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To ask your experiences (good and bad) with a company called venture photography

(88 Posts)
therewearethen Wed 09-Jan-13 14:43:46

Had a voucher for Xmas to use at venture photography. It states "your venture pack entitles you to a £245 venture experience that will bring you and your family a lifetime of pleasure" sounds ok but then there's the T&C's

The studio photo shoot is valued at £150
The complimentary framed image from your photoshoot will be a 7" x 5" worth £98
At the time of booking, you will be asked to provide debit/credit card details to secure your booking.

I'm 38wks pregnant and the expiry date on the voucher is a few wks after my due date. I know I sound really ungrateful but I'm not a fan of having my photo taken and so quickly after birth I think I'll feel even more insecure and uncomfortable than normal. It states in the T & C that the whole family have to be included otherwise I'd just get the kids done.

The part about card details unnerves me slightly and we're skint! I really don't want to turn up and be pressurised into buying more photos that we simply can't afford.

So does anyone have any experience of venture?

RyleDup Wed 09-Jan-13 15:17:26

Well if you have a voucher then just get the one. Take an assertive friend to bat off their hard sell like I did. They are still shite though!

TheCatInTheHairnet Wed 09-Jan-13 15:18:48

One of my all time favourite photos is a Venture photo taken 10 years ago when DS2 was 1. It was just the free one though as we wouldn't buy a photo that expensive!!

Even then it was hard sell. And then you couldn't move for houses filled with Venture and Venture style photos, all casually wearing jeans and a white shirt. Or all black and bare footed.

Take photos yourself, preferably outside. You will get much nicer photos as the children are relaxed with you and they will mean more to you.

I had one of those shoots a few years back, I wasn't asked to provide any card details though.

I was determined to only get my free photo, and the bloke was determined I was going to buy an album that cost about a grand. They do a very hard sell and offer 'massive' discounts for ordering the pictures there and then (still overpriced though).

I got my picture and it is really lovely but I wouldn't have paid £250 for it. If you can't say 'NO' repeatedly to them trying to convince you to buy things then don't do it.

I recently got a local photographer to come to my house and she gave me a CD with about 80 pictures on it and 25 prints and it cost about £200 including the photo session which took an hour. The photos weren't any better at Venture.

AnnaBegins Wed 09-Jan-13 15:26:15

Well, when we went (when I was younger) they did some shots of the whole group and some individual, so you could ask that they do some of the family and some of just the kids, then have your "free" photo be one of the one of the kids?

You need to psyche yourself up for the photo viewing and make sure you don't fall for the hard sell, but tbh a nice framed print of your kids/family, even though small, is a good present! Just make sure DH is on board with the ignoring the hard sell, or don't take your kids to the photo viewing, and you'll be fine!

Run run run. They are awful!

There are so many talented photographers out there who wont rip you off and who don't rely on cheap post-processing effects that there is no good reason to go with Venture.

Arthurfowlersallotment Wed 09-Jan-13 15:32:08

I bought a photo voucher for £20 when someone from the NCT cold called me shortly after I had a baby. As I would have agreed to anything then I bought it.

At NO point in the shoot or afterwards did they mention the 7x8 included in the deal, but rather tried to push £800 canvas prints on us. Bollocks to that. The hard sell was unbelievable. It wasn't venture but similar franchise company.

Actually, that's about all I got from the NCT come to think of it.

autumnmum Wed 09-Jan-13 15:33:20

The hard sell is really full on. My mum got a voucher a few years ago when she bought a car. She wanted a photo of all her GCs so we rounded them all up and took them. The photographer was clueless about kids and kept asking if my 14m.o. DD could catch a ball thrown by her 7y.o. cousin. Anyway went back for the sales pitch and when I said we only wanted the free one as I was a SAHM the salesman told me to put any purchase on a credit card (I didn't). If you can stand the hard sell and threats of your photos being deleted ASAP then go for it, but otherwise avoid.

pingu2209 Wed 09-Jan-13 16:00:55

I've done Venture Photography!

I would not have a professional shoot of a baby / family shot until the baby is able to sit up. Otherwise it looks a bit rubbish in my opinion.

They are great and do fabulous photos... however you have to pay A LOT.

The free 7x5 is lovely but they sell sell sell when you come back in to view the shots. All will be fabulous, you will be shown them with music playing etc.

They are Very Very Very expensive. Think hundreds of pounds for 1 shot!

fluffyraggies England Wed 09-Jan-13 16:21:40

XH and i were handed a free voucher in a shopping center with 3DDs in tow about 8 years ago.

We booked a slot and had our pics taken. It was relaxed and fun. All the while we bore in mind we would had no choice but stick to at taking only the 2 small prints we being given free at the end of it all, as we were skint.

