Friday, August 17, 2007

Becca's 18-month photos!

Last weekend I took the girls and made the trek across town to JC Penney to finally get Becca’s 18-month photos taken. She only turned 18-months old oh, 4 weeks earlier but hey – at least she’s not quite 19 months old yet! Not until Tuesday anyway.

So we’ve had some pretty bad experiences with getting photos taken at JC Penny in the past. Long waits, photographers who don’t seem to know how to deal well with kids – it’s usually pretty stressful. We keep going there for a few reasons. First, they are the cheapest in town and still do a fairly good job with the actual photos. Second, we have the darn 2-year membership that isn’t up until the end of the year. And third, I wanted to try out Target’s portrait studio this time but they are apparently closed for renovations until September and the next closest one is in Indiana – at least 2 hours away. No thank you!

But I have to say, and give JC Penney full props for this, we had the most awesome experience ever at JC Penney or maybe any photo studio since we moved here! We were in and out of there in 45 minutes, which was amazing.

To start off, even though we booked the last appointment available when I called the day before, there was virtually no wait – we got in there literally 5 minutes after we arrived. That has never happened before. Usually the kids get cranky waiting around so by the time we actually get back there for the photos they’re already out of sorts. Even though Abby and Hannah weren’t listening terribly well – I wasn’t doing their pictures so it didn’t really matter, they just had to stay out of the way. That’s probably the second reason it went well – doing only one child instead of trying to do all 3 together.

I was impressed too – apparently JC Penney has converted from a film-based studio to digital since the last time we were there. This means that the photographer could actually take the camera right off the mount and get a lot more creative with her shots. There was no big, giant box to sit Becca on – instead we all sat on the floor with the backdrop behind us and the photographer just kept the camera in her lap as she played with Becca using a stuffed Big Bird. She just lifted the camera and took shots when she saw a good one – more like a ‘real’ photographer would.

This was especially helpful considering that my shy girl decided that the portrait studio was an appropriate place to freak out and she literally would not let me put her down the entire time. At the time I was sure we would have to reschedule since with their previous setup it would’ve been just about impossible to get any shots without me putting her on that big box and ‘posing’ her. But this time, I just sat on the floor with her on my lap and leaned backward out of the shots as the photographer took close-ups. Once I gave Becca her stuffed dog, she warmed up to the photographer and the games with making her stuffed doggy kiss Big Bird and vice versa – we got some great smiles out of her. We tried doing some full-body shots but Becca still wasn’t having anything to do with me letting her go. We got one where you can see my leg behind her and part of my body leaning out (she tried to fix that post-production by adding some blurring around the edges). And we got a very, very cute shot of Becca’s head on my shoulder, with a death grip on my shirt, LOL. All in all they turned out very well!

I was also so happy to see that when you’re reviewing the photos in the studio afterward and deciding what to buy, the pictures are so crisp and clear on the screen now instead of how fuzzy they used to be. I’d picked a pose that I thought would look ok in past visits only to get the actual pictures back and realize there was something wrong that I didn’t like. I actually sent back Abby’s 6-year-photos and got a different pose when I saw how they turned out. This was so much nicer! And they put together some enhancements that we could choose to purchase and when I got the SmilesByWire today, the enhancements were even included in that. I’ll share a few of them below!

And the best part? The $3.99 per sheet coupon price – they haven’t raised their prices at all (yet?) unlike Sears did when they went digital.

Here are the some of the pictures that we got:

And some of the 'enhancements' they put together - boy do I wish I could afford to get prints of some of these...

Vote for my post on Mom Blog Network add to sk*rt

3 wonderful people said...:

Christine said...

Those photos are adorable. I really like the last one, the black and white, with her profile and her cute dimple.

Karen (Pediascribe) said...

What great shots! Seems like either the kids' pictures are really great, or blah. These turned out really great!

summer said...

Aw, such precious photos.