Yes The marketing at Portrait Place is very strong.The Professional Studio 252 at Preston ,Paignton ,Devon has good marketing as well and the Photography is Superb.The Studio 252 is Spacious, air conditioned and the Studio area has underfloor heating.David Lynch or his young photographer guarantee that you will be delighted with the photography.They are so confident that clients will love the portraits that you can go on the website and apply for a Complimentary Session /Shoot ...it includes a framed portrait as well ! The session is great ,you will not want to leave ....great fun, including Wind Machines , beautiful studio lighting ,makeovers ,it's a really exciting experience.The website is............. www.studio252.co.uk ................Take a look ............it's a good alternative to Pixie
It always amazes me how people bang on about paying for pictures taken by a professional. I am a semi Professional Photographer and I no longer do paid Portrait Sittings especially for people I know. My last and final straw sitting was for a colleague whom kept me waiting 4 months for payment and even then I had to ask for the money. I charged her £50 for 89 images copyright free on a disk taken at her home with professional flash over approx 2 hours and the images ranged from good to brilliant especially when compared to the cheap crappy snaps she had on her wall, and she acted like I had ripped her off. These photographers are on a time scale of 15 mins putting up with in most cases obnoxious brats, whom the mum thinks is cute... it's notFrank T
I have been going to the portrait place for 5 years now with my kids and the only problem I have is that I cant the photos home that day. As for the people complaining about the free photo if you actually tell one of the very nice photographers that you arent happy with it they will take another, I know this because I have done it! So basically if your not going to speak up for yourself at the time dont whine about it later and do bear in mind its FREE. They also offer some beautiful props and a selection of background colours, also a great variety of how your pictures can be printed and I highly recommend the acrylic blocks they look great. Not only do they sell pictures but they sell lovely frames at a reasonable price. I would and have recommended The portrait place to a friend.
I reviewed these photographers for a local magazine by spending a day in their studio and grilled them about the why's of their rules and what they do.
Firstly-Everyone who says its expensive! it isn't!! Its cheap photography-have you ever heard about the prices at Venture?£1000 for one photo-now thats ridiculous-Portrait Place- 20 photos for £200!-the reason they only do 15 minute photo sessions, is because the kids get restless, when I was there I watched mum's forcing there kids sit still and smile for the camera to get the perfect photo, after 4 shots the kids crying and having to leave-the first photo IS the gift one,its not a test shot and the photographer checks that u are happy with it before they move on.I mean there ARE restrictions to ur 1st photo,but u have to remember they're a business and there to make money,if we could all pick the free photo we wouldn't buy anything else...would we? its not paper with a picture on it-its a photograph done by a professional, not something u can take with ur mobile phone camera in ur living room and print out at boots. I think modern day digital cameras has let us forget that photography is a profession, its an art and its not like setting up a white sheet in your house with spot lights pointing at it - there is a big technical aspect behind it. If we had our portrait painted by a famous professional artist, people would pay hundreds maybe thousands, yet people complain at the price of 20 professional portraits for £200...makes you think, doesn't it??
Please understand, Pixi foto work at the LOW END of the market. Their photos are CHEAP! I read so many reviews saying "the photos are so expensive at £75!".
£75 is CHEAP, get that? CHEAP. So is £150, so is £250, it is CHEAP. Personally, I think PixiFoto/Portrait Place images are absolute rubbish, but they are great FOR THE MONEY. If you want to only spend £75 on images that you will have for the rest of your life, and that you will look back on in 20 years time, then Pixi Foto/Portrait Place are probably for you. Personally I think images of my children are the most important mememto I can have for the future, I would want to invest more than £75!
Yes the customer service is crap, the staff are barely trained, and you only get 10/15 minutes per sitting. WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FOR THE MONEY?
Stop moaning! They do a job to a price. If you are only prepared to pay peanuts, expect to work with monkeys. If you want better quality and to be treated better, go to a proper studio and pay proper money.
(BUT PLEASE STOP MOANING YOU CHEAPSKATES!!!)