Oh my word it was hard sell time afterwards! Seriously - i think if we had had any money anywhere they would have wheedled it out of us!

Allot of the photos (particularly the ones with me and X in) were very live without-able. The ones of just the girls though - ohhh it broke my heart when they said they'd be destroyed if we didn't want them! arrgghh. Stuck to my guns though grin

One of the ones we chose (of just the kids) is just gorgeous. Black and white of them laying side by side chins in hands looking straight at camera. The other is a group shot of us all, again b+w, that is only so so.

An interesting thing to note - my friend had a family session with them about 2 years ago. Bought a large canvas, paid well into 3 figures, and managed to say no to the rest. Recently the studio rung her up and said they were about to destroy the rest of the prints and did she want any more from the set before it was too late. She said no, no money. It was the truth. They rang back later the same day (while i was there) and offered her a gimormous discount. She still couldn't afford it so just said no thanks again. In the end the guy basically said give us what ever you can afford for whatever prints you want! He'd obviously been told not to come off the phone till they got something more for the prints before binning them!

To avoid the embarrasment with the kind person who gave you the voucher, you could have some photos done by ANOTHER photographer later, when you feel more confident and the baby can sit up a bit.

Then you can say 'thank you for our lovely photos' (whilst not actually admitting that all you are thanking them for is the idea

I'd go with norks idea, they are very pushy

On the subject of electric breast pumps tesco have one on sale at the moment for £50 grin

DH and I "won" a free session with them once. I actually really liked our photo. I don't usually photograph well, so it was nice to have a shot I didn't mind putting on display. I have heard awful things about them being really pushy, but the people we dealt with were really nice. They even let us upgrade our "free" picture to a larger one and only pay the difference.

elliejjtiny Wed 09-Jan-13 16:48:58

We got handed a free voucher a few years ago when DS1 was 1. We got a nice free photo but DS looked quite pale against the white background. Didn't buy any others. We had a session with pixi photo in mothercare a few years later that was a lot nicer and we did it on a day when you could have the shoot and a 10x8 photo for £5.

I love the idea of a photographer going for a walk with you and taking some family shots. I'd love to do that in 2 or 3 years time when the baby I'm currently pregnant with is walking.

therewearethen Wed 09-Jan-13 16:54:51

I like norks idea 2 but the person knows the expiry is looming and apologised for this, so they'll know by x date if I haven't mentioned it or shown a photo that we 'wasted' the voucher.

I didn't realised I'd have to go twice either hmm it's nearly an hour away.

<off to check the TESCO website>

YesIamYourSisterInLaw Wed 09-Jan-13 16:55:31

I have some lovely pictures on on my wall from them BUT we had a long wait to get them and there's no way in hell I would of bought them at the full price.

We were given a package like you and went when I was 7months pregnant. They talked us into doing a bump and baby shoot so we said we'd view the pregnancy pictures when we came back with newborn. We rang when ds was about 3 months and the line had been disconnected. We eventually found out from one of their saleswomen in town that they had closed that branch and our photos were gone. Had to email head office kicking up a fuss and got about £600 off or something like that. We came away with 8 photos in the end, they were on a special buy one with lots of photos get a big one much cheaper thing. The total should of been 1200 but with the money off, the voucher we had in the first place and the other photo deal I paid 400.
We didn't in the end get the photos taken until ds was 10months so we did have a long wait but I do love the photos and the price even more

BrianCoxandTheTempleofDOOM Wed 09-Jan-13 17:01:01

I have experience as a customer and from the inside (didn't work for them, but with them).

Stay away!

1) Overpriced. A local photographer will give you as good quality for less money and no hard sell.

2) Their after-sales customer service is shocking - they are a franchise and the studio/photographers range in their willingness to give after sales care (should you have any issues with your end product)

Also, they want family groups and to ensure the father is present - he controls the finances of the family you see, the little lady needs him there to make decisions for her hmm (ok, they didn't say that exactly, but my source insinuated as much!)

The photo's we had done are beautiful, they truly are, but we would have got similar locally had we not been sucked in by the 'free voucher' crap.

Deux Wed 09-Jan-13 17:02:52

My DH got one of these free vouchers and went on and on at me to have this family shoot. DD was only 8 months old and the last thing I wanted to do was get all dressed up at 9 in the morning.

I would have walked away quite easily with the free print but DH insisted we buy a kind of collage print. I hated it being on the wall, it just seemed too 'public'.

I find it all quite vain and vulgar and really we could have bought a lovely piece of artwork for the money. We had some building work done and the picture went up in the loft where it has remained for the last 4 years. We could have got the same results from an independent photographer at a quarter of the cost.

BrianCoxandTheTempleofDOOM Wed 09-Jan-13 17:03:30

We rang when ds was about 3 months and the line had been disconnected. We eventually found out from one of their saleswomen in town that they had closed that branch and our photos were gone. Had to email head office kicking up a fuss and got about £600 off or something like that.

