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  1. #11
    Krista Guest

    Default RE: The Picture People?

    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.


  2. #12
    Melanie is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Feb 2002

    Default It's hit & miss

    Our first 3 trips were great...our last two were terrible. It's like the people had no clue how to work with children. Granted a 1 year old is more difficult to be happy and smile, but they didn't even try.

    We went to Kidde Kandids last time and it was better. Their management was just as terrible (only scheduling ONE person on a work holiday evening). However, the women was really good with my son and we got some good photos with props that weren't all falling apart, etc. The minus is that there are no appointments...and since we don't live close enough to one to show up when the doors open...
    Boy - 10 years, Girl - 6 Years Old!, (What am I still doing here?! LOL) Dog - Eternal Puppy , Me - Done .

  3. #13
    JuliMom Guest

    Default RE: It's hit & miss

    Tried them all... sticking with JCPenney!
    I could not agree more with so many of these posts! After having years of wonderful experiences with Sears Portraits as I was growing up, I too tried them with my daughter. Two horrible sittings and a wasted Smile Club membership later (poor quality of printed photos, incredible wait-times, and inexperienced photographers with all kinds of poor setups).

    I tried Picture People and was blown away. We returned 3 more times in 3 months (even with family groups) and was extremely impressed each time. Unfortunately, after a major turnover of staff we had 3 terrible experiences (I kept hoping for that magic from previous shoots!) and gave up once and for all. Very poor lighting, timing and print quality added to very inexperienced and impatient staffing. The worst one was for my DD's first birthday where the photographer was a scary-looking very pushy young man who seemed to frighten small children (no smiles anywhere!) - I walked out with just my free 8x10... and that wasn't good either! I did at least get my money's worth from the Portrait Club before disaster struck!

    In the end, I truly LOVE JCPenney. They have not disappointed in the 7 times I have gone there in the past year, the posing/cropping and backgrounds are engaging, the prices are wonderful, the photo quality is excellent and their staff makes everyone so comfortable we get smiles galore from my DD for each shot!

    Good Luck!

  4. #14
    Melanie is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Feb 2002

    Default RE: It's hit & miss

    We love Picture People for the 6 weeks, 3 months & 6 months visits. The 9 month was a little tougher, but Ds was tired. The 1 year was a disaster. We tried 2 different locations and neither did a good job with my son. It was like they didn't know what to do with children. I think it's just the quality of staff. Some are good, some are terrible.

    We've been to kiddie kandids twice now and really like it AND they use digital so they know immediately if a pose didn't turn out.
    Boy - 10 years, Girl - 6 Years Old!, (What am I still doing here?! LOL) Dog - Eternal Puppy , Me - Done .

  5. #15
    tylerr25 Guest

    Default RE: The Picture People?

    I have used the picture people a number of times as well as J.C. Penney, Sears and WalMart. Here is my experience:

    I was unimpressed with Sears...I wouldn't go back...they did not do a good job..the photographer was inexperienced and the pictures came out ok...but they were cheap.

    Wal Mart was pretty get what you pay for..but to buy their package it was only $ easy to have extra pictures around...I wouldn't do them as your only option. They were O.K.

    I have been to Picture People a number of times. Some of my pictures have turned out fabulous and some not so good. The quality of the pict5ues are a little fuzzy...I have always thought that was the look they were going for. I haven't had any problems with the props...and have had a mix bag of photographers. I am a member of the club...but typically go mostly when I get a free 8x10...I have found it is really easy to get sucked into spending a lot of money there. (I am curently planning to get the free 8x10 for a father's day gift)

    I have really been happiest with J.C.Penney. THe quality of the pictures is clearer than the Picture People. Also, at our local store the photographers all seem to be wonderful...they really engage my 2year old and have since she was a baby. I seem to keep getting coupons where their whole package is about $6.00 and that includes 1 10x13, 2 8x10, 2 5x7, and a bunch of 31/5x5 and wallets. I tend to have so many pictures that even after giving them to all the relatives, and friends I still have extras (partly b/c I get my daughters picture taken often). At our store they also have special
    days where they will let you bring your family dog for a picture,
    or at Easter they took pictures with a live bunny...really cute.We have even gotten a family portrait done there and Christmas cards. Their Christmas Cards were really affordable...and cheaper than trying to order extra sheets. Overall I would say that they not only have the best quality..but also the best prices.

  6. #16
    Cinder Guest

    Default RE: The Picture People?

