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It was Mother’s Day weekend, I was armed and dangerous

When Princess Cupcake was born, I decided that for the first year of her life that I would have her photo taken professionally every month so I could capture the changes as she grew. I wouldn’t spend a lot, I’d just go to JC Penny or somewhere like that and put it in her scrapbook.

After she turned a year old, I decided she was growing more slowly so that quarterly photos would probably suffice. And I found a new place because Princess Cupcake no longer liked the bizarre habit that the JCP photog did of sneezing to try and get her to smile. (For the record, it didn’t work – she thought it was creepy. I thought it was odd.). On the recommendation of a friend, Portrait Innovations now held my bounty. How, oh how though can I turn a $9.99 package into $200?! I know we have a bajillion family thanks to all the remarriages to send the pictures to — but seriously… I have a problem.

When she turned two, I came to terms that maybe two to three times a year would be a good documentation plan. And we really liked Heather at PI — when we could get her. It was much cheaper when we didn’t get her though.

Sooooo…. She’s turned three now and it was time to get her photo taken.

And I kept putting it off.

And putting it off.

Because I kept thinking that I might want to be like all my facebook friends and get a hip children’s photographer to shoot these amazingly stunning pictures like I gawk at online.

I even found one I liked. Well, about a dozen I liked, but this one takes photos of children, but ALSO pugs for the DFW Pug Rescue group. Anyone who photographs pugs must have a tremendous reserve of patience. She was the one for me. The emotion that she captures in each image just touches my heart. Plus, my maniacs are destined for photos with her anyway when they have to enter rescue for eating one more thing off my nightstand or one more bag of cheerios when I am not looking. (Before you go all nutty, I jest – I’d never give up my precious snoring billy goats in a thousand years.)

But I wasn’t sure if I was ready to put that investment into photos — yet. The whole sitting fee habit is a slippery slope… Kinda like a tattoo. Addicting because once you get one you can’t stop thinking about how great the next one would look too. And the price tag adds up so quickly when you have image obsession like I do. I have 40 years of experience now to know that I must have one of each even close to semi-decent photo (and the digital file too of course) and unfortunately, those fancy photographers just don’t play that way without me giving them an armored truck full of gold.

So I have that whole internal struggle is going on. My debate on whether I have the fortitude to pick out only a small handful of images from a professional shoot. Meanwhile, I am also jonesing for a Mommy Upgrade on my pitiful Canon point and shoot digital. (The hubs laughs as he guards his wallet because I go through cameras like a tank of gas.) And I was at my tipping point. Me and the Princess took my stash of fun money out to Wolf Camera and ponyied up to the counter and ordered us a Nikon D3100.  Your basic entry-level DSLR kit.

And no sooner did I get the words out of my mouth did I hear from my pint-size accomplice, “Mommy, I have to go potty.” Have I mentioned how much I hate potty training? Ugh.

So we come back like 20 minutes later and here’s where I have to give some props to Wolf Camera.

It’s no secret that have a significant aversion to Best Buy and I could not be happier that I avoided that wretched place.

I expected the upsell at Wolf. I was ready and it came barreling down with a united two person salesforce. It was okay, I had made peace with the fact that I wouldn’t get out of there with a camera kit alone. There was the memory card, and the protective filter right? I confess to falling prey to their tantalizing monthly photo club card (Did you know that they’ll transfer negatives to digital for like 59 cents or something ridiculous like that?! I acquiesced right then and there that I would not ever do this myself no matter how many versions of the software I bought and left in the box until my computer was upgraded out of compatibility.). I was impressed that they have free classes for everyone who purchases a camera there (didn’t know that), and that they have one person dedicated to color correcting photos that are being printed (didn’t know that either) and I am CERTAIN that they don’t do this at Walgreens because there’s never, never, never anyone in the photo department when I pick up.

The cherry on top of this friendly ambush was that the saleswoman who helped us was genuinely kind. She brought out a photo book she had made of her puppies to show the Princess while we took care of warranties and the like. She tried to sell me a photo bag, to which I trumped her with the EphiphanieBags.com website, (My next fun money target) and we bonded over the fashionable functionality of a camera purse. Yes, a camera PURSE.

Like a proud lioness, we left the store with my kill in hand. It was Mother’s Day weekend, and I was armed and dangerous.

All I wanted to do on Sunday was have brunch on an outdoor patio with some Chardonnay and my husband and munchkin (who peed on the patio while we were eating – have I mentioned that I hate potty training?!), and then take photos with my new toy. Which we did. All of it. It was picture-perfect (pun intended).

And here’s the fruit of my spoils. Not bad for fresh out of the box (with no fancy color editing) if I do say so myself… Sorry the YouTube version is a little blurry. It’s at low resolution.

The professional will have to wait because I think this Mommy Upgrade just captured my 3 year old portraits all by myself – and I get to keep all the digital files I want. 🙂



  1. Just checked out the bags, too! The Lola in red is aMaZiNg!! What a great idea 🙂

    • Yes, soon-to-be mama! I am so excited for you. <3 You definitely need a cool camera and something chic to put it in! While you're at it, get an external hard drive to back up all the amazing photos you're going to take. 🙂

  2. Love Love Love the photos & video 🙂 Looks like I need to put a camera like this on my list <3 Miss you!!

  3. I hope my comments are not showing up that I just did beforehand- I keep getting the message that I didn’t use the right CAPTCHA code… Anyway, FANTASTIC job! Better than some professional photos that I’ve seen, even. You sound a lot like me and my husband, wanting to capture our kids’ growth and personalities in photos, and I think you have shown that you are and will do such a good job of it!
    Christie F.

    • Thanks Christie! It was fun, and one of those magical days where it all comes together. I guess that’s what Mother’s Day is for, right? Hope you had a good one too. Thanks for reading. :>


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