I am absolutely appauled by the service (or lack of it) when I took my grandaughter to have her photos taken yesterday in Boots, Swansea. There were 2 pixie staff on site one girl and boy. The girl was busy with a customer selecting photos whilst the boy was on the other computer also composing photos. I stood there for 1/2 hour and in the meantime another couple stood beside me to which the girl acknowledged and I was totally ignored. Finally she asked what I wanted when I said 'to have photos taken' she said 'oh we are really busy the next time is in 2 hours'. I told her 'no way, you have seen me standing here for 1/2 hour before saying anything and I am not prepared to come back'. I walked out in disgust! I also stated very loudly that I was going to complain to their 'Head office'. I think the Company need to train some of their staff in 'Customer Care' after all if it wasn't for the customer they would not be in business and these people would not have jobs! I will never use them again and am wondering what the Company will say to me when I complain.
Like virtually all photographers - a con. You go on an offer of spending a few pounds, but of course spend hundreds because the 'free' picture they offer is one they select and not one you actually want. We went with our two kids and would have ended up spending several hundreds of pounds. In the end we weren't that happy and left without anything, so we went to find an alternative.
We found a place called Picture Proud (www.picture-proud.co.uk) - the only studio we could find working on a coyright free basis. Basically they spend an hour with you in the studio, you see all the images straight away and you simply decide if you are prepared to pay £160 for every image taken (we got over 500) in both colour and black-and-white. They put these on a disc so you can print them on your own if you want to. We decided to use there printing services, because Picture Proud were the same price as us going to Boots to get them printed.
At no point were we put under any pressure - in fact they don't even sit with you whilst you review the pictures. The staff were friendly and humerous and the kids had a great time, and therefore so did we. I wasn't looking forward to it, but it turned out to be a really great day. I couldn't find anything at all to fault and would reccomend it to anyone.
Just in case anyone out there has not been to another studio - trust me, my wife loves pictures and we've been to loads of other studios. Other places may start off sounding cheaper, but they'll not be in the end - Picture Proud represented fantastic value for money.
i used pixie photos in boots on the 1st april 2008 and woz told to return to veiw my photos on 18th april 2008 i did that and ordered the full package of lots of photos of my son and also ordered a poster size portrait which i was told could take 28 days to receive i then waited 28 days and didnt hear nothing so i called pixie photos and was told the person who deals with photos was not available so they took my details and said they would get him to call me i left it a few days and still hearing nothing i called back and they told me there had been a mistake and my photo had not been ordered but they could get it to me within 7 days. 7 days went past and still nothing so on the 8th day i phoned back 2 get told that i should not have been told 7 days i shouldv been told 28 days so i waited yet another 28 days and then i received a photo but when i opened it to my shock and dissapointment it was not my son so i phoned pixie photos to see what was going on and told that i should send it back and wait another 7 days for my photo so i waited again and no photo came so then i got very upset and phoned pixie photos up threatning legal action and with that they promised i would get my photo today wed 25th june 2008 and finally i did. i dont think i wounld be using pixie photos again and would definatly not reccommend them to anyone as this has caused me and my family alot of stress and upset which nobody needs especially when ypu are busy bringing up a new baby. maybe i would suggest trying another company as i will do for any other photos i want of my son.
'Through the eyes of a photographer' - Nasty, cheap, boring, in - personal, lazy, rushed......I worked for Pixi Photo as a photographer/dogs body!(not for long tho!)...I am so passionate about photography and i suppose a bit of a perfectionist, i expect my customers to enjoy themselves and about 95% of the time i do too..but no not with pixi, you get 15 mins to have photos taken, the photos one customer will get is about the same as the next will get, the staff that they employ are crap and its probably down to crap training and area managers talking through their arses....if you want a decent photoshoot dont go to pixi/portrait place, take your money somewhere else where you will have fun and the staff genuinley love kids...
A few weeks ago I graduated from university. I bought my mum and dad a photo voucher back in 2002 and came round to using it for some family graduation photos. These photos were taken by Dawson Strange (see other review). Despite agreeing to take additional shots when I booked the sitting the studio would only take family shots. I was fairly disappointed as I really wanted some professional photos with my fiancé. My dream was to have photos with all of the people who meant so much to me and had helped greatly throughout the difficult years at university.
