To make sense of this post, you need to know that I'm... frugal. Perhaps excessively so. I've worn shoes until they literally disintegrated and I found myself walking down the street barefoot.
On the rare shopping trip that isn't for food, I'll put items in my cart and then ask myself, "Do we really need this?" and put them back a few minutes later. I'll do this at the dollar store, people.
The dollar store.
So if you send my child home with a photo order form where the "Most Popular" package costs $82.10, please understand when I politely burn it.
Don't get me wrong, I love pictures. I love taking pictures of our family's comings and goings.
Every year on the kids' birthdays I even make an appointment to get their pictures done at a place that doesn't have broken party favors, balled-up socks, and abandoned bowls of raisins in the background like at our house.
Such a studio usually isn't difficult to find, and unlike the "Best Value" package offered by the company our school uses, doesn't require me to fork over a sum equal to my monthly mortgage payment for photos of all of my kids.
For instance, I can use a coupon at J.C. Penney and bring home a boatload of prints for $36. I can get any number of poses, even ones besides yearbook mug shots. I can get some of the kids together. One year my daughter even brought her violin for pictures.
The department store ones appear to be as good a quality as the ones sent home from the school, possibly even better since the school ones have a 65% chance of leftover PB&J remnants smeared on their faces from lunch. (There's a reason you have to send in the check for $296.50 before you see what you're actually buying.)
It's nothing personal. I just don't have a need for a dozen copies of identical head shots of my daughter looking like, well, like she's tired of waiting in line behind 50 other kids for her turn all morning.
Now on the other hand, when my daughter's soccer league sends home order forms for spring soccer pictures, I won't be polite at all about burning those. I can take a picture of her on the grass in her uniform perfectly well by myself.