I nervously stepped out from my 'comfort zone' and tried a NEW photo studio. Since Kristopher was born we've been going to a photo studio that does BEAUTIFUL portraits and that are wonderful to work with and spend a lot of time with our family. They did GREAT on our last 2 sets of portraits since Micah and Emma came home and that really says something because there's no question that it can be hard to work with 4 kids to get a good photo!
Really, the only reason we decided to try out a new studio is because they seemed to have better pricing. We've done this once before and we got what we paid for :( . It wasn't awful, it just wasn't the high quality we were used to.
So, with some trepidation we called up Portrait Innovations and made an appointment. I called just to find out about pricing and was somewhat confused by their way of explaining it on the phone. What I did understand was that it was $15/sheet and $16.50 for 3 sheets of 1 pose. They also have a $9.95 deal that they advertise and it's a package with a ton of pictures of the same pose. You can only do ONE of those deals "per promotional period" (not exactly sure what that means yet... because it seems to me they've been doing this 'promotion' for over a year?). Anyway, the 3 sheets can be of any different 'cuts'. 8x10, 2 5x7s, 4 3x5s, or 8 wallets.
And depending on how many poses you buy you also receive other 'free' bonus things. We ordered a pose of each of the 5 kids individually and one of the 4 kids together. We did the 9.95 package for our family picture. With that order we received a CD with low resolution photos on it of our ENTIRE sitting (not just the ones we purchased) and we were told we could use them for digital stuff. The CD also has the high res photos on it, encrypted. So if we want reprints of the photos we'd bring the CD back to them for them to print them off. We also received two 'bonus' 10x13 portraits. We could choose from a vignette, a black and white or sepia, a '2 pose' picture, or a '3 pose' picture. We decided on a 2-pose (featuring one of each of the two boys) and a 3-pose (with one of each of the three girls).
So... you can do the math, but it was $115 and change after tax for 38 sheets of photos! That's just over $3/sheet :)
I mentioned the other photo studio that we've gone to up until this time... Their photos are $15/sheet. Their 'packages' are $40 (this is a low guess, I think it was $40 something) and are an 8x10, 2 5x7 and 8 wallets (no choice of different sizes). Really what we wanted were family photos to share and large pic's of each child and the group of kids. We would have bought the package for that one and gotten an additional 5x7 sheet ($55). We would have gotten ourselves 8x10s of each of the kids and one of the 4 kids together ($90). Then we would have put grandparents' names on the list of people allowed to order reprints so that they could go get additional photos if they'd like... because we couldn't afford to give them any more! I usually have a coupon for one free sheet and 20% off additional purchases... so 10 sheets would have cost us about $110.
We got almost 4x as many pages of photos and paid $5.
And the photos are really great!
Ok, the only 'down side' I see... they were not as free about taking multiple pic's of one pose or checking to make sure they got a good one before going on. So we had several attempts that we COULD have gotten a great photo, but by the time Brianna decided to smile, Kristopher had the back of his head in it or Emma looked down... Just trying an extra minute would have gotten an AWESOME picture. But it wasn't the case.
Oh, and that whole 'disability factor'? We DID tell them ahead of time that we had children with disabilities, we planned an appointment and made sure to eat an early dinner and leave plenty of time to get to the pictures. We also asked ahead and to see if they would have an additional person besides the cameraman available to help pose the kids and get their attention. In our case we ended up with 2 people because we were the only ones there and hey, our kids are fun! :) At 6:15 as we finished looking at photos and choosing what to buy... the ladies at the studio commented that they were the best behaved little ones they'd had all day. I say this not to brag (tho I guess i can do a bit of that here too since it is my blog LOL) but to say that the entire experience was pleasant for both our family and the photographers. I wonder whether they had expectations one way or the other when I told them over the phone on Friday that we were bringing in 5 children under 7 and 3 that are disabled? I think they might have a different opinion now :) At least I hope so!!
Anyway, there's our photo experience. One that we'll DEFINITELY repeat in the future.