My friend and I participated in a photo shoot – we had been stopped in the centre of Birmingham last month and offered a promotion (at a huge discount) for a new photography studio that had recently opened. As part of the package, there was champagne, a hand massage, manicure, professional make-up and hair and an hour long photography session, with a free photograph at the end and the opportunity to purchase further prints if we liked them.
We were excited, but a little apprehensive – neither of us had experienced anything similar before and didn’t know what to expect. However, we did as we were asked and arrived with some of our favourite outfits, no make-up and natural hair.
I’m not one for complaining when I go out – after years of working in various jobs within the service industry I know how awkward, demanding and rude the general public can be – so I always try and be as polite as possible. However, if I had paid the price that they are usually charging for the package that we had I would be demanding my money back, and then some. While I’m not going to go into too much detail, I want you to imagine that a couple of students woke up one day, hired out a couple of tiny rooms in one of the roughest areas of the city and employed their mate with an SLR camera to take pictures. The studio wasn’t a new one – the company ‘opening’ this new place had in fact arranged some sort of deal with an already existing, run down business.
My make-up artist was very inexperienced, and despite asking lots of questions about the sort of style and colours I liked she completely ignored everything I had said and proceeded to make me look like Jack Nicholson’s Joker in Batman, sticking bright red lipstick on me and putting one of my false eyelashes much higher than the other, which I then discreetly adjusted and improved in the toilet afterwards. Don’t believe me? This was the before and after…
It’s amazing what your own make-up, toilet lighting and Instagram can do isn’t it!
The saving grace of the day was my friend. I’ve known her for a long time, and she’s one of my favourite people. Neither of us were happy with the service we received, but she put a brave face on it and kept me feeling positive throughout the day. She’s a much stronger character then I am, which I was grateful for as she politely put the photographer firmly in his place when he was inexplicably aggressive with us when we first walked in. To be fair, by the end of the shoot he was laughing and joking with us, and we were making each other laugh by pulling silly faces at each other and after a while I was able to relax and enjoy myself. She’s a glamorous woman and was a natural, taking things in her stride and striking different poses in the beautiful outfits she had brought with her.
After waiting for quite a while after the shoot, we were given the opportunity to look through our photographs. I have huge body confidence and anxiety issues and I while I wasn’t expecting the camera to remove 60lbs from my frame, I was hoping for images that would make me feel a little more confident about myself. It had the opposite effect – the angles in most of the pictures actually made me look bigger than I am, and I was completely deflated. I did purchase a few of them (after lots of bartering as they initially attempted charge an extortionate amount of money for them), mainly because my friend looks great, but there was only one of me that I thought was ok. Here’s one of us together that I liked – we look like we are auditioning for the new series of The Apprentice…
I’m not going to include many of the pics, but this was the one that I originally liked. Unfortunately, when I got home and put it on my tv screen (which was much bigger), it looked totally different than during the viewing process. There’s a few issues that bug me… My left eye (which looks totally black) and The Hand. The poor lighting looks like a random person has shoved their arm in front of my face. The more I look at it, the more I hate it. It’s a dead hand.
I tried to experiment and cut it down, even adding an idea for a potential logo, asked for advice in Instagram and from my bloggy friend Steve, who is good at graphics and design, and The Bloke went to work on Photoshop, but it still annoys me.
Stupid dead hand.
However, it was an experience. I enjoyed spending time with a good friend and we had a laugh.
And the next time someone asks me to go and try out a new photography business, I’ll save my money and take more pictures in the toilet instead!
What about you? Have you ever received any poor services or had your expectations dashed?
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