    I hated the one and only time I went to Picture People. I went on a quiet weekday with my then-one year old. We had an appointment; there was only one other family in the place and they seemed to be almost done. Even so, they stuck us in the 'studio' closest to the mall window. I had tried to get another room but was told that one was the only one set up for photos right then. I felt ridiculous making my silly faces in front of the people sitting on the benches near the window. The props were worn and tired looking. The 'photographer' had no idea how to work with a not-so-babyish baby. She hid behind the camera. Worse, the photos looked awful. My daughter, who is normally complimented for her beautiful complexion, looked like she had the flu. Every shot was washed out. The topper was that the best shot (and I only got to choose one with the coupon I had) had a great big glob that showed up on the print. The "photographer' went back to check the negative & sure enough, it was on the negative & they couldn't do anything about it. Their solution was to write out a creative release form so that I could take the print to Kinko's and fix it myself. I've had disappointing experiences with Sears (the lab misplaced an entire day's worth of shots from my store so I didn't get last years Xmas pics til mid-January), and this year Penney's messed up my order. Still, I'd go to either of those places long before I'd go to Picture People again because I found the photo quality of Picture People to be that bad.

  7. #17
    photo21 Guest

    Default RE: The Picture People?

    At the Picture People the photographers have only been trained for 2 days and they are to take your kids portraits. But also please keep in mind that the parents sometimes aren't very helpful either. Just because your child smiles at home with you doesn't mean that when you put them in a suit or a dress and put them in a foreign environment that the same thing is going to happen. Do not complain about every little thing. It gets annoying. Oh I see a spot here or there. Please leave it alone.

  8. #18
    Photographer4Life Guest

    Default RE: The Picture People?

    Believe me I have been on both sides of the fence on this issue. I remember spending hours getting my children ready for pictures only to be extremely dissapointed and sometimes out right angry at our experience.

    However, the fault for bad portraits lies on many shoulders, not just the photographer. I make it a point to get to know the children I photograph. (I have been doing this for many, many years)

    I give them a chance to know me. Many little ones have stranger issues and will quickly go into meltdown mode when a stranger approaches them. This should be expected by EVERY photographer. That is why I take a few minutes, with moms help to let them check me out, and try to put them at ease. Although I try my heart out, there are those children who just simply do not like me. It is at that point that it is up to me to get another associate to step in and try before the session even begins. I mean lets face it, what kind of pictures will you end up with if the child is screaming and crying, with red swollen eyes and a runny nose?

    But in the same turn, If mom comes in already stressed out and expecting a bad experience, the child, however young, picks up on mom's stress. Then they stress, and it is not a good situation. I even had a dad once threaten to spank his son if he didn't be still and take his pictures! " Yeah dad, that will really work out for ya!" I thought, " Let's threaten him with a spanking, That way he will have that fear of god look in his eyes for every shot! That will really be a great photo!"

    My Point is this, when it comes to taking pictures, you have several factors involved in determining the outcome. Is the child tired, hungry? Sick? ( yes they have brought me a child with the flu to photograph) Teething?

    Is mom or dad in a bad mood? Has the photographer had a bad day? Are they experienced ? Do they love the job or are they just earning a paycheck? These are all factors you must consider when choosing a photographer and a studio. I can 100% guarantee that all of us are human and it is up to us as parents to find a good photographer, whether it is Sear's, Penny's, Picture People , or anywhere else. Once we find that gem, stick with them. It is a relationship with a person you are creating, the company just gets the benefit of the profit.

    Just because you come across a crappy photographer at a company, please do not assume that everyone is that bad, give them the chance of redeeming themselves by using another photographer, talking with management, or the corporate offices. I Promise you that someone cares at some level and will try to make it right.

    And be assured that some of us out there truly love what we do and bringing out the best in your children is our drives to be great at what we do.

    Wishing you many happy photo experiences! :>

    A Photographer 4 Life

  9. #19
    angeleyes Guest

    Default RE: The Picture People?

    I love the Picture People in my mall. You get them back fast and they are very accomodating with walk-ins. Sometimes they can be extremely busy but they always try there hardest in the sessions. I watch as I wait to take my daughter's pictures. Sometimes it's not the photographer's fault. Some parents can be very unruly. They call it terrible two's for a reason. Children between the ages of 9mths to sometimes 3 years get scared. I don't understand why if you are having a hard time that you don't talk to the manager. They have been great to me. Always try again and ask for an experienced photographer. I usually reuqest the Manager.

    Sears and JC Penney's aren't. Besides you don't get your portraits back for three weeks. I'm already then trying to take more photos of my daughter. You always feel like your a mth behindwith your childs growth. I took my newborn in to JCPenney's only because they had the rose background. I saw a really cute portrait online that I wanted them to create of my daughter. The girl had no idea what she was doing. She told me there camera couldn't go up that high. She didn't offer to take any additional shots then the ones I had mentioned. Hey, your the photographer, not me. As a new mom if she would have taken additional shots, I would have bought them. Then when I went to view my portraits I couldn't really see them on the screen. The girl goes, "Oh don't worry, they won't look like this. The color and quality will be there when you get them." I wanted to see that then. If you look at Sears and JC Penney - they are trying to be the Picture People. There poses are starting to look exactly alike. Whatever happened to creating your own identity. You can definitely tell a portrait of the Picture People's because of there brand. Whenever I think of the other's I think cheap and unprofessional. Why would I pay for horizon lines???

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