View Full Version : Sears

Jennifer Wright
09-16-2001, 09:44 PM
I always get the Sears coupons (usually found in the One Step Ahead catalog, but I've found them in a baby coupon mailing I get from time to time). You get 53 portraits for only $7.95. More than enough for all of the relatives. They are all of the same pose, and you have to pay a sitting fee ($10 usually), and it has to be the first acceptable pose (no going back). BUT, you can't beat the price. If you join their SmileSavers Plan, you are not charged a sitting fee. You can usually join for $30.

10-26-2001, 08:27 PM
I bought a SmileSavers membership almost a year ago and have been happy with it. I always go with the portrait sheets, rather than the package because that way I can pick the poses I really want, not just the first one -- the ones towards the end of the shoot are always better photos IMHO. I don't have a very large family, so I usually end up buying about 5 sheets and I can mix & match the poses.

If I were getting pictures done very often, I'd probably go with the package, but for my situation (3x/year -- Christmas, my son's birthday and a family photo) the sheets work out best.


11-07-2001, 12:24 PM
I agree with the sheets purchase, it's usually a much better deal. I joined the smile savers plan ($29.95 for 2yrs) because I figured I'd go at least 3 times during my sons first year alone. I get coupons in those Val-Pack mailings, sometimes for as little as $3.95/sheet. That way I get exactly the sizes I need and I can choose a bumch of different poses.

You can also get coupons from their website. Right now the deal is $5.99/sheet.


The only complaint I have is they don't update their backgrounds and props very often. We had 6, 12 and 18 month portraits, plus a Christmas shot done and we've pretty much run through their backgrounds/props.

12-19-2001, 11:56 AM
We also get the coupons in the mail, and have purchased the Smile Savers Plan. We get our daughter's picture taken once a month, and plan to do so until she turns 2 years old. Since we do this so often, we just go with the $7.95 package. Although, when she turned one in October we used the coupon for $3.95 per sheet so that we could purchase several different poses. We post her pictures on our website, it is fun to see how she changes from month to month.

04-25-2002, 09:27 PM
We used this cupon before the holidays and had a horrible experience! You could only choose certain backgrouds for their "Special" and had to pick photo you wanted right as it was taken, even though after the shoot you could view ALL the pictures taken and get prints of those.. why you had to pick it without seeing all the ones taken is beyond me! Then, the wait time to get your picture was long, even with an appointment. Then they would not let you bring in your stroller..which had our shopping items in it. Then the two "young" people (and I do mean young) tried to take my son's pictures. The one girl kept yelling at the boy to "Take the picture" which he then would, which was three or more seconds too late as the yelling had now wiped the smile off my son's face..Then they would both say "AWww.. how cute" to a picture that my son had his eyes closed, looking down, tongue out or otherwise not cute at all. They took 5 pictures like this and then said that I was only allowed 5 takes and had to pick one. I was FURIOUS!
We go to the picture people and they are great.. I think sears wins the award for photo nincompoops.

We won't go back.. no matter how good the deal is!

06-12-2002, 01:35 PM
Like any photo studio, you need to feel like you are getting professional service. The first time we went to Sears and I saw lots of young girls (16-20) as the photographers, I thought "Oh no!" But this group is WONDERFUL! The daytime, full-time photography studio staff at our location is patient, witty and fun. My DS always smiles for them and we get wonderful poses to choose from. But we had a disastrous experience with the nighttime, part-time staff. From now on, we'll go during the day only.

I, too, choose the sheet coupon over the package. I can't imagine what I would do with 53 pictures of my kid! But I have a small family.

Just my 2 cents.


07-24-2002, 12:20 PM
** Posting this under Sears and Picture People**

I've gone to Sears 2x with my now 1yr old daughter. The first time was when she was 3.5 months old. It was a less than thrilling experience. We bought the smile savers plan, never got the card and then endured a photo session with a girl that I think was still in high school. She kept shaking a rattle to get my daughter's attention even after I explained to her that 3.5 month olds don't look to where sound comes from yet.

When presented with our 5 shots to choose from we had to go with the 2 shots where she didn't have any limbs cut off. They are okay shots but we actually liked one of the others better...but the girl cut off beth's legs!

For her first Christmas pictures we went to Picture People...OMG what a difference! I used a coupon for a free 8x10/10x13 and a free sitting and we were pleased as punch. The photographer was professional, engaged my daughter, asked her name and what she was and wasn't capable of and we got some really amazing shots. Yes we spent a little more than at Sears...but OMG it was worth it.

Since Christmas we have been back 3x...most recently this past weekend for my daughter's 1yr pictures. Again and again I am impressed by the professionalism and knowledge of these photographers. There is OBVIOUSLY a lot more training done here than at Sears. The PP photographers always manage to capture the true personality of my daughter in unique (at least to me) shots and poses that are really beautiful. We also did a recent sitting for family portraits and they came out first rate as well.

