some good pictures (I can’t say great pictures because Babyhead decided to not cheese like he usually does and only chewed his lip and Podling didn’t want to smile…but at least neither cried!). We also told her that we were on a tight budget and she was able to round us up some coupons and took some of the total cost of our pictures off (NICE!). 2 hours later and about $100 poorer we left Sears with our receipt to pick up our photos.

I also found out that for a moderate fee you can buy a photo CD that includes a COPYRIGHT RELEASE.  Now, this is important because most studios copyright all photographs taken there where you aren’t allowed to take them elsewhere to have them reproduced (or not supposed to anyway, the place that reproduced copyrighted photographs can get sued).  With Sears photo CD they release all their copyrights to YOU so you can take them to Walmart or wherever and have as many copies made of whatever you want CHEAP.

Yes, it is a  pretty good fee (like $100 for just the CD)…but considering you don’t have to pay $100 for a few measly pictures and that is all you get, you can get 8x10s or even 10x13s for a hell of a lot less and as many as you want (Walmart prints are like $6 for a 10×13 instead of the $20 you would pay at Sears!).  It is a good deal for me since I can make prints of all the photos for the grandparents and for myself for cheap and get out paying a hella lot less than if I bought the same amount of pictures from Sears.  On top of that, with my knowledge of Photoshop and I do whatever I want to with my pictures.

The only glitch was she forgot to add one of the prints to our order (we did order some of the photos so we could get a better deal on the CD) and she forgot to give us the CD…but it was all taken care of in the end…and they were still totally nice the whole time even though they were slammed.

So, with all that said and done, now I have to figure out what I am going to do with all the photos I intend on having printed.  😉

Turns out it was a good day after all.



Filed under Family, Holidays, Life, Pictures

2 responses to “All I wanted was a freakin’ family picture

  1. Hell, I could have restored it for you. 🙂 What I went to school for. LOL I wouldn’t trust them with any old photographs of mine. There used to be a place in TN where I would take all my old photos…I never took them them to WM.

    I think the law only allows for so many years when it comes to pictures, but I could be mistaken…it really depends on the clerk as my MIL gets all the kids Santa pictures enlarged there and they have the copyright right on the photo. Asking the heirs? That is just ridiculous. With Sears they include a release you can print on on the CD so that isn’t an issue at all. I usually just order them online anyway and have them shipped…I refuse to go to the Photocenter there anymore.

  2. I won’t be going back to Wal-Mart for photos any time soon, that’s for sure. DH found an old picture of his mom and dad that needed to be restored. We took it to Wal-Mart, they said no problem. Called us 2 days later and said they couldn’t restore it without a release from the photographer. We went to pick up the picture and explained that the photo was old, the photographer was dead and his studio had been closed for at least 20 years. We were told we would have to find the photographer’s heirs and get them to sign a release in order to have the photo restored. The clerk also told us that Wal-Mart, as a matter of policy, goes above and beyond what the law requires when processing photos. She was nice enough about it, but Wal-Mart refuses to make any exceptions for any reason, so they no longer have my photo business. I have a friend who is really good with Photoshop and is restoring the picture for us.
    My daughter-in-law took a Wal-Mart photo CD to WM to have more pictures made from it and they refused without a release from the professional photographer who took the pictures (not a professional photographer, it was her mother with a really good camera). So I took the CD and downloaded all the pictures onto my computer and am printing out the ones she wants in the sizes she wants. WM has lost all of my photo business with their shenanigans.