So this was not actually something I got from a PR person. I got an ad on Instagram about entering a contest for a free portrait with you and your pet. Of course I entered, and then I won the contest. But another friend of mine also won the contest, and when I eventually reached the portrait studio, I saw four other dog owners there, and I suspect that every single person who entered “won” the “contest.” Still, I went all out with this one, because Flora hates having her picture taken and I barely have any photos of the two of us together. I bought an extravagant tulle dress from AliExpress that never arrived, so then I bought another extravagant quinceañera dress from David’s Bridal two days before the shoot. The photographs went well. Flora can be tamed if you dangle enough treats next to a camera.
However, the scam component came in when they showed me the photos. They placed me in a strangely deep room, where I was sitting what felt like 100 feet away from the projection, and so the beautiful photo that filled the space ended up being at least 60 inches wide. When then adjusted the aspect ratio to match the size I won in the contest, a 14 inch frame, such a distance made the image look tiny and underwhelming. If it were an eye exam, even people with 20/20 vision could risk failing. Because I had measured a space on my wall before I went to the shoot, I knew that I could fit a frame up to 24 inches wide, and I was willing to upgrade and shell out some money if it wasn’t more than, I don’t know, a hundred dollars? But the jump from 14 to 20 inches was $1,500 dollars, and the ideal size I wanted to purchase was SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS.
So I got my 14 inch photo, returned my dress to David’s Bridal, and will get my framed portrait in 3 to 5 months without spending a dime.