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"Professional" Photography

So... Angie had a photographer come to the house about a month ago and take some photos of the baby.  It was a free "sitting" fee and you get one free 5x7 picture.  Of course, you have to eventually sit through the full court press sales pitch before you'll get the free pic (if you ever actually get it), but that's the deal.

Anyway, the photographer was very nice (according to Angie), and she told Angie that she'd be willing to sell us the CD full of the digital images for like $40.  She said that the business "doesn't really take care of the photographers" and she'd be more than willing to sell us all the images for cheap.  Unfortunately, Angie never exchanged contact info with the lady, so a few weeks later we were contacted by the main office to schedule an "in home visit" so we could peruse the photos.

After much debate with herself and many unanswered phone calls (I swear the guy at the office called us about 8-10 times), Angie answered the phone tonight and scheduled the guy to come over around 6PM.  Luckily we finished dinner first and the guy showed up around 6:30PM.  I took the kids in the living room and played a card game with them while the guy gave Angie the sales pitch.  I didn't hear all of the package details, but a few of them ranged in price from $100 for a handful of prints (like one 8x10, some 5x7's and some wallets) to over $600 for a group of prints!  I asked how much the CD would be and Angie said it was "ridiculous," like $300!

Are these people insane?  Gone are the days of shooting rolls and rolls of film, not knowing how the shots came out until later, and developing film in a dark room with chemicals and manually enlarging prints.  I mean, they HAVE THE PHOTOS ON THE LAPTOP that he brought here.  I probably would have paid $50-$75 for the CD and told him to get the hell out.  I still would have felt slightly ripped off, but at least then I'd be able to make my own prints.  I can print them up at home or order them online, or walk into Target, Wal-Mart, CVS, Rite-Aid, etc.  And best of all, I'd be able to back them up and give copies of the disc to my parents and Angie's parents.  So it would have been worth it.

Does anyone else feel this way?  Do I only feel this way because I know how to shoot digital photos and print them myself?  Does the "Average Joe" get taken in by these high prices for pictures?  And really, are they that much better than what you can shoot yourself with a decent digital camera?

Angie thinks we're (read: I'm) just cheap.  I don't think so; I just don't want to be ripped off for pictures that I can take myself.  The pictures were OK, but they weren't ALL great. Some of them were easy to reject.  The guy was really trying hard to get Angie to crack.  She even came into the living room a couple of times and asked what I wanted to do. 

We went with the free 5x7 of one shot that Angie liked.

What a racket!


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