$800 Worth

If I gave you $800 free and clear, what is the first thing that comes to mind, what would you think of doing with that money? You might consider paying off a bill with it, but what if that’s not a factor? Would you invest it? Would you buy a new jacket? What if I gave you some options?

Say I gave you $800 to spend on getting and purchasing senior pictures for one of your children; with that you might cover a sitting fee, a dozen shot options, in the end a hand full of wallets, maybe an 8 x 10 and possibly a couple of 5 x 7s, and of course that is only one pose mind you, but it’s difficult to see which images look best in those tiny “here are your images from the I’m so kitschy studios in an email…don’t mind the giant cross hatch over your face with the studio name across in the opposite direction, but, if you’d like you can get a conveniently bound booklet with slightly larger images of each of your shot options on poorly digitized paper (so you can’t snap a copy with your phone) for only $50.

Of course you do realize that the outfit you choose can’t be the same as the one you shot the picture for the year book which you were required to have done at the other studio for the school so you’d better make certain you have multiple dresses and other outfits that nobody has seen you wear throughout the year.

Or, how about you take that money and visit the Grand Bahia Principe le Romana in the Dominican Republic, or how about the Casa de los Cosmonauts near Havana, Cuba? Maybe you’d rather take in some sights around Montreal, Canada. For half of that you can go to Banff, AB by plane or by train for less than a third of it, and that’s round trip. You would of course have still had the $45 picture taken for the year book that’ll cost you another $56. And you might need to get creative with your graduation announcements, using pictures you’ve taken from your own summer adventures with your family and friends. It’s another option that I believe deserves consideration.

I think everyone no matter their economic class can relate to needing to strap back a little on costs throughout the year due to our fluttering economy, and maybe we have all taken a serious look at how we choose to spend our money and what resources we use, and how we use those resources. Costs aren’t’ going down across the board so it behooves us to study options when making larger purchases. And especially when considering those larger purposes is it not smart to consider also the impact that purchase may have on our daily lives, will it enhance or inhibit?

When I look at photographs, and I love pictures, I have a wall covered in images taken over just the last summer of my children playing in cool, crisp creeks up North and jumping from granite cliffs in Grand Rapids, canoeing down the Minnehaha Creek through town, playing softball and hanging out in the local lakes. When I look at these pictures I see smiling kids, laughing kids, faces lit up with joy and I remember those times because I was there. I know that the smiles mean they were enjoying themselves and those family and friends around them. And then I feel good. When I look at other peoples pictures of those same activities or even just hanging out in their backyards I know too that they enjoyed themselves because you can see it in their faces. Now take a school picture, or a graduation photo shoot picture and tell me what they were thinking about, I can’t see their selves, I can see no scars, I can see no sunburn, I can’t see their colic and there aren’t even any birthmarks or freckles…they look so photo-shopped that they appear as clean and fresh as Barbie.

What message is this giving our daughters and our sons for that matter? I think that requires and begs for some consideration.

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