We only used PP once, on our triplets' first birthday. That is probably our last visit there.

We made our appointment for first thing, and the photographer was late, had no props to get them to smile and no creative ideas. My sister (as our extra pair of hands) ran to the card shop to get a balloon to get them to smile. The photographer took 10 pictures in the 50 minutes we were there.

My advice is this: you know your child and his/her limitations. My boys are very active, and I should not have let the photographer have the great idea of putting one up on the big wooden box, with another crawling out and my daughter standing on the side. The one on top immediately tried to crawl off, and fell smack on his head before my husband or I could get there to catch him. That was when my husband said this is the end of our session. He had a big goose egg on his head for his first birthday party.

We now choose to go to a professional photographer. It's more expensive, but we get better attention, better props and she shoots 60+ pictures in the 40 minutes we are there. Plus she has gorgeous gardens and we get great outdoor shots.