There is a Groupon right now on JCPenney Portraits by Lifetouch which offers 3 digital images and one standard print, it cost $30 and we needed family pictures, so why not right?
It is a great deal, but it is helpful to understand how the process works and so you can get the best pictures and not get pressured into buying more than you actually wanted.
My JCP Experience
When you go in, depending on the studio and time of year, you may go in to find a single person running the studio or various employees. I bought this Groupon twice, so the first time I went in, only one employee was there.
She was professional, enthusiastic, and kind. She asked us about the occasion, props, and backgrounds, and then began posing my 1-year-old son. She was interrupted a time or two with a phone call and greeting the customers who showed up just 15 minutes after I arrived. But, I was the first appointment of the day, so I didn’t have to wait much. The reviews I read online beforehand proved to be correct about wait times, as the family just after me ended up waiting about 30 minutes for their shoot to begin. With young children, that could easily be the difference between good and bad photos! So, if choose to use their service, I would say try to be the first appointment of the day.
I have dabbled in photography so I had opinions about what I wanted. She used a lot of her own props and took some pictures with mine-which included a cowboy hat and a wooden horse (probably influenced by my current Heartland obsession). The pictures turned out pretty good, but I do have some regrets. Here’s why.
The Pressure was on . . .
At the end of the shoot, there were really only four print-worthy pictures of my son. He is one after all and several of the pictures she took he had his eyes closed or was taking off his hat, so honestly, four great pictures are a victory in my book. The issue for me was that after the shoot, they had me wait a minute while they loaded the pictures and put a few collages together. Then she took me to the computer to view all the photos and asked which ones I liked. I told her and let her know I had a Groupon. She then broke down several picture packages that could be added on top of the Groupon I purchased.
I clarified with her what mine included and it included 3 high-resolution digital images and a print in the size of my choice. This should’ve been enough for my four good pictures, but as she stood there waiting for me to choose my favorites I was a bit nervous and felt pressure to choose quickly. But what if inadvertently missed a good picture of my son? I wanted to view the pictures on my own and should’ve asked if I could.
But what about the poor family stuck waiting on me to decide? They couldn’t get their shoot started until she finished with me. After offering me other much more expensive packages she offered me a digital package with all the rights to the images for $80. It wasn’t bad, but I had already paid $30 for a Groupon, which in the heat of the moment I forgot.
So I paid for access to all the photos. $80 wasn’t that bad, but I was frustrated realizing that if I had just taken a moment to think about it, and not be pressured, I could have paid $30 and had all the photos I needed.
After knowing the drill, I got a discount on the same Groupon, so we went back for family photos. I am proud to say that for the second round I was strong and just stuck to the package included with our Groupon and you know what? They took pictures of all of us and a few of just my son!
It turns out if you do family pictures, they will take individual photos of each person, you and your spouse, and even some of just your kids. So, if I were to do it again. . . I would do family photos and skip the one-year-old pictures since they will take individual photos anyway! If you do that, $30 really is an incredible deal! I just assumed there would be extra sitting fees, but there weren’t!
Buy the Groupon & Be Strong!
You can save even more when Groupon runs discounts of up to up to 25% off the purchase of certain Groupons. So if you need family pictures . . . it is a great value! Good luck and happy picture taking!
Have you ever found yourself getting talked into something because of FOMO (fear of missing out) or pressure? Tell me about it in the comments below.