We had received a great offer with Dawson Strange all those years back and unfortunately would have to pay £45 for a sitting alone to include my partner. I search high and low throughout Plymouth and surrounding towns but could not get a professional photo sitting at such short notice.
Someone mentioned Debenhams so I reluctantly visited the department store, sure that this studio would not exist. I looked for over 40 minutes then asked a store assistant hopelessly whether she had any idea where I could get them down in Plymouth...she replied on the top door next to the café. I could have started dancing I was really happy. But booking a last minute slot at a cheap price would be a challenge.
Portrait Place is a well established company with years of photography experience. This definitely shows in the quality of the photos taken at each sitting.
There are hundreds of Portrait Place studios dotted over the UK in department stores such as TJ Hughes and Debenhams.
They also have mobile studios usually by the name of PixieFoto specialising in young children and baby photography these can usually be found in Boots, Mothercare or Woolworths.
PORTRAIT PLACE PLYMOUTH
The studio is tucked away amongst Pier at Debenhams. It is on the top (3rd) floor in what could be described as a broom cupboard. The place is kitted out with baby toys, framed pictures.
It is very much like the Tardis, looks tiny on the outside but has three rooms inside and the photography room is quite large.
Many people would miss the studio and walk on by so its worth looking out for your local studio especially with some of the great offers they have on at the moment.
I felt like such an idiot asking for the 'next available appointment' but the lady was great. I explained my disappointment at the other place and she was disgusted.
She mentioned that they had on offer on at the time enabling me to a £10 sitting and a free 10" x 12" print. I booked it up for the following day, leaving a £10 deposit (the full amount).
We arrived 20 minutes early for our sitting and were given an album with 'poses' for our free print. We couldn't spot one we liked so looked in some magazines. I thought this seemed very professional unlike the other studio that pushed us into a room took a few shots and it was done.
After selecting our pose and getting dressed in posh attire and tried for ages to get my hood on the correct way we were ready to go. The photographer took a photo for our free print and showed us on the computer. We were not happy with the first 3 so she kept taking them until we were both really pleased.
Then she allowed me to get changed out of my posh stuff for some 'relaxed coupley shots' this was the best bit. We felt like celebrities and were placed in loads of positions (not rude ones!) to look like a relaxed happy couple.
She changed the background, the lighting, props and camera angle on all shots to make them exceptionally detailed we just knew we would love them and wouldn't be able to afford them.
We went with the intention of leaving with the free print so when told to take a drink voucher for a free tea or coffee to the restaurant we really felt like celebs. We waited for 20 minutes whilst they set up our prints on the computer.
VIEWING AND SELCTING PRINTS
On our return we were taken to a viewing room where the photographer had edited the photos, changed the colour (e.g. sepia/black and white) and made composition prints (those arranged on the same sheet).
How could we say no to any of them? She showed us the complete set (about 20 prints and 2 huge composition prints) and explained that today this would cost us £200 but if we came back after that point it would cost £750. We loved them all but couldn't pay £200 there and then. We decided to go with the 20" x 24" composition (4 different shots) for £100 and the free 12" x 10" print.
Not log after that however my partners mum decided she would like some copies so she contributed some money and we have now got the set. We managed to go back at the later day and use the offer. So I was a bit annoyed that they had lied to us...obviously to sell more photos.
They do keep the prints on computer with a client number for 1 year so if you do want to go back at a later date you can don't feel pressured into getting them there and then.
Nine days after paying for the photos we could collect them. They looked much better in print form than they did on the screen. They were simply gorgeous. They were given to us in a protective case but we chose to get the large print framed at only £24.
The staff were amazing, from booking to collection. The whole experience was handled professionally and was always punctual. We were never shoved on a seat and told to wait. The free drinks between the sitting and viewing were a lovely gesture.
