Sunday, January 11, 2009

Don't Pay for Anything That Is Free

The title is obvious, right?  Not always.  On our check-in to the timeshare near Disney, we were offered a free 5x7 family portrait.  Our first five days there were packed full with trips to Walt Disney World, and on our free day, we finally to the opportunity to get our free portrait.  Now our yearly holiday family portrait at home is always a major ordeal and I'm too cheap to actually go to a professional photography studio for a family portrait.  Such is the curse of being a cheap frugal "good enough" amateur photographer.

Wax replica of my family
Here is the wax replica of our family.

The onsite photographer had a Nikon DSLR with a Speedlight flash mounted directly to the camera.  No better than my own setup, but still it was free...   The good thing about this photographer was that all the backdrops and poses in the natural surroundings were all pre-determined.  He quickly assembled us for each shot and snapped one full-length portrait and one zoomed-in landscape shot.  I would have preferred a zoomed-in portrait shot of the family.  He tried to take separate photographs of the kids, but they refused to comply, so we only had shots of the kids together.  We also had a few shots taken of Doug and me as a couple.  In all there were around 10 shots of our family.  I definitely wanted the free 5x7 family portrait, but those shots of the kids were so cute...

Now here comes the not-so-free part.  The price for extra photographs were $20 plus tax for one sheet, $38 for two and up from there.  A sheet could have one 8x10, two 5x7s, three 4x6s, four 3.5x8, or some number of wallets in any combination of images.  A CD with full resolution JPGs was $50.  I wasn't going to fork over $50 for the digital images because frankly, they weren't worth it.  The photos were over-exposed and not studio quality.  In the end, we settled for one sheet with these three 4x6 prints of the kids.  So was it worth it?  Should avoid all free things that end up costing me money?

Kids on the bench

Back to back

At the Christmas tree

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