Chain Portrait Studio VS. Professional Photographer Studio

May 20, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

 

 

The following information was originally done by Kristina Pomerleau of Kristina Pomerleau Photography out of Millbury Ma.  It's great information for anyone who is considering getting portraits done.  Thank you Kristina!

Chain Portrait Studio VS. Professional Photographer - THE VALUE ISN'T ALWAYS IN THE PRICE!

 

I have been hearing a lot of people talk about going to one of the various "chain portrait studios" to have family portraits taken. When asked how it was decided to use one of these studios, most people said that professional photographers "just cost too much". I decided to take a few minutes and make a couple phone calls to compare the services of these large studios to the services that I offer my clients. Here is the information that I was given when I called each studio:

 

Sears:

$14.99 Sitting Fee

Up to 9 poses

$119.00 for a CD with images and copyright

$14.99 per "sheet" for prints up to 8X10 than prices go much higher

"additional editing costs vary"

 

Picture People:

No Sitting

up to 40 pictures total

$250 for images on a CD with copyright BUT you only get 12 FULL SIZE images on the disk after that they reduce the size and quality of the photos so that if you try to print them, they will be grainy and pixelated. (REALLY??? why bother??)

 

JC Penney:

$9.99 per person sitting fee

up to 30 images

$100 for images on a CD with copyright

$16.99 per "sheet" for prints up to 8X10 than prices go much higher

 

Kiddie Kandids (Babies-R-Us)

No sitting Fee

up to 9 poses

$199 for images on a CD with copyright

* Note - I could not get a definitive answer on print prices

 

Picture Me (Wal-Mart)

Is apparently impossible to get into contact with. I tried multiple times making this one a hit or miss if you have to rely on "walk in" availability.

 

A couple facts worth noting:

 

  • All of these studios have a session length of 15 minutes (yes, you read that correctly - 15 MINUTES!) I sure hope you don't have a crying baby, that could really eat up that session!

 

  • The employees are not hired based on experience in fact most have NO experience and watch a quick turorial about how to operate the camera which is in "auto" mode; literally a point and shoot type of job.

 

  • The average family spends approximately $350 on their session once they have ordered enough prints for their entire family.

 

The one thing that I can guarantee from these large studios is poor quality, "cookie cutter" images, corny smiles, and awkwardness! Lets not forget chopped off heads, motion blur from arms moving at the wrong time, and the famous prop "stairway to nowhere" as I call it.

 


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