The photographer was very polite and professional. I loved the fact we could add our own opinions and that we did not feel rushed. The sales assistant who helped us chose the photos seemed very pushy and quite forward which was slightly uncomfortable. We did feel pushed into buying the £100 print a) because it looked good and b) because they told us we could leave a tiny deposit and pay in really small instalments.
We thought £10 alone was fantastic for the photo and sitting. We were made to feel really special and the photographer listened to what we wanted as well as adding her own artistic flare. The experience was one we will treasure for a long time and although it cost us lots in the end it was a once in a lifetime experience with some great pictures we can show to our kids one day.
The prices are reasonable. I did notice that they do a VIP card where you can take your child to 4-8 sittings to watch them grow...great for new parents.
We had the £10 sitting and photo offer which was very well priced. On top of this additional photos per 10" x 12" sheet is £30. A sheet could include two lots of 5"x 7", one 5"x 7" and four wallet prints, or you could get a 15" x 18" for £45 (basically a page and a half). Obviously if you buy in bulk the prices drop dramatically but the basic price for one 10" x 12" picture is £30.
We felt very comfortable and at ease and this was a great way to create successful, effective but relaxed photos. I would recommend the studio for an overall good experience.
We had an excellent day and our photos are amazing. We love our photos and when we finally move we will place the photos in our living room. The photos have also made great Christmas presents for grandparents, parents and aunties/uncles so we are very happy.
I took my four month old little boy for his photo taken to portrait place in debenhams. They were so good as i turned up for my 2:30 appointment to find i had turned up at the wrong studio. But they were very accomodating and fitted us in at 4:30 instead on the same day. took him back and then started to get irritable as having to wait around for 4:30. so they let me feed Eithan and then when he was ready they were ready. Well we took him into the studio and even though he gets really bored with daddy taking his photo he loved being put in all different poses and the photograper managed to take about 25 different shots all with him smiling in them. I also took this lovely duck of his with us incase i needed to stand behind the camera with it. well i didn't need to bother but the photograper decided instead to use the duck in a few of the shots and it fitted in lovely. I ended up paying almost £400 for 8 pictures however i have 20 different shots in those 8 pics so it wasn't as bad. He just looked so gorgeous that even though i was only going to take the free bounty pic i also ended up with even more as i was so impressed with how they look. Also as they have now gone over to using a digital camera that connects straight to their computers they can give you many more options for how your photos will look including composite pics with 4 different photos in one adding borders and lots more options. all prices also include the photo frames. but if i had the money i would have bought the whole lot i was so impressed with what they did. they also keep the file of your pictures for 8 months for if you decide you want some more.
i'm absolutely disappointed on how portrait studio do their business. I was approached by portrait place staff whilts shopping & asked wether do i like a portrait for just 5pounds. I said sure why not it's just 5 pounds. details where taken soon & the GBP5. she had a lot photo taken then asked us to view after 15 mins. then they asked us to choose what we want. but to my surprise it cost more than a thousand pounds. the staff said don't worry we can discard some photo & reduce the price & that's what we did. I was put on the spot & felt shy not to pay after choosing; so i still end up paying a few hundred pounds.
Anyway, i didn't feel happy & felt i was deceived by them. so the next day I rang the studio & requested to cancel it. they said they cannot cancel it anymore because it was already sent. so i rang the head office after the weekend (since they are close over the weekend) & told them i want to cancel my order, she said ring your local studio. I told her the local studio said they cannot do anything anymore. then she hold the line and came back & said; 'oh yes your photo is actually already printed over the weekend so we cannot cancel it anymore'. If that's how quick they do their job then why do i need to wait for 2 weeks to have it.
I just wish they could be transparent to their customer by informing them the price beforehand, so we can think before we commit ourselves. (it's not a joke to pay a few hundred pounds for a few photo.) I wonder wether i will hang our photo on the wall taken by portrait place; since it reminds me of a bad expereince.
