Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Photo awkwardness

When K was in the hospital and I was with her on Christmas Eve, my MIL came to visit.

She told me she's got a ton of pics from her mother (who died a few days before my kids were born) and doesn't know what to do with them.

So I suggested making a photo book.

In the talking about photos, she says something about the last time she got photos from us was age 15 months. In a moaning and whinging kind of way.

This is true though.

I supposed I built up the expectation because I used to put pics on discs regularly and give copies to her, my mother, sister, father.

Except I just couldn't keep up with it any more.

It takes time to sort through and select pics, almost like making a photobook :)

I started when I was on maternity leave - I can't believe how much time I had then - and managed for another year after I went back to work.

But then I stopped and would just select about 3 pics from each photo shoot (when they happened which is not that often), print them and hand them over, or now and again, put them in frames.

I told her all of this. That I can barely keep up with sorting the photos for us, let alone doing for others.

But then she says, "so I just went onto your Facebook and downloaded pics of the latest photo shoot, the one with all the buildings behind you".

Yes. The Newtown shoot

The one I'd made photobooks from for their Christmas gifts.

Aside from that small fact, I very nearly lost it (thank goodness K was asleep and we were talking quietly - I am still a sleep Nazi).

My one friend told me FB's always had the functionality for people to download other people's pics. Maybe they've just made it super obvious now with a big Download photo button?

But I felt very uncomfortable and weird and unsettled and many more un words.

Surely it's wrong to just download pics off someone's FB profile?

Meanwhile, I think Jeanette (photographer)'s pics come up on my profile if she tags me because I didn't upload any except one or two for the profile pic.

I have never downloaded photos like this. I like to think if someone wants me to have it they'll give it to me, or I ask.

My one friend (the one who takes weird pics of doors and windows like me) puts his travel pics on FB.

I've messaged him before to say "I MUST have a copy of this one, PLEASE" and once next time they saw us, they brought me pics (looking at those those blue doors and window = instant happiness) and the other time, he Skyped me and sent me the file while we were talking.

Don't you love technology?
She told me exactly how she did it without any shame and I just tried to move on with the conversation.

So of course on Christmas, when we gave her the photobook, she was like, "oh thanks" in a less-than-enthusiastic way because she already had the pics.

Yes, that gift that was truly a gift of love (and a heck of a lot of time) went over like a lead balloon.

I was so upset.

But wait. There's more :)

MIL and SIL came over after K was discharged, saw the framed pics of the other photo shoot and start saying they want ALL those pics too.

I can't remember what happened but I am not giving them everything.

Is it me or is it them?

I feel that's so ballsy to just say (demand) pics. We're paying for the shoots and it's our pics. We're not selfish with the prints (or are we?) because I give them a few, in my view the best ones anyway.

I asked my one friend, Roz, who has tons of photo shoots done, what she does with her family and she said she prints off 3 - 5, gives it to the grandparents, and that's it. Her family are much more well-mannered than mine though because they don't ask for more, or the whole disc!

To be fair, my own mother would never be that forward. And her reaction was exactly what I wanted. When our present arrived, she phoned to say thank you, exclaimed how beautiful the pics are and was truly delighted.

Seriously, what do you think of this whole thing? What do you do for family when you get photos from photoshoots?


  1. In all honesty I just made the grandparents all a DVD of the whole shoot - I do not have the time to sort through. That being said, I always gave it to them with the book/calender whatever gift I gave them. My MIL will never be so forward to ask and even if she sees on facebook (she is the only grandparent on it), she will phone and talk about how nice they are and simply rave when she gets her gifts. My mom has been so forward to ask after she knew we had a shoot to see the pictures. And I was brave enough to tell her that she can not and will have to wait for Christmas. Which she did. Not without a bit of grumbling. But then when receiving her gift exclaimed that she was so glad she waited.

  2. I print photos once a month from Shutterfly. I usually order 75 or so prints (on average) for myself. I have three family members that I send prints to, the same time I order mine...two different aunts, and my dad. They usually get about 1/4 of those.

    It's an inexpensive and easy way for me to keep everyone updated.

    Where things get tougher is with professional pictures, the kind where I don't get the disk. On average, a 5x7 print is about $20. That adds up! I usually get one print for each of those family members from each shoot...but that's $80, easily.

    I feel like I "owe" those prints to them, but I don't think they understand those are expensive! Still, I just try not to think about it too much...our girls will only be little once.

    What gets me is when someone is at the house and they ask, "Where are our prints?" talking about the professional ones. I finally said, "I can't afford to buy any more!" I said it in a joking manner, but if they really want those, they're welcome to purchase them!

    This can easily be a touchy subject, huh? Grrr...

  3. Is it possible for them to buy their own prints from the photographer?

    Or are you willing to let them take the kids and have their own photo shoot? I know my aunt did that a lot with me when I was younger.

    I've asked for photos a few times, but everyone in my family knows I love pictures so they will often send me the link so I can order my own (which I don't mind at all because I know it's costly!)