This is very common, they charge so much that business is slow and Franchise's are finding it hard to remain competitive - therefore closures are usual.

You were lucky to get money off or the pictures back - I have known situations where the photo's were lost/misplaced and there was no comeback as that particlar franchise was but a distant memory!

DrSeuss Wed 09-Jan-13 17:04:04

Where do you live? If it's anywhere near Darlington or Stockton then I can recommend lovely, reasonably priced people.

Lovethesea Wed 09-Jan-13 17:05:54

Got a promotional free voucher and went along for a family shot. Intended only to take the free shot as had no money.

Shots were ok but not amazing, the small free one we took was nice but no loss that it was small. Very, very hard sell on the others and the hundreds of pounds they wanted from us. Music, soft lighting, comfy seats while you see all your shots like a Hello magazine montage.

Very nice we said. Just the free one please. Got offered payment plans and discounts and took a lot of firmness to leave with just the free photo. They looked very pissed but I was astounded at how pricey the others were so no chance of buying a slightly bigger one.

WhistlingNun Wed 09-Jan-13 17:06:40

I'll give you my experience.

I was in a shopping centre a few Christmases ago and got approached by one of these Venture Vulture people. They started off with 'what a gorgeous girl you have.' 'She's really photogenic, isn't she?'

She asked if i wanted to come over to their stall and get a free sample picture. For some reason they're magicians! i agreed.

The photography man started taking the picture. Meanwhile, the woman was getting me to fill in forms and persuading me to buy a £10 voucher which would allow me an hour's photo shoot and a free print.

I thought 'Wow!'. So i bought it.

So i gathered dd and left. They told me they'd text me the sample picture. An hour later it arrived (with a huge SAMPLE printed across it so I could hardly make it out). They'd totally photoshopped it! They'd removed her little freckle on her cheek and made her look much lighter. I barely recognised her!

I booked my 'free' photoshoot a few weeks later at their studio in the city. They were very hands on and a bit OTT. They kept asking if i wanted dd to change into other outfits, and use props etc. Some people might like this, but not me. I just wanted a simple professional picture in her party dress as a gift for her gran.

Pah!

After the photoshoot, they told me to come back another day for my 'viewing'. I was confused and said that surely all my pictures will be on their computer, can't i just look and choose my free one just now?

But apparently it didn't work like that.

I had to come back another day, and was asked to bring my family too.

So i came back with my mum. They put us in a small room, turned off the lights, started to play some weepy music and put on a display of all the photos they'd taken during the shoot. They stopped at almost every one asking if i liked it and wanted to 'reserve' it.

Of course, my dear old mum didn't quite click on (I'd only just clicked I was being made a mug of when the display started) and started with 'Oh, yes, reserve that one. I'll look at that one again at the end.'

So at the end, we had about thirty reserved pictures. And they could have been all ours for just £5000 apparently! Bargain, eh?

When i explained i didn't have the money, and they'd stared my mum into an admitance of not having the money either, they began with their credit schemes.

I had to get firm at this point. We came for the free picture. We'll take that one. Adios.

Incredibly hard sellers.

I found PixiFoto quite reasonable. But they get a load of flack too. Lovely 30 minute shoot and free picture for £10. I then bought 10 different poses in large-ish prints for £150.

diddl Germany Wed 09-Jan-13 17:06:54

400GBP for 8 photos-bet they still made a profit!

I love all this-the photos should have been 1000s-says who?

Oh yes-them!!

flossyfloo Wed 09-Jan-13 17:07:12

We won a voucher a couple of years back so thought we'd go along and get the free print after. The photoshoot was awful, getting me to climb on DH's back, to look into each others eyes lovingly, for him to tickle me (I point blank refused that one!). They did take lovely ones of the kids though.

I agree with others about the hard sell. When we went back to view the photos, they almost had us spending around £300 but I came to my senses at the last minute and backed out, just opted for the free one (they weren't impressed!).

So a week later, I go to collect the free print (which, like others say, was stuck in a crappy frame) to find that they had photoshopped it. My DS's auburn hair was bright ginger, my DD's dark blonde hair was light blonde, other DS looked like he was wearing mascara, all looked like they were wearing lipstick and they all looked deathly pale (which they are not) against the white backdrop. I took it back and complained and all they would say was that it had not been photoshopped and that it looked like that when we picked it at the viewing and there was nothing they could do anyway as all the pictures were destroyed after we said we didn't want them!

So, in a nutshell AVOID!!!

imogengladhart Wed 09-Jan-13 17:12:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Wed 09-Jan-13 17:13:58

A friend had some done, gorgeous pics but very very expensive.

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