Last month, my sister was visiting and I thought it would be good to get a picture of me, her and my daughter for a gift for my dad. I thought I would try Sears again as to not totally waste the smile savers plan that we bought last fall. Thinking that maybe the location was the problem....we went to a different Sears than the first time. Here the photographer's were nicer and more professional...at least compared to the other Sears, but the pictures actually almost turned out worse.

They are grainy and the colors are odd. We invested in getting the digital files on disk...and the quality is horrendous. I could NEVER use any of these files to print anything even resembling acceptable. On top of everything we had to wait for close to a month (in the middle of the summer!!!) for our prints. I told my husband that I didn't care how much we paid for that plan, I was never wasting my time or my money there again.

I can't tell you how many compliments we receive on our Picture People photos. Our relatives...which are spread out all over the world....are so appreciative of the great photos of our daughter that we send to them. We will be going to Picture People for years to come.


08-12-2002, 03:32 PM
Just curious which Sears store you had this terrible experience in. My dd gets very upset at taking these pictures and I wouldn't want to run into this situation, although the session we had a month ago started off badly but after 1/2 hr. the lady finally got her smiling. She is the ONLY one to get her to do so, and we've been there 5 times now. Thanks for the heads up.

08-13-2002, 02:39 PM
I take my dd for pics at Sears but I want to know: What is the deal w/ their pictures being smaller than a normal size?!!! None of the sizes are "normal". Thus, the picture looks cheesy in any picture frame. The only way to avoid looking at the white border is cutting a custom matt and using a larger frame, which I do not care to have to do. Any comments?

08-13-2002, 06:46 PM
I guess I haven't framed any of mine, yet, but I had a problem with the wallets being "larger" than "normal." I had bought a bunch of those acrylic frames with the magnets on the back to give as Christmas gifts last year, and I had to cut down all of the pictures (from Sears) before I put them in the frames. I think we did frame some 5x7's to give to my MIL (also for Christmas) and I don't remember having a problem with them in the frame. Hmmmm??? I know they have the 3.5x5's, which are kind of a "weird" size, but I don't know about the rest. I've never gotten the package from them, just the portrait sheets.

08-13-2002, 09:32 PM
I actually joined the Smilesavers plan last year when I wanted to get photos done for Christmas Cards. The sitting fee for the entire family was $15, so I figured that if we did it twice (once each year) we paid for the membership, and I have taken my daughter back a couple of times since (including one time where I didn't like any of the photos so I left without paying a cent and Sears didn't bat an eyelash).

The cards were nice and I was also able to use a coupon (available in Oct-Dec) for 10 free cards. They come with envelopes and everyone loved them.

08-15-2002, 09:40 PM
I remember when I first started getting portraits at Sears something of theirs said the size of a 5x7 was slightly different - which I thought was to accomodate that particular size to the sheet. Well this time I measured all of them and they are all 1/4" small in each direction. That is too much! If the backdrop on the photo is light it isn't so bad but if you chose a dark one it looks cheap. I think nobody says anything because a)they don't actually frame them or b)don't want to upset me when I give them the pictures.
I am thinking through my options for next time. I did see a Picture People store in the mall near here (Shops at Mission Viejo, CA) and there is NO CHANCE my dd would be able to do it - the "studio" is facing the glass walled front of the store. And there were lots of people waiting in the front waiting for their turn. No thanks!

08-16-2002, 08:17 AM
If it's anything like our Picture People...that isn't the only studio there is at least one if not two more in the back in separate rooms. Just request to use one of the back ones, that's all.


08-25-2003, 11:22 PM
I think part of it depends on which Sears location you go to. Although I believe the coupon for the package "special" clearly states that it is for the "first accepted pose." Which is why I go for the portrait sheets instead. We've never had our stroller along, but I don't think it would have been a problem to take it inside.

The girls we've had taking the pictures have always been very patient. For my son's 1st birthday pictures, the first girl had trouble getting a good pic, so she called in a second girl to take over, hoping she had better luck getting him to smile, etc. And she did. They even let us take a little bottle break when it was obvious my son was getting fussy and thirsty. They took 15 shots until we got 6 good ones--6 is pretty much the max, although at Christmas we had 7 shots, but could only pick six for the proof sheet (which was okay since one of them wasn't really that good).

We have always been able to pick out which ever background and props we wanted. We even used our own teddy bear in the Christmas pics because it was a gift from my MIL to my son. And they let us take as long as we needed to afterwards to pick out the sheets/poses we wanted.

--Sue B.
SAHM to Evan Jeffrey 03-11-01