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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Default Professional Photos

    So, I can't figure out from looking it up online how much places like Sears or Olan Mills actually end up being? Can anyone give me an idea of how much they ended up spending? Can you get a CD of the digital photos or can you only purchase prints?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    7,253

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    Quote Originally Posted by akh2011 View Post
    So, I can't figure out from looking it up online how much places like Sears or Olan Mills actually end up being? Can anyone give me an idea of how much they ended up spending? Can you get a CD of the digital photos or can you only purchase prints?
    Sears has tiered packages and depending on which package you get you can get a professional quality photo CD (ie. you can print your own photos). Just buying the CD by itself is prohibitively expensive (like $250). When we went last time, we got the CD and 11 pages of pictures for around $100. That included the sitting fee.

    At the picture people, the CD they give you is not professional quality, so you can post pictures on facebook but if you print them they come out fuzzy.

    The last time I went ot an Olan Mills was when I was in high school but I recall it being $, probably more expensive than Sears.
    Mommy to my little bear cubs DD1 and DD2- 4/2010 and 4/2012

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Midwest
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    IMO, it's better to find someone who does pictures on the side. We found our photographer through a friend (it's her sister), she charges $90 for a 1 to 2 hour session and gives you a disc of ALL the edited images. She does a really great job, much better than the pics we got from the studio place and paid a lot more for. A lot of those places in our area just have high schoolers taking the pics and the packages aren't really great deals. There are people posting picture specials on our CL all the time too, but we got burned that way and nearly had to take the person to small claims court before she finally gave us everything that was supposed to be included (and the pics weren't that great either), so I recommend going by word of mouth, if you can find someone.
    Angie

    Mom to
    DD- 9/09-9/09
    DS- 2011 DS2- 2012 DS3- 2015 DD-2019

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    10

    Default

    thanks guys. I have someone I want to use but she is pricey so I just wondered how much I would save by going with a company.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    central VA
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    Quote Originally Posted by akh2011 View Post
    thanks guys. I have someone I want to use but she is pricey so I just wondered how much I would save by going with a company.
    Ok, so there are a few differences between the two experiences that can impact price.

    Places like JCPenny and Sears and Olan Mills and other portrait places train their photographers to operate their equipment in the most cursory way. You should not get major shadows, the shots you see will be in focus, properly lit and properly exposed. But you usually get a 15 minute slot and if your kid is not happy in that 15 minutes, you may be out of luck.

    These places also train their photographers as sales people. Typically, you will sign up for a membership or you will get a coupon for a deal and then they show you all the shots they selected for you, sit down with you and sell you a package. The classic technique is to throw away or delete the pics you say you don't want. This can be hard for parents to see perfectly good pics of their kids on the floor or in the trash.

    If you have willpower and resolve and you just want some pictures of your kids that were not taken by YOU, this is the way to go. However, it CAN get pricey b/c they really want to sell more.

    A pro photog will book you for a sitting or a session and you can choose if you want to go with a studio photog or an outdoor photograoher. Your images will likely have more "character". These shots may not all be techinically perfect but you will have an opportunity to do more than just sit and smile.

    They may offer packages as well, but when you factor in what you get for the price, they make sense. So a pro photog starts off more expensive but you get more for that money to begin with.

    It just really depends on what your priorities are, what you plan to do with these pictures, etc.

    If you really are strapped for cash, go with Sears or JCP. I like JCP better, personally. No experience with the other chains, myself. But you can get coupons, etc.

    If you have the money to go with an independent professional and you are looking for something more dynamic, go for it.

    If you want something in between the two, cruise Craigslist for newbie photographers offering deals in order to build their business.
    ---------
    A-M
    happy mother to DD1, 7/08 & DD2, 2/12
    charter member of the BBB I Love Brussels Sprouts Society, 1/11

    I believe in the power of BBB Good Mojo.
    ---------

  6. #6
    SnuggleBuggles is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    I could get out of Sears spending under $50, usually under $30. Sitting and photos, btw. I do have restraint.

  7. #7
    WatchingThemGrow is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    Try Portrait Innovations if there is one anywhere near you. We've had great luck there, and we feel it is worth the price.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    154

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    We go to Portrait Innovations also. No sitting fee. They print the same day while you wait. They have a $10 package that comes with like a billion prints of one pose you choose. Then you can add 3 sheets of another pose for $25 more. I have 4 kids so I at least take them each around their birthday. Portrait Innovations has a great family set up and their camera isn't hooked to a bar like at sears. They can follow your kids all around taking random shots of them. My house is plastered with amazing professional pictures and I don't ever regret only getting one or two poses. By getting the cheaper package I can take them all the time and change out my photos frequently.

    I've been to Sears and Pennys also. I get the $10 package with them too but haven't been as happy with the quality. I've also hired a real photographer and taken some myself. All the options are valid, I just prefer to switch out my pics often.

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