    I am also always the one with my camera out and I try to always send pictures to the parents of the kids after a get together.

    Sorry that the photobook didn't get the reaction you wanted from your MIL that would have made me very upset!

  4. I would have been upset about the photobook thing too. My MIL is the one who asks for pictures in our family, but she's careful to be tactful and not pushy about it. I am terrible about printing my own pictures, so I don't mind handing over a copy of the disc.

    When I do get pictures printed, I will make a few extra for family members, but I don't order through the very expensive professional printers. I can get good-quality large prints at Costco for just a few dollars each, so I don't mind printing a few extra.

  5. Can't believe she downloaded those pics. THAT is the reason I don't post pics of my kids online. It's purely a control issue and I'm not comfortable with not having control over images of my kids. I do know that anyone can download any pic from FB. I also know that FB pics can't be deleted. Haven't checked yet if that is indeed the case.
    I would have lost it too so no, it's not you. It's them. I think that you are rather kind to pay for and frame and photo book pics for them - at your own time and expense. And then they still demand the entire disk! Sjoe. I would be livid. Nothing stops them from having pics taken or whatever.
    I usually email pics. Sporadically. As and when I have the time. They can print it if they want to - they usually do. There is no expectation.

  6. OMG, that would freak me out too! And my MIL is pretty demanding like that when it comes to wanting pics. What's worse is that she'll call me continuously asking me about the pics and when I can have them to her until it gets to the point where I feel I'm being harrassed.

    I made her a really pretty scrapbook with all the pics she had requested as her Christmas present and she was very touched by that.

    But now she's kind of expecting the same type of gift at Mother's Day.

    It's almost like I've set the bar too high for myself....again.

  7. I think she should have asked before downloading pics.

    But in saying that to be honest I've done it once before. But only because I was making a gift for this person. Their nearly 3 year old was busy dying from cancer and I wanted to make a memory quilt for them which to me would be better than giving them flowers that wouldn't have the same significance. So I "borrowed" some photos from her Facebook and her blog and printed these photos onto fabric paper to sew into the quilt. But I never used the photos for any other purpose and I could have asked, but they were so wrapped up spending the last few weeks with their daughter.

    But I've not done if in any other situations.

    How sad that through doing this she spoilt the gift you worked so hard on. Well, she's certainly making it easier this year isn't she? She'll get a generic empty photo album or maybe a coffee mug - seeing as she's already taken the time to get the photos she wanted and this way you wouldn't have to spend hours making something for her :-).

  8. I certainly do not dish out photos. People keep up with the children via FB. I have never thought of people downloading pictures, that is really weird.

    I, on occasion and holidays, will give pictures to the grandmothers. That is it. My niece always sends tons of pictures in her christmas cards of her family and I think that is weird. One simple family picture will do, I don't need 4 shots of each of your kids and the family ones too! When I give the grandmothers photos it is usually less than 3 of each child. Occasionally my mother will ask for specific pictures she sees online, for her work frames. I think I get off the hook because everyone else doesn't know my other pictures exist!

    So yes, your inlaws are weird. Just let it pass. What does she do/would she do with ALL of those pictures anyhow?

  9. That wouldn't bug me at all. I don't load up any pics I would be unconfortable with someone else seeing...in fact I don't take photos like that anyway. Every few months I dump copies of all the Nicola photos on a memory stick for my mom and she prints whatever she likes. I don't have a MIL but I'm pretty sure biodad reads my blog now and then so I wouldn't be surprised if he took one or two. I download any new pics of him or his son that I see because I think that Nicola might want to see them when she's older (and I stalk to get to them).

  10. We've only done one photo shoot and we sent one print to everyone we thought would be interested. We did more for our own house b/c those things are EXPENSIVE!!!

    When it comes to school pictures, we send one picture of each child to those interested parties. We keep 8x10s for us of individuals and the "together shot."

    I think it's horribly rude to download someone's pictures from FB. I think it's awesome to receive photobooks as a gift. People suck...what can I say?

  11. your MIL is a piece of work. my MIL is really bad like this, too. she is awful to buy gifts for and always complains that things are never enough. so...we stopped getting her gifts all together. we print a photobook every year that is a recap of the kids' growth and adventures. we print an extra one for each set of parents. and if they like it, great. if not, oh well. it's all they get. we don't send pics out otherwise! ha!


  12. Oh no!! Haha that is definitely awkward. My mom is one of those moms too...we spent thousands on our beautiful wedding pictures and she goes onto Facebook and downloads one she likes...AND THEN PRINTS IT IN BLACK AND WHITE ON COPY PAPER!!!!! OMG. How embarrassing...especially since I'm a photographer lol. I try to give them framed pictures for holidays and stuff because they love it and I want them to have real pictures, but it's hard to keep up with.

    Does your photographer have a proofing site? They could maybe go on there and purchase their own prints?


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