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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?

RunOrRioja Wed 09-Jan-13 14:47:50

They are a shit company.

They will do a VERY hard sell on you afterwards. The photography is not particularly good either. Lots of photoshop manipulation.

KobayashiMaru Wed 09-Jan-13 14:47:52

They are shit and overpriced. This isn't an aibu though, is it?

NoNoNoMYDoIt Wed 09-Jan-13 14:49:44

as above. rubbish, overpriced, hard sell. don't do it. Very very hard sell.

AmandinePoulain Wed 09-Jan-13 14:50:25

Don't do it!

I fell for this when dd1 was a baby. The shoot itself was fine but they really put on a hard sell when it comes to viewing the photos. The free print is tiny so in my hormonal state I ended up buying 2 photos in a bigger size. Whilst they are nice photos they are certainly not worth the amount I paid for them. I'm actually quite embarrassed that I fell for the whole 'if you don't buy these now you'll regret it; you'll never see them again' spiel blush.

We've had photos done of both dds since dd2 was born by the photographer who did dd1's school photos, they are just as nice and far cheaper.

Avoid, avoid, avoid!

harryhausen Wed 09-Jan-13 14:51:12

Very hard sell.

We ended up with a great photo which we love but it is WAY too big and was extremely over priced. Also, I didn't know but at the time I was of with our second dc - so he's not on it obviously. Do now, it doesn't even feel like a 'family' photo.

I went with a voucher and got sucked in.

sleepyhead Wed 09-Jan-13 14:51:28

Run. Run away now. Shred the voucher and never look back.

Seriously, I've not heard anything good about this company and a friend was persuaded to part with hundreds of pounds after her "free" session. She's a really sensible, level headed person but she said the pressure was incredible.

WilsonFrickett Wed 09-Jan-13 14:52:07

The voucher costs £35 (sorry to whoever gave it to you) so you have to think that at the very least they are going to want to sell you £210 worth of stuff to make it up to the £245. That said, I quite like the photo style. But they will push you hard to spend the money.

AmandinePoulain Wed 09-Jan-13 14:52:35

I've also read a story on here about a mum who took along her baby for a shoot, the baby had a birthmark and the photographer edited it out! Shocking behaviour IMO angry

Preposteroushypothesis Wed 09-Jan-13 14:52:39

Another vote against them!! Very hard sell and to get a decent sized photo you will need to pay extra on top of your voucher. The photo also comes built into the frame so you can't change the frame. The frame is crap and we can't even hang ours up just stand it up. There are much better companies who will do better deals, although they are all overpriced!!

HokeyCokeyPigInAPokey Wed 09-Jan-13 14:54:22

I had one of those vouchers years ago.

The photo shoot was ok, I don't like having my picture taken but it wasn't as horrendous as I thought it would be.

It is the hard sell that is the problem like everyone else has said. I only took the free one as dh is very firm but they do try and sell you photos at astronomical prices.

The free one is a lovely family photo but I wouldn't have paid for it, not at their prices.

Expensive.......your voucher isn't worth jack as they will end up trying to flog you hundreds of pounds