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Where's a good place to get a plain boring family portrait?

 
 
sozobe
 
Reply Sat 8 Dec, 2007 04:49 pm
OK, interesting beautiful family portrait would be good too but probably out of my price range.

Or maybe not... that's what I'm here to ask.

My MIL wants a family portrait for Christmas. (Of us -- me, E.G., sozlet.) I take decent photos of sozlet and so I don't usually go the portrait studio route -- we've done that twice so far ever, and both were because of special one-time-only introductory deals. And both were in another city.

I could do the whole timer whatever on my camera but I never have before, and last time MIL wanted a family portrait my dad took it and getting the lighting, background etc. decent took FOREVER. Studio seems simpler.

MIL just wants a 5 X 7. If we're going to go ahead and do the session, might as well get one for ourselves (8 X 10?) and have a couple more prints for my own parents. Etc. Not too many -- not for xmas cards or anything for example, I don't think. And nothing huge.

I'm thinking of doing just, like, Sears. Fine?

Any pointers? Rough expectations of cost?

Thanks!
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 6,347 • Replies: 33
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Dec, 2007 04:54 pm
I would do it for free, just pay the transportation expenses ...

Honestly, I'm always thinking that family potraits are a livesaver when you run out of ideas.
(A set costs here in a studio about $100 - one small poster-seize plus four smaller prints.)
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shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Dec, 2007 04:56 pm
I know here in Austin this would work very well for you , but one suggestion I have is to post to Craigslist.

Creative services- outline exactly what you want and just ask people to send you their price.

ALOT ( again.. here in austin..) of students post their small ads to get work while they are going through school... sometimes photography studios will post a sale.. or some other savings..
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Dec, 2007 05:02 pm
I don't think I want to mess around with Craigslist for this one. (Might luck out, might not, hard to tell the difference ahead of time.) Simplicity is good.

For example, this looks like it'd be just fine:

http://www.searsportrait.com/cpi/en-US/offers/Package/Package.htm

Sounds like it would be between $25 and $45 total, depending on what size photos are included in the portrait package (they don't say). One pose is fine.

I don't know if Sears is to be avoided, though.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Dec, 2007 05:03 pm
Walter Hinteler wrote:
I would do it for free, just pay the transportation expenses ...


Ah, that's all! ;-)

(Can't you just send over that wonder camera of yours? Then again, once it's properly packed and insured and everything, I'm not sure it'd be that much cheaper than your plane ticket...)
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kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Dec, 2007 05:06 pm
My first thought was Sears, but you already thought of that, so I guess there's your answer.
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Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Dec, 2007 05:10 pm
I don't know what they charge, but my nephew sent us a photo greeting card from Portrait Innovations. It was very cute.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Dec, 2007 05:14 pm
I think of sears as the penultimate in ordinary but also probably dependable and well priced within that.

You can gear up for more meaningful photos on your own... (and hurry up, I say, me who hasn't gotten her dig cam going). Numbers aren't that important, but some....

I was a child with more photos of me than this world dreams of (dad in the film industry), no kidding, and all these years later it is a sign of, in particular, my father's love, as he was also away most of the time in my baby and toddlerhood/childhood. There was one particularly funny/touching booklet...

I have a bias toward real life photos, posed only in the cartier bresson sense, but think any are better, usually, than none. To hired photographers, I gravitate to people like boomer and shewolf, however they may personally differ.

Another side of the coin, though, is that my niece grew to hate having her photo taken, and as far as I know, at this date, is only now making room for the camera as a useful thing.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Dec, 2007 05:21 pm
Oh hey, Swimpy, check it out!

http://www.portraitinnovations.com/special_offers.html

Thanks! That looks like a good 'un, and way more specifics than Sears was offering online.

I agree about wanting to visit independent studios/ photographers if possible. I'm worried about cost though (we'll see what that local place has to say when they do get back to me). I think my MIL would frankly prefer boring and conventional, though, and this will be for her with some extra prints tacked on.
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Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Dec, 2007 05:26 pm
The price is right!
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Dec, 2007 05:31 pm
There's a string of stores here called Picture People that have done some good work for us. Sears was dreadful, IMO.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Dec, 2007 05:42 pm
To be frank, I threw out all sears like photos from friends and relatives (I was always odd). Well, not all at once, but over the years I did that.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Dec, 2007 06:00 pm
Things might have changed but what I never liked about Sears was the crappy paper they used. It always seemed to yellow and curl.

I've seen ads from Portrait Innovations and thought they looked pretty cute and very reasonably priced.

Do you have a "Celebrity Kids" studio there. Don't be completely put off by the name. I've heard some decent things about them - kind of like Glamour Shots without the Glamour. I have no idea what kind of prices they charge though.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Dec, 2007 06:28 pm
I found a little blurb about their prices on a business web site that said:

Quote:
The standard sitting fee is $35; and the $299 full portfolio package includes five 8-by-10 prints, ten 5-by-7 prints, one matted and framed 11-by-14 print, and several wallet-size prints.


That looks like a lot of bang for the buck.
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Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Dec, 2007 06:32 pm
Most Walmart Supercenter's have a photography studio and Olan Mills is a good one.
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martybarker
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Dec, 2007 06:39 pm
I liked Swimpy's suggestion. I've used Sears in the past and have been pleased.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Dec, 2007 06:59 pm
Picture People, that was one of the studios I used before that had the special offer. They were pretty good. I'll see what they have on offer.

$299 is waaay out of my price range at this point. The Portrait Innovations package is $9.99 total -- sitting fee (well, no sitting fee charged), plus the 5 X 7 I need, plus three more of 'em, plus some 8 X 10's, plus this and that. That looks like the winner so far though I'll check Picture People for good measure. I'm glad you have a generally positive impression of them (Portrait Innovations), Boomer, thanks. I was definitely hoping for your input.

I definitely have the impression that a plain ol' studio portrait is what my MIL would like -- that's what she orders up herself (for her own family portraits) and what she'll have next to our photo on her mantel. I think she was happy with the last one we sent (the one my dad took) but maybe wished it was a bit more "normal." (In it, sozlet is pulling E.G.'s hair and he's looking down and laughing after having just protested loudly, she's also looking down and giggling, and I'm looking at the camera in a slighly long-suffering "would you take the picture already??" way.) (I think it's a great pic, especially the twin gigglers, even if it's not the best full-on view of their faces.)
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Dec, 2007 07:16 pm
No Picture Peoples in Columbus, so it looks like Portrait Innovations is the winner unless someone comes in with an 11th-hour "WAIT! This place is great and cheap, ya gotta go..!"

Thanks for the recommendation, Swimpy, and thanks everyone for all that info in such a short time. I love how I can kinda flounder around researching something, ask about it on A2K, and boom, a couple of hours later I know just what to do. You guys rock.
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Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Dec, 2007 09:14 pm
You're welcome. I hope it goes well.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Dec, 2007 08:08 am
While Sears has a talented ad agency boosting their portraits, Sears also has earned a good reputation.

The price is right.
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