Portrait Place book you a 10 minute appointment, regardless of who is being photographed. The first appointment is at 10.00 and my appointment was 10.10. The photographer turned up at 10.05 and finished photographing the first family at 10.35. My appointment took 20 mins and they only took 6 of the 8 shots they are supposed to. They still claim that 10 mins is the norm for an appointment. I have 4 children and my experience is that it takes at least half an hour. My 10 month old daughter left portrait place with a bloody nose and a bruise on her head having fallen off the chair the photographer sat her on. Needless to say, we won't be going back In summary, 10 mins in the world of portrait place = 30-40 mins in the real world.
I first came across Pixie Photo at my local Boots in Middlebrook, Horwich when my son was 5 weeks old. The offer was £4.99 for a 10 x 12 photograph which I thought was a bargain and decided to take it. They took several poses of Matthew and the photographer seemed competant so we were quite happy. We were asked to return to the store about a week later for our photograph and to view the other poses they had taken. We did so and I have to say that I was not impressed with the picture we got at all, I know that at 5 weeks old babies are not always easy to photograph but even at that age Matthew was a really pleasant baby. We viewed the other pictures and saw a really lovely one of Matthew in a basket which, should we have been able to afford it, we would have purchased and I was very dissapointed that the picture had not been the one we received. I did not say anything because, being new to the process, I thought that you basically got what you were given for the £4.99 because it was such a bargain. It was only later that we realised we could have chosen that picture at the time of shooting when we read the leaflet a bit more closely. At no time were we told this by the assistant and I know that they have to make money somewhere but I think it is only fair to mention it if literature states as such. We have since had another taken of Matthew now that he is twenty weeks old and because it is coming upto Christmas. I admit that on this occasion I have not chosen a picture for the simple reason that I do not think there was one bad picture taken and I would be happy with any of them. The photographer on this occasion was lovely and knew exactly how to make Matthew smile (which isn't actually that hard. I feel that this is a good quality in a photographer as it is their job to make the photographs as good as they can be. With regards to extra pictures, they are quite expensive with a 7 pose (seven 10
x 8's, seven 7 x 5's and 28 passport size pictures) package being £75.00 but on this occasion, as it is coming up to christmas, we are considering taking this package so we can give some pictures away as gifts to family and friends. Lower packages work out more expensive with a two pose package priced at about £45.00 so it is worth taking the biggest package if you did want extra's. The only downside for me is that mounts are only provided at an extra charge. They also do keyrings, fridge magnets and other items at an extra cost if required. I do recommend this service if you are content with just the one picture for the money you pay but if you are on a tight budget I would think about it first as you are liable to be upset if you cannot afford any more, as mentioned previously I was upset the first time we had his picture taken with them because I really wanted the basket photo and could not afford it.
When my baby was born I had an offer from a local photographer to take her photo so I took her along. I was very dissapointed, although the picture was quite good (well it wasn't hard with the most beautiful baby in the world) the free photo wasn't much bigger than a postage stamp and the copies they offered were ridiculously expensive. One of my friends suggested Portrait Place as she had had a good experience with her baby. The company operate as a mobile photographer at various locations e.g. Boots, Woolworths and Tesco's but also have permanant studios at stores e.g. Debenhams in Southampton. I opted to go to the permanant studio as with the mobile places you often have to queue and I was worried my baby might get bored or be sick over her nice outfit. The day before the session the studio phoned to make sure I had not forgotten the appointment. The lady taking the photographs was great with my baby and she smiled for every photo with no fuss at all. I was given the choice of backgrounds and poses and every care was taken that my baby was safe and could not fall or hurt herself. The photos came back in 2 weeks and were all good quality, it was hard not to buy everything. Again we had an appointment to view them and were left alone to discuss what we wanted to buy with no heavy sales tactics (it wasn't needed anyway the pictures sold themselves) The offer I was given was £5 for the session and a 12" by 10" photo and the option to buy up to five other poses in various sizes. In the end we chose 2 poses each with a 10" by 8", 6" by 5" and 4 small photos and frames for our large special offer photo and the 2 larger photos all for £69. The only criticism I would make is in the Debenhams Southampton studio there are steps, not very practical if you are wheeling a buggy but they did help me carry it up.