Newest Review: ... take the full set of photos regardless which I was obviously fine with. They were able to book me in to a session easily at one that w... more
Pixi Foto: Pick your photos.
PixiFoto Family Portrait Photographers
Member Name: Mama-Q
PixiFoto Family Portrait Photographers
Advantages: nice keep sake photo.
Disadvantages: pricey, sometimes a rubbish quality, poorly lit.
I was first exposed to the Pixi Foto brand four years ago when I was working as a nanny for a family with a newborn baby girl. I saw the ad for a cheap photo shoot outside Boots and inspiration struck - I would take Baby Girl (I won't reveal real names in my review!) to get photos done and then present the family with the gift of the photo :).
I remember getting Baby Girl ready for the photo shoot - she had an array of wonderful outfits, I dressed her in a pink cupcake top and fairly plain trousers as I didn't want the photo to look outdated over the years, nor did I want to wash out her olive skin. Well we waited in line for a photo for a good half hour - which was stressful because I hand't planned on waiting long and Baby Girl got very fussy. She eventually fell asleep after being rocked and fed - right before our photo shoot, I shall add!
The person taking details in line was really rude to me :/. She was so polite to everyone else, but really rude to me. At this time I was living in England and I'm Scottish - I can't help but feel she heard the accent and this turned her off. Maybe I'm wrong! She could have also believed I was a silly teen mum as I was 21 at the time but looked closer to 17 and was being snooty with me. Who knows. All I know is that when she started being rude to me (like really, really rude) I honestly thought twice about the whole thing. However, like I said, I wanted a nice keep-sake for the family because they had been really lovely to me so I put up with this woman's nonsense.
When it got to the picture taking stage the photographer was lovely. She fired off a few photos within about 5 minutes - which surprised me as I know many others who've had photos taken and it took an hour at best. Because the photographer was so lovely and I assumed she knew what she was doing and left it at that.
Two weeks later, after paying for my 'free' photo, I was invited along to Boots to pick up and decide whether or not I wanted to buy the full set of photos. I went along, was met by a lovely rep for PixiFoto, and there Baby Girl's photos were set out for me. The artist shot, the feather boa shot, all the poses they'd captured. I was quite surprised at how lovely the photos came out.
Then I nearly had a heart attack when they asked me to fork out £200 for the lot! 8 big photos. Plus 5 minutes of photography. I asked how much a photo would cost on it's own because I was quite keen to have a photo for myself but balked at the £40 they were asking for. For one photo? Did they think I was crazy?
I walked away with my 'free' (oddly sized) photo, quite pleased at the little keepsake I had for the family. They were very impressed with the photo, too, and her dad was very nearly in tears when he saw it. It was a really lovely photo if I'm honest but the only keep sake I have of it is a grainy mobile phone picture of it :/.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when I took my own son for the same deal; a 'free photo' and a cheap photo shoot. This time the photographer took all the details and he gave us a good half an hour of his time. He was lovely but couldn't get a smile out of our son ;).
We went to pick up our set of photos (or rather make a decision and try to bargain down with them) but the sales rep this time was the rude one! For a start he was all cheery and bright with us, then came the faux praises of our photos; 'Oh this is a lovely PHOTO! HOW CUTE!'. Um, yes. You may want to get that enthusiasm down a notch or three ;).
Then another customer came over and without excusing or explaining himself he turned his back to us, worked his sales charm on the other customer and completely ignored us. On top of this he hadn't even finished putting up our photos...can you say rude? Well once he'd made the sale with this other customer all his lecherous attention was back on us.
I wasn't impressed with the photos this time, truth be told. They were under exposed, poorly lit and of course it's not anyone's fault but my son looked blooming miserable in every photo - even though he wasn't. I wasn't honestly sure if I wanted to buy any of them, they were so badly done.
The sales rep wasn't open to any negotiation at all which is disappointing so I kindly said, 'Oh, that's a shame then we won't be able to buy any photos today then.' He wasn't phased, of course, because I'm sure he'd already made a mint off other parents and carers. I asked him about buying a frame and of course he gave me the wrong size - found out when I got home and spotted that the photo wouldn't fit the frame (bought separately.) I had of course wanted to check the size of the photo against the frame in the shop but my husband said; "it'll be fine." Famous last words ;) :P.
Overall I would say Pixi Foto are a mixed bag - and you get what you pay for. I have to say their pricing strategy is clever, but also a rip off for the quality on offer. It also all depends on who you get that day as I found the sales rep previously was fabulous but that the one I saw yesterday was very rude. Again, the photographer didn't take long at all the first time round but then we had half an hour with the photographer this time!
BUT their 'photographers' are just normal Joe's off the street. They have no prior photography experience, just the ability to pick up a camera (and I assume Pixi Foto send them on some kind of photog course on how to basically use a DSLR) and to me this is quite shocking. I wouldn't be happy hiring a photographer for a wedding who had just picked up a camera so why should I settle for that when taking photos of my son? The good thing in the photographers favour is that they have fairly decent equipment, lighting, props and okay-ish lenses - although clearly this didn't work in favour with my photographer ;). So be warned. Don't expect David Bailey style photos ;) :P.
If you are really considering some shots of your kids and aren't confident of your own camera skills then I'd suggest saving up for a photographer whose not employed by a huge company who pump out a product ;). If you don't have the pennies for this then Pixi Foto is a good 'keep sake' photo company - in other words you won't get a work of art but you'll get a fairly reasonable photo if you take advantage of one of their offers - just don't let them take advantage of your wallet ;).