CARMEL, INDIANA -- They were wonderful with my 2-year-old! I have seen too many bad reviews. I have gotten pics at different portrait innovations stores since my son was born and had all good experiences. I love all their extras. Their brag books are great. And to get all the photos right away is not normally done by others. Our photographer today was so patient with our 2-year-old even though they were busy. She was professional and good. We got several great pics. Expensive yes, but they all are.
CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, PENNSYLVANIA -- I needed to get my son's senior pictures taken - and quickly. I've used Portrait Innovations in the past. I always had a coupon, or went because of their package deals. They had a 10% discount and were also running some other deals. However, I feel like because we were having these senior pictures taken, they felt like they could charge more.
I got a call the day before the photo shoot. They went over how many shots they would take, bring a change of clothes, etc. At the end she said that she wanted me to know packages usually started around $300. Then we ended the call. I kept thinking that that would only be if I bought a package, or that I'd just buy a few sheets. I admit, I should have done a lot more research.
We got some nice pictures. My son refused to take a change of clothes, he doesn't do sports. This was all very basic. We were told we didn't have any choice. The lowest package, the $300 package, was 15 poses and 3 sheets each pose! I said I didn't need that much, wasn't there something else we could do? The answer, again, was no. $300 and 162 photos later and I left until everything was printed. Ran an errand, and thought no way am I doing this. I'm not paying that much money for photos that are going to sit in a drawer.
I did go back in and asked to speak to the manager. Unfortunately, it was the guy who took the photos & already told me they couldn't do anything. I told him I did not want the photos. He said he would do a return, but they couldn't do it until Tuesday (for some reason). I'll be going back and I will let you know what happens.
NIAGARA FALLS, NEW YORK -- I had a horrific experience with Portrait Innovations on Niagara Falls Blvd, Niagara Falls, NY. The photographer was as personable as a wet paper towel. The lack of experience and/or knowledge in placement and lighting in the poses was terrible; Her resistance to any suggestion of poses was unprecedented to me. I have 4 grown children and have utilized private photographers and chain photographers... Never have I been subject to such unprofessional & coldness to a customer. She possessed ZERO people skills but was terrific with the pressure tactic to upsell, upsell & upsell... pushing the $449.00 pkg.
The quick double talk was almost comical. I had to demand her to slow down so that I may comprehend what she was presenting. That was met with an eyeball roll, a huff and annoyance. I held firm but hopefully this will warn those who are not as strong against the only purpose in taking pictures... double talk and then UPSELL, UPSELL & UPSELL!
I was there to get my two grandchildren's (two separate families, parents were present) Christmas Photos w/ the $19.95 promo for each family 'as advertised' only to find out that to have a photo of each child and then a joint picture is an additional $20 per page, single pose for each page. $$$$ Then I am asked to choose which child the package will apply to and ONLY on one (01) single pose. (Both grandchildren where right beside me when this decision was presented.) Shame on you.
Waiting was terrible, props for the holiday was just short of nonexistent (Christmas Tree & a few boxes). So to top off this terrible experience the coupon said that you are entitled to a "FREE" Coffee Mug and Key chain... then you are informed these are FREE with ONLY $5.95 shipping and handling for each. LOL! Firstly, I explained to this ungrateful young lady then they are not FREE, because FREE means FREE. I declined their FREE offer. Not only will I never return to Portrait Innovations but I have made sure to tell anyone and everyone I know to NEVER go to any of their studios.
RIDGELAND, MISSISSIPPI -- Portrait Innovations, Ridgeland, MS. This past Tuesday, December 6, I had a 5:10 pm appointment but on arrival at 5:00 pm we were informed they were running behind. The place was packed; there were four sittings w/ children before me. Manager (**) advised that I “go around the corner and have a seat, we'll get to you shortly.” At 6:28 they had still not gotten to us; but based on how things were going, we were next up… until of course here in Madison County, Mississippi – **, plays the “race card”; took a ** family before me.
When I stood to question “Why is that family that came in after me now going before me?” She replied, “your name was called but no one answered”. My response, "IF you called my name while still standing at the front desk, then no I did not hear you." As packed as this place is, good customer service is to walk the floor and make sure the customer is (1) not in the dressing room; (2) not in the bathroom; or (3) simply not hearing you.
