Saturday, July 9, 2011

JC Penney Portrait Studio Review

My beautiful baby girl has been baptized. What better way to memorialize the event by taking her to the nearest portrait studio for professional portraits?

My appointment was at 10:10 am today. I woke up at 8:00am to start getting everyone ready. I fed my baby girl her first bottle and supervised the brushing of my son's teeth. I fed him breakfast and pressed his suit. I changed my daughter's diaper and gave her teething tablets. Carefully I slipped her tiny little feet into her lacy white socks with the matching satin slippers, both embroidered with a cross. I eased her into the white satin and pearl Cinderella dress she was baptized in and draped her in a protective blanket. I managed to earn her cooperation when the time came to brush her pixie styled hair into a bow clip just big enough for an ant to wear. She left it on, didn't drool and didn't wrinkle her dress. Even in her car seat, she behaved herself. We were going to make this a double session, one with my daughter by herself and one with both of my beautiful children together. So my son tolerated his French cuffed and collared shirt with the vested suit to match. There was no boy dressed as sharply as my son today. My husband took the time to properly moisturize his waist length hair and braid it tightly. My husband and me were barely cognizant but we managed to fall into our rez truck and drive over to the JC Penney Portrait Studio.

We walked in 5 minutes early. We stood at the registration desk...and stood, and stood, and stood. Finally being acknowledged, a short brunette asked me if I had an appointment. Answering affirmatively I awaited instruction. None came. She proceeded to ask the next customer how she could help him. He was a walk-in that wanted some information about scheduling an appointment and package pricing. She politely smiled and took the time to show him a list of overpriced portrait packages. We stood by and waited. It was now 10:15 am. She then asked us for a coupon. I hadn't printed it from the internet as the coupon never stated that we needed to do so. It merely redirected us to the appointment page. The employee wasn't too pleased with that.

"You need to get on your phone and get me the coupon."she ordered sternly.

I obeyed, and waited another 5 minutes for her to finish checking her emails to take the code from me. We sat down with our calm, behaved children. They were still the picture of perfection, but not for long. I could feel the window for optimum photography closing fast. My daughter began smacking her gums and drooling. We had given her the teething medicine but what she needed was a nap in about 30 to 45 minutes. 10:25 came around and we were asked to present our card, some card that I had for 5 years that I never used and didn't know expired. The same clerk spoke as loudly as she could.

"This card is expired. She needs to either pay the sitting fees or buy another one. So what are you gonna do?" She called out to me from across the room, mispronouncing my name for the fourth time regardless of my correcting her. I looked at my phone for the time. It was 10:35 and my baby was turning pink and rubbing her nose. The pain was setting in. I never got the chance to answer her question because she then decided to call the other JC Penney Portrait Studio that I bought the card from and verify that the card was expired, despite the fact that the date was clearly printed on the card.

"Seriously? I said, all this over twenty dollars? I can pay that now if you want, so I can get these pictures done now. My daughter is ready now." No one acknowledged me. They continued to hold on the phone.

One woman came to me with a clipboard and told me, yes, told me which background to choose. I wanted white. My son was wearing a Sean John suit in purple and white pinstripes with white cuffs and collar with a charcoal gray colored, double breasted vest and matching pants. My daughter was in true white. I intended for him to hold her in his lap thus making the white background the best choice. The photographer didn't think so. She decided for me that the brown background with the fake stained glass windows was best. At this point, I didn't care. My daughter was now fussing and tugging at her hair.

We finally make it to the sitting, it's 10:40 am. My daughter has now decided she doesn't want to be photographed. But being the trooper that she was, she was willing to do so if she was allowed to stand. For those who don't know, teething can cause uncomfortable bm's for babies. They don't want to sit down at times. This was one of those times. That was fine by me. Let her stand and be happy. The photographer insisted she sit on the floor. She could have snapped her photo as she smiled at her silly brother from across the room who did his best to help her pose. Instead she tried to force her to sit, making her cry. Five minutes in, my daughter had enough. So had we. We rescheduled for two hours later and left quickly.

Disgruntled, we called another studio, a competitor, and were able to make the same appointment. We called JC Penney Portrait Studio again to cancel. We called three times, each time, there was no answer. We went to another studio and took the most beautiful photos I have ever seen.

Subsequently, out of curiosity, I researched JC Penney Portrait Studio online and found that I was not alone in my experience. I was unable to find a positive review of their studios in any city. Lesson learned. The Red Housewife will never return to JC Penny Portrait Studios for photography again.

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