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Curse of the Photo Gods December 12, 2008

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, humor, Parenting, special needs.
Tags: , , , , ,

Okay. I’ve had it. And I mean HAD it. Enough is enough.

I have been living in my own version of  double whammy PHOTO HELL for the past week.

First, there’s the “ever-freakin elusive Christmas card photo”  fiasco. And then there’s the “I can’t find one friggin family photo for my daughter’s Christmas craft day at school” dilemma.

For the past week, I’ve been trying so hard not to kill the teenage manager at my local Walgreens photo department over their poor excuse for customer service. One of my bloggy friends has heard this tale of woe, but it won’t go away, so now you all have to hear me rant.

Loser me hasn’t fixed/replaced the digital camera in months. Loser me has bought and used 4 disposable cameras. Loser me never developed them over the months that they’ve been gathering dust, so I had to put them in ONE HOUR processing last weekend. Because, I just suddenly HAD to have them that very day, right?

Enter the JackAss Manager from Walgreens. “Oh, the machine broke…yada, yada… ” So, it took 3 DAYS and 30 calls to get the ONE HOUR pictures processed. And all of this is just to hope to find a decent photo of the two kids to use for the holiday cards. I actually did get lucky with one of,  like, 125 photos…I can’t even imagine what a nightmare lies ahead in trying to order the damn cards…

Then, photo disaster number 2. My daughter needs a family photo for a Christmas craft that her class makes each year. And its due today.  Sounds easy, right? Sure, for normal folks maybe… 

Let’s look at the obstacles for us…and many special needs families…when it somes to something as simple as taking a family photo. Well, for me I’m starting off without the friggin camera. But even getting past that, we never have anyone over to take one for us. (I have plenty of shots of the kids, or of any combination of 3 of the four of us.) 

On special occasions and holidays, you ask?  Well, if I’m hosting, I look like death and often have my hair in a towel when the first car pulls up… And since people rarely ever offer to help out, I’m too busy being the cook, busboy and dishwasher to think about pictures.  If I’m not hosting, I usually still look like death… but warmed over, at least.  But then, I’m too busy… running around shadowing ‘C’ so that he doesn’t swing on a chandelier, eat a forbidden food, or simply open the door and run away…to think of taking a family picture. I tried to get one on Thanksgiving at our friends’ house, but my well-meaning, photography-challenged friend got us in only about 25% of the frame…and only took one shot before ‘C’ refused to cooperate further.

So the moments pass.  The years pass.  And then you come to today… and you need something for the freakin Christmas craft. And you have to hand your 10 year old daughter a 5 year old picture of her family from a wedding that divorced 4 months later.  And then tell her lamely in one breath that its always been a favorite picture of yours, but then offer hopefully that if there’s a way to update the photo after the craft is done, we can do it together. Like its any consolation.

So, I’m off to Walgreens again today…to try to order the freakin Christmas cards this time. But here’s the thing: I have to bring the whole family to wait in the car.  So if it doesn’t work out the way I hope, I’ll at least have a way to solve the Christmas craft dilemma…

When I murder the manager in the photo department, the newspaper reporter covering the story can get me a great professional shot of my family for the craft project. But I guess my hubby will have to help my daughter switch the photo.

I’ll be doing time.

Anyone care to share their stories about trying to get a family photo? Or one for the Christmas cards?

But you have to hurry. I don’t know if I’ll have computer access in the joint…



1. tiredmama - December 12, 2008

Funny post. Yeah. We also have problems getting nice family pictures of the 4 of us. Hard part is that unless husband or I am taking the pictures we have a wrestle-fest trying to get the kids to sit and/or look at the camera (or stop running for 5 seconds). I needed a picture of the 4 of us this summer for something and I ended up pasting a couple of photos together to get a half-decent one of the 4 of us. We are hoping that our new sister-in-law is a quick picture taker and we can attempt a family picture for Christmas. (We usually can only get one (if really lucky, two) shots off before someone runs off or starts screaming.) Professional photography is either too expensive or too scary (with all of the photo equipment) so we haven’t attempted a professional family photo in a few years. (Probably won’t until the school photos actually happen.) Anyway, that’s our war of the family photo…

2. hopeauthority - December 12, 2008

Oh….DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED on the school pictures!!!!!!!
Let me just say this one thing: Order the SMALLEST package they offer. Because you will be sending it back and doing the re-take. And then you’ll likely be keeping that second shot not because your child is looking at the camera, but out of obligation to have a “record” of the school years. However, if you get lucky enough to get a winner of a shot, you can always order more photos once you KNOW its one you will actually distribute to relatives!

PS: It helps to write a big note on the photo order envelope (and tell the teacher to be sure the photographer sees it) saying “My child has autism/special needs. Please take more than your standard one shot as he often can not cooperate or looks away, then develop the best one. Thanks so much.” That helps… sometimes.

3. Adonya Wong - December 12, 2008

OMGosh! You are hilarious!

Do you look good in orange? Because that seems to be the jailbird color of choice. teehee

Thanks for the giggles!

Happy Friday to you!


Adonya Wong
Author | Autism Blogger | Nonprofit Founder

4. tiredmama - December 14, 2008

We haven’t even managed to get a school photo off yet. I mean the screaming/pitch-fitting starts before he can get in front of the camera because he is scared of the photography equipment (i.e. big umbrella flashes, other additional lighting, etc.) Do I really care? Not really. To me, it’s not the end of the world because we can get GREAT pictures at home without all of that fancy equipment. So far his teachers haven’t made a big deal out of it and he was able to go back to the classroom with the aide while everyone else had theirs done. It would be nice to have a beautiful professional family photo, but if we can get a nice one at home that’s all that really matters to me.

5. hope4mygirl - December 18, 2008

Family photo?? What’s that??? If it wasnt for this REALLY nice woman on a boat ride back to our resort in Disney last month, I dont think I have a full family picture since my daughter was diagnosed in Oct 2003. Well, we do have a professional family picture that was taken 2 weeks prior to the diagnosis, but that’s it. As for school pictures, I NEVER kept a one…..til this years. And I dont know what they DID TO HER to get the smile they did, and I dont care, but I thank them for it. Usually she isnt even looking at the camera or she looks like she is literally on something, and the pics get returned to the photographer. I did write a little note this time for them to try real hard to get her to smile b/c I REALLY need these pictures!

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