I further stated, "there are 20 people here. Children running, screaming, smacking Legos and you think I can hear you above all this?” Her reply... there was not one, complete silence. No reply, no apology, nothing. Finally ** came out to say, “as soon as the current group finished in Room 1, I'll get you started”. For the record, ** happens to be **. ** (the Manager) made the mistake but she sent ** to correct her series of mistakes, the first being that she did not walk the floor to ensure my presence, the second - she offered no apology.
In anything you do or anyplace you go - "THINGS" happen, so the least she should have done was offer an apology. When ** did start working with us, it's now closing time (my original appointment was at 5:10) and **, while trying to put forward a good front, appeared rushed and impatient thereby leading a very unsatisfactory Portrait Innovation experience. Portrait Innovations is a customer service based business and if ** does not have a desire to work with African American clients – she should not be representing this company. African Americans are paying customers too.
CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, PENNSYLVANIA -- I am disappointed in the services provided because the photo session was of very low quality and the resultant pictures were not up to the quality we have come to expect. As suggested by the Portrait Innovations website, we arrived five minutes early for our appointment, but then waited an additional 20 until our session started. Since I have a young child, I had specifically chosen this appointment time to avoid naps and feedings and on a Friday to avoid excessive weekend crowds, so I was very frustrated to start so late for an appointment that I had so carefully chosen.
Additionally, after starting significantly late for our appointment, we were rushed through our photo session. In fact, the photographer only took four pictures in one pose for one outfit. The photographer, while very friendly, did not listen to what we wanted from the session. The purpose of this session, as told to the agent when we made the appointment, was for my daughter's 8 month pictures. We wanted pictures of her playing with different spring and Easter related props. We even brought a few toys with us to help with the session. However, we only got one pose with a prop and the backgrounds chosen by the photographer did not reflect spring very well.
In fact, one background was red with a rose lighting that made my daughter look like she had sunburn! Additionally, several pictures were unusable since the photographer either cut off part of my daughter's chin or were so off center they could not be fixed. Normally I leave the studio feeling like I could have spent several hundred more dollars and having had a very difficult time choosing between so many great pictures. This time however, it was very difficult to find even six good poses.
When we picked up our pictures, thankfully we checked our package before getting all the way home since we were given another family's pictures. We had to return to the store to correct the mistake and luckily, our photos were still there. This final mistake just made working with that company that much more disappointing.
We ended up spending over $100, but should have just walked away with the $10 special instead of wasting more time and money. We will be looking for another photography studio to do our daughter's 1 year pictures and all of our holiday and special event pictures from now on. In fact, we were so upset about our experience, we will be sure to tell everyone we know to avoid spending their money there.
NORTHVILLE MI, MICHIGAN -- I received a flier for Portrait Innovations for a one pose package for $10. with no additional fees. Needing Christmas cards I thought this would be a great idea. We have tried Sears in the past and the experience was fine, but I liked the idea that we would not have to wait days for our pictures, only a few minutes. At out appointment the photographer and support staff were great. The kids were having fun and the pictures were super cute. I was ready to be a loyal customer and sing all the praises of this company. We sat down with the photographer and narrowed our choices down to the $10.00 special and then two additional poses.
At that time the photographer showed up a "special effects" portrait that we would be getting and told us we would receive the CD as well. We paid, ran and errand and then returned and picked up our photos and cards and everything was awesome. Until we looked at our package and found that neither the "special effects" picture or the CD were in the bag. I went back in and a woman who was most likely the manager, greeted me and asked me what I was confused about. I asked her about the CD and the "special effects" picture. She informed me that they did not come with what we had purchased and that they would be an additional $30.00.
I told her that the photographer had not said that and that we should expect them with what we had received. She again said "No". She then asked me if it was my "first time" there (to which I replied yes, as it was) and "that was why I must be confused". I took my prints and left knowing this situation would not improve. My husband decided to go and speak with the staff about the missing item. At that point the people told him that he was incorrect and the "photographer had made a mistake" and they had "thrown away the CD" already and those items were not part of what we paid for.
It's customer service 101 that you do not get into a shouting match with a customer, which is what this woman did with my husband. We are not the type of people to complain about a dollar or two or standard sub-par service. Considering, however, that I work in customer service/sales management I would be fired if I treated a customer the way my husband and I were treated. Hopefully their HQ will take our concerns more seriously than the staff at this location did.
COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS -- I have used PI before in the DFW area and have had nothing but good experiences. We were going to be in College Station visiting family and decided to try out the new location that was just opened. I wanted a very specific pose, which I had gotten the same picture taken of my son when he was the age of my daughter. I told them I did not want the spring background because I would not order the pictures. I am pretty sure this made them mad. So I am not sure if this is what happened to the photographer's attitude or what. Also my daughter is 7 months old, she does not like strangers and the "helper" was in her face scaring her to death.
