Buyer's Remorse

Thursday, June 30, 2011

So a few months ago I went to this baby expo and entered a raffle for a free maternity photo session with a professional photographer. You know the type, the gal who takes perfectly beautiful maternity photos you dream of being in someday.

Well it turns out, I won!

I was very excited :) The caveat- that was either not mentioned at the expo or I just didn't hear it because angels were singing in my ears at the time because I actually was at a baby expo because I was pregnant- was that we had to agree to buying a newborn session, too.

Okay, that is fine, newborn session was only $200, and what is $200 on the baby we have dreamed of and prayed for for more than three years?

So today I was supposed to be meeting the photographer for lunch to set up and pay for the newborn session and look at all her albums and extra's. It says on her website "expect to pay at least $350 for reprints and items", but of course I scoffed at that- I thought that was the average that most people spend, and who really needs $350 of reprints?!?!?

Until I learned, through email conversation with her this morning, that there is a $350 minimum order required with the newborn session!!

OH. (I did tell her fairly bluntly that she needs to edit that part of her website to be clear that the $350 is a required minimum, and that I would have been greatly blindsided and upset if I hadn't had realized that until I was handing her the session check, or worse, taking the newborn photos themselves!)

To say that I have buyer's remorse (before I have even bought anything) is an understatement. I am agreeing to pay nearly $600 for photographs?!?!?!

But Mr. A says we should just do it, that this (having a baby) doesn't happen every day, and it will probably only happen three times, max.

And that damn infertility devil sits on my shoulder and whispers in my ear "He has a point- but even three times is awfully optimistic- this might be your only baby."

Well crap, if you put it that way, let's spend $2k!

I am sure she will do a great job, and that we will be really happy to get reprints for our friends and family, and that after paying God knows how much money for all the medications, appointments, and procedures in the last 3 years, $600 is cheap. Not to mention this baby girl is priceless, anyway.

It's a good thing I'm not fertile, because I could not justify $600 for newborn photos of each of my easily-conceived perfectly-spaced 4 kids!!! Hahaha :)

(ETA: {sad face} Everyone's "holy crap's" and "whoa's" and "yikes's" are not helping me feel any better. So am I really an idiot? Not that I just want you to say what I want to hear, but isn't there anyone who would do the same thing? Maybe it's just the pregnancy hormones, but I feel like taking this post down and calling her to say don't cash my check!!!)


Coco said...

Holy crap that is expensive!!! Sure your baby is MORE THAN worth it... but isn't there a reasonably priced photographer who could do just as good of a job? Eek! Congrats on winning the contest and I'm sure the pictures will turn out BEAUTIFULLY!!! :)

Josey said...

Haha - the last paragraph will strike home with so many of your readers. Isn't it weird how perspective changes on cost with IF?

I'm sure the pics will be awesome!

Bridget said...

whoa! That is a lot for pictures. But I am sure they will be awesome and totally worth it!!

J said...

Since when does winning something "free" cost you $600 bucks (minimum! And, let me tell you, looking at kid're going to want them all. It's so hard to pick just some.)?!? I would be so pissed. The bait and switch aspect of that would make me want to cancel the whole thing. It's possible to find a photographer friend to take awesome maternity pics and a lot of people take their own newborn pics (which, let's face it, are precious no matter what).

I'm sure they will turn out great either way, though! Good for you standing up about the "expect to pay" vs. "required".

Mommy-In-Waiting said...

Wow, that is not cheap! I know they will be worth it and you deffinetly deserve to spoil yourself. Have fun!

J said...

I just saw your edit. Honestly? IMO, I would not work with her, no. I would find someone else. For me, the issue wouldn't so much be cost as I would feel like she had been very unprofessional toward me. If I didn't notice that a newborn session was required, ok, fine. That is on me for not paying close enough attention to the fine print. But the "suggested" $350 suddenly becomes a requirement? That would tick me off and, to me, come across as a bit shady. What if you hadn't emailed her and HAD been hit square in the eyes with you look at those adorable proofs? Also, in my experience, a "minimum" is NOT many pictures. Certainly, it hasn't been enough to give pics to all those that you want to have them. So, $350 is the true minimum but you'd most likely find yourself going over that.

