Monday, December 04, 2006

Why We Arenb't Fans of The Pciture People

We like studio shots every so often - for birthdays and a family picture once every couple of years. We've lucked out with a fantastic local place where we end up with about 50 (literally) 4x6 shots as proofs to keep no matter what we order (for the $25 sitting fee). In the past year or so we've been less pleased (after they switched to digital) with the quality and the photographers seem less inspired (a couple are down right cranky...and our kids aren't hard to photograph, so I can only imagine them with a wiggly toddler). We talked with the manager, who apologized profusely and sweetened the deal with free this and that.

Then Picture People came to town, so we thought we'd give them a whirl. I was appalled to find out that they THROW AWAY whatever you don't buy - and they seem to print the entire package (four or five sheets per shot). The waste seemed horrible to me - not at all green!! So I talked to the managere and told her we'd be willing to try them IF they printed us a proof sheet and not all the wasted prints. Anxious for new customers (as they had just opened) she agreed. She took the pictures herself (nice energy and good photographer). We were very pleased - got the prints we wanted with minimal waste and didn't pay an arm and a leg for stuff we didn't want. We felt good about the experience.

So, we went back this weekend. I talked to the same manager gal as last time to ask her to take the pictures - sure, no problem. She was less inclined to print the proof sheet (they're well established now with booked appointment schedules, so less willing to court customers). But she agreed not to print full photo packages of each print and took way more shots than their usual handful. We were very happy with the pictures - she has a great repport with the kids and a good eye for poses.

The appointment to pick up the pictures SUCKED to put it mildly - we met with a different gal (our gal was off that day). High pressure sales - complete with the attempted guilt tripping for not wanting to buy the tri-print combo with frame. The pose they'd picked for the 10X13 they were pushing was our least favorite (we all had our heads titled - looked like we'd just come off some ride at Disney World). The woman was a really pushy - barely breathed as she's trying to talk us into prints. I finally asked her to step back, so we could think (luckiily we'd looked at our prints on-line so we knew what we wanted - and we'd also figured out who we were buying for ahead of time, so we weren't buying more than what we needed). Gal was p*ssed that we weren't all "ooo and aaaaa - we need 42 of these and 16 of these prints). We got holiday cards, so it wasn'tl like we didn't spend a chunk of change.

Then it came time to get our prints - we left the store, ran an errand and came back in the designated 15 minutes time to find red lines in our prints. Did they bother to proof the pictures before they put them in the envelope? Apparently not. So when our overly-pushy sales gal opened the envelope to review the order, there were these lovely red lines through our prints - not acceptable. So, she hasitly apologized and said she'd have them done again. Just another 10 minutes please. Now our window of time was quickly closing until we needed to hook Gemma up with a friend to go see the Nutcracker and we had to leave - should have left earlier. This now means another trip out to the mall to pick up our prints. Neither Jani nor I are fans of malls - I'd rather walk through hot coals than be in the canned music-filled mall, especially this time of year. And its a 15 minute drive - so not an efficient use of our time or fuel for the van either.

So a call to the manager about our expeirence is on the docket for today - especially given that we need to drive back out to pick up our prints. So I'd love to have pictures to show you all - however its not happening today.

Will we go back to the Picture People after this - NO WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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