We only got maybe 2 or 3 good pictures out of the whole session. We then moved to the other room to do an outfit change and take more pictures. My daughter can sit up very well. They put her in a rocking chair. I wanted to stay very close so that in case she moved too much I could catch her. The photographer kept telling me to move back so that she could get her shot and that is when my daughter fell out of the chair and burned her face on the material of the backdrop. She was screaming and the session was over. All I got was "poor baby" out of the photographer.
As I stated I went in to get the special and then one other pose. I was very disappointed at the pictures. They scared her from the beginnings and I could not get her in the grove after that. I did not even end up with the pose I wanted. I paid way too much for the quality of pictures. I never got a sorry or anything out of anyone there. I will be calling the main office and complaining about this store and the employees. They were not kid friendly. Also they need to know that if someone comes in for something specific do it, don't try to push all the "scheduled" poses on them. I will never return to this location.
VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA -- Unbelievably horrible experience. Got 2 kids under 2 clean, dressed & ready for pictures. Drove 2 hours from kill devil hills, NC to Virginia beach for Christmas pictures. Get to the location and it is PACKED. We sit on the floor with a 6 month old and 22 month old for 40 minutes (30 minutes PASSED our appointment time). I ask how long it will be and the associate straight faced says it will be at least another 30 minutes, but closer to an hour she guessed. We waited 15 more minutes and nobody had even moved in line. ARE YOU SERIOUS?
We ask again, and get the same exact answer. So with my nicely dressed, frustrated, whiny kids in tow we are forced to drive TWO HOURS back to NC. With NO PICTURES. 4 hours in the car with 2 babies, toll roads TWICE. And again, NOTHING to show for it. I am amazed and utterly disappointed. We have only had one prior experience with portrait innovations, in Greenville, NC., and it was amazing! In and out in under an hour... At Christmas time! You have no idea what it takes to get everyone ready for such an ordeal. And to have it go like this? Unreal. You've literally ruined this for us. No Christmas cards this year and no family pictures.
SUGARLAND, TEXAS -- I made an appointment for my mother to take pictures a week and a half in advance for her 78th birthday. They asked if it was a special occasion and I said, "yes her birthday." They asked how old she would be and I told them. They made the appointment. We came in and then this smart ass White Girl takes her into the studio to start taking pictures and then says who know she can't get the promotional since she is the only one taking pictures and I said know I did not! I was pissed because we had rushed up there to take the promotional package for 19.99 and all ** was concerned about was us paying for the more expensive packages.
I called their corporate office and spoke to the [customer] service manager named ** (of course she was black with a ghetto name like that) and she only kept repeating their policy and saying that she was sorry and they will have to go over the policy [in depth] in their training sessions. I have taken a lot of pictures before and I have never heard this before. I guess it was because we have always bought more than the specials. ** was the only nice person who tried to make us feel better about what had happened to us. I will never go to Portrait Innovations again because Customer Service is not what they practice!
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- Where do I begin? I walked in NOT liking this place. Shadows on the pictures, dirty chairs, disinterested employees, cheesy, dirty props, open studio and NO privacy. No one welcomed me to their studio, asked me, "May I help you?" Nothing. I said, "I'm here to take senior pics for my daughter." Manager thought he was being funny by saying, "YOU can't use our studio and equipment. YOU aren't the photographer. WE take the pics, not YOU, etc. etc." I actually had to tell him to SHUT UP.
During our session, when my daughter left for three minutes to change an outfit, the photographer said, "we are going to step out for a minute." I said, "are you going out to have a smoke while my daughter changes?" "NO... ANOTHER CLIENT CAME EARLY AND WE ARE GOING TO GIVE HER YOUR ROOM WHILE YOUR DAUGHTER CHANGES." My daughter came out no more than one minute later, so we sat there for fifteen minutes while another EARLY client used OUR room with MY private possessions in it. I was SO irritated, and finally, seeing the look on my face, the photographer said, "What's wrong?" And I said "I am REALLY irritated."
He just said, "oh, I'm sorry," and walked away. I have never been so pissed off at a place in my life and will NOT recommend this place to ANYONE unless you LIKE crummy photography studios. The website also has NO customer contact email address. This is a nationwide chain, and have read complaints from all over the country.