As for whether it's expensive or not, well, it is to me because we don't have that kind of money lol but, it's about the same price-wise around here, too. So the cost wouldn't get me (although the "free part", again, would tick me off) but just the lack of professionalism. That's JMO, though.

Trisha said...

I'm going to be the odd ball out here! :) First, it would have been better if you knew everything up front but sometimes things get lost in words. If you liked her when you met that's all that counts. Also, I'm sure you'll get a CD of the pictures so printing extras won't cost you hundreds of dollars.

We spent over $400 with Garrett and didn't even intend on it. But I am so glad we did because they don't stay that little for very long and you'll be so glad you have those sweet memories to look back on. And like you said, we've waited a long time for this! I'm so happy for you!

TeeJay said...

It IS a lot of money, but photographers cost a lot, no matter what they are taking pictures of. I would be ticked off about the minimum requirement because like everyone else says, you will go over that because the minimum will not be very many pictures...and how will you choose? However, she will only be a newborn once and I've seen some amazing newborn shots on blogs and you will treasure those photos for the rest of your life. I'm sorry about the bait and switch and all that mess, though.

RMCarter said...

My maternity pics are free (the photographer has followed our story and begged to do them as a gift) and our newborn pics will be $65 - $95. That includes 15 edited pics all on CD. We print them ourselves. So $600 does seem like a LOT. *But* if you absolutely love her and her work, I say go for it. My biggest regret about our wedding day is that I went cheap on the photographer. If I could do it all over, I would have spent good money to have better pictures. And your little girl will only be little for so long. It's a similar situation, a once in a lifetime event. So no judgment here! :)

P.S. I have felt the same way because all the baby stuff I have purchased has been high-quality and brand new. I've had a lot of people who have implied I was dumb to do that, that I am wasting my money, will never use it all, should go on Craig's List, etc. I figure that we have waited a LONG time for this, have saved up and are doing it responsibly (no debt, etc) and I'm not going to feel guilty about it! ;) Or, at least, I try not to! We are buying all the baby stuff on our own (no showers or anything), so we get to decide what we buy. So there! :P I think the same applies in your situation. You do what you want! I'm sure the pictures will be beautiful.

Deanna: Miss(ed) Conception said...

I would do the same as you...actually, I did! I didn't win anything. I spend $400+ out of pocket for my maternity shoot and the disc with all the proofs and then, now that the baby is here, I did the same for his two month pics. It is crazy expensive and I feel ridiculous but I don't know that I'll ever have the chance to do these things again. I never want to look back and be sad that I didn't fully experience these things. Now, if I do have more children...I'm screwed.

I do have an issue with your photographer not being up front about all of this though.

Coco said...

Okay, I'll ammend my previous statement.... photographers are super super expensive. And the more expensive they are, the more "exclusive" and "I'm oh so worth it" they seem to be. I know that when we found out dad was terminal last year we wanted to do a big last family photo, but no one could come out to visit at the same time. I called around to every photographer within a 2 hour drive and only found a few that could do the cut/paste thing and make it look like we were all in the same room. It was VERY expensive.... and NO CD/DVD to take, no option to print more on our own, etc WHICH SUCKS!!!... BUT that picture is something priceless that we can never replace. I would do it again in a heartbeat. What I really don't like about your situation is the dishonesty. What other surprises does she have? And she clearly means to get her customers in a bad situation ... after the shoot looking at priceless pictures and THEN hit them with all the hidden costs and details. I despise that type of business and would probably cancel and find someone else, even at the same price, who was upfront with me. And MAKE SURE you do get CD to print your own from, otherwise there's just no way to choose. Again it's not the amount, most photographers will charge about that anyway... I just like dealing with (and paying) ethical businesses.

April said...

I would cancel if you feel guilty about it. To be honest, it's a pretty standard marketing tactic to get your information at an event like a baby expo and then.. guess what? Everyone wins! It especially seems this way if she is making you purchase other things in order to cash in on your "winnings." I bet you every person who signed up won. I'd probably go with someone else, even if she is a great photographer, just soley based on her bait and switch tactic. Good luck!!

Jennifer said...

I'm surprised by the $350 minimum purchase, but if you like the photographer, do it! I paid much less for ellie's pics and then got the cd. Will you be given that? Do what is right for you!