I often thought that it would be so nice to take my kids to a wedding photographer or one as professional to get their portraits done. I always saw these gorgeous wall portraits hanging in the homes of the people I babysat for, wishing that I could have a wall portrait of my children in my home someday. I had taken my children to the cheaper places like Sears, JC Penney Portrait Studios and K-Mart and they usually turned out fine. But, I always wanted one session of photography, one time, that blew every one’s socks off. One that would produce stunning portraits that would tell the story of what my children were like right in that moment in time. It morphed into an actual dream of mine!
Well, it happened with JC Penney Portrait Studios and I want to share with you how I did it and how it can happen for you. It happened by accident that I discovered a way to have fantastic, professional looking portraits at a much lower price by going to JC Penney Portrait Studios and following a few basic guidelines.
I was just given $400 in Christmas money so I decided that I would go to a “real” studio and have my children’s portraits taken. I thought my dream was coming true. I called and spoke with a few studios but hung up very disappointed to find that the wall portrait that I wanted started at $250 not including any of the fess etc. I had believed that $400 would get me the whole kit and caboodle…but it didn’t even come close. I looked through the Internet studios like JC Penney Portrait Studios and the like and found that they had come a long way with their portraits. JC Penney Portrait Studios have now gone digital so they have ditched the rolling table that our children had to sit on because the JC Penney Portrait Studios photographer can move around freely as he shoots. They can do a lot of enhancements that really add to the photos. JC Penney Portrait Studios till offer dirt cheap portraits if that is what you are looking for.
At this moment, there are many coupons (check parenting magazines) for JC Penney Portrait Studios for no sitting fees and $3.99 a sheet. These are the regular photos without enhancements. They are so much better now that JC Penney Portrait Studios use the floor to sit our children on to shoot. You can get standing shots, laying shots and sitting shots without those horrible busy backgrounds or the fear that your tiny one will tumble to the ground.
I became excited that maybe I could go to JC Penney Portrait Studios and get what I was looking for and still do it for under $400. Now, keep in mind that I wanted several poses, enhanced photos (black and white, sepia, multi-images etc.) and a wall portrait. I did a trial run with my baby who just turned 2. I went to JC Penney Portrait Studios on a Friday night shortly after Christmas. I was just using the $3.99 coupon so I was just purchasing regular photos. It went very well and the JC Penney Portrait Studios photographer was great. They encouraged my son who has stranger anxiety and helped him feel comfortable. I learned so much that night by watching what did and did not work with the other families that had their portraits done at JC Penney Portrait Studios that night.
I learned about a coupon too from another photographer that JC Penney Portrait Studios puts out in only one place. They put a coupon in the entertainment book for 50 percent off your whole order including fees and framing. She told me they see very few of these coupons but that they are so popular with people that know about them that they are often sold on Ebay. I found our book and cut out the JC Penney Portrait Studios 50 percent off coupon.
I went back that next Monday and had one of the greatest experiences of my life. I know that sounds dramatic but it truly was that memorable. My children played, laughed, and became alive in front of a shooting camera and a fabulous photographer named Buffy. My husband whispered to me at least twice “you are in trouble, these are turning out great”. They were the best portraits I have ever seen and my dream came true right inside a JC Penney Portrait Studio. I continued to learn how to get professional photos that look like you went to the highest end places without spending a fortune through my experiences at JC Penney Portrait Studios .
I ended up getting a 20 x 24 wall portrait with a walnut frame, 34 sheets of multi image and single image shots all enhanced either slightly (something like vignette around the subjects) or enhanced a lot, 24 Easter cards, JC Penney Portrait Studios Smiles by Wire, a special long photo, and JC Penney Portrait Studios portrait club for $349. I was thrilled and had to wipe the tears away when I saw the magic come up on the screen as she showed me the portraits on her computer. Now, I can not afford that much every visit but I wanted to do a big session with a lot of poses at least once with my children. I will be getting just a few poses from now on for the $3.99 a sheet with a few enhancements. Either way, they will be fantastic from now on because I know how to make that happen. Below are the tips to get you the same thing at oyur local JC Penney Portrait Studios . They work!!
* Visit JC Penney Portrait Studios online and check out some of their work and the poses that others have tried.
* Insist on just a white background or a black background. The busy backgrounds look cheap! Both times we visited JC Penney Portrait Studios, we have done half the poses on black and half the poses on white.
* Dress your children simply!! I cannot emphasize this enough. If they are in simple, solid button ups, your children will pop off the photo, not their clothes. It makes the shot look so clean, crisp and elegant. We did matching light blue button ups for the black background and matching white button ups for the white back ground.
* Dress them in white for a white background. It sounds crazy but it works! It looks so elegant and fancy and professional. My kids can be pale at times but they were not washed out.
* Speak up! If the photographer is doing something that you do not like, you have to say something. If your daughter’s necklace is flipped over and that will drive you crazy later, stop the session and fix it.
* Take a coupon. Try finding the JC Penney Portrait Studio’s entertainment book coupon especially if you are planning the BIG session that we did or find a cheap JC Penney Portrait Studio’s coupon in a parenting magazine or online.
* Make a list of what you want and need. If you have picked out poses you like, write them down. Do not rely on your mental notes. Also, have a list of the sizes you will need so that when you are ordering, you do not go hog wild or get confused.
* Do a trial run. You do not have to actually have their portraits taken twice but go to the JC Penney Portrait Studios near you ahead of time and check things out. Talk to the photographer and explain to him or her how excited you are about the portraits and especially tell them if you plan on buying a large one or a lot of portraits. When I did that, the photographer gave me an hour time slot instead of the usual 20 minute one.
* Pick a quiet time of year. After Christmas is a great time to get portraits done at JC Penney Portrait Studios. The photographer will happily give you extra time and work harder for you. The JC Penney Portrait Studios coupons are also very good ones that time of year.
* Buy the JC Penney Portrait Studios Smiles by Wire plan. It is usually $4.95 but it is a great service. You will get all your images sent to you by email within a few business days. You can use them to reorder if you like, share them and best of all, have a copy of every shot taken whether you bought them or not. The pictures are in a low resolution so you won’t be able to print them but they are perfect to share through email etc. You can burn a CD of them and keep all the shots forever.
* Get to know your JC Penney Portrait Studios photographer. We happened to stumble upon a perfect one so we will stick with her. If you are not happy with yours, cancel the session and try again. Your money is worth waiting until the portraits can be the best they can be.
* Call and comment on your experience. If your photographer is fantastic and he/she should be if you did your homework BEFORE your session, call the number on your receipt and tell the JC Penney Portrait Studios customer service department. They get pins based on good customer service calls.
* Let your children be themselves. Buffy, our JC Penney Portrait Studios photographer, taught me that we as parents need to step back and let the children come up with the poses. In our large collection of poses, we have our boys’ feet, hands, noses touching, hugs, fights (our 2 year old grabbed our 5 year old’s shirt and said “bad bubba”) and everything in between. Those are all priceless to us!
I know that if you follow these guidelines, you will be as pleasantly shocked as we were that JC Penney Portrait Studios could deliver what I thought only the expensive pros could do. My photographs truly told a story. They are high quality, long lasting and they didn’t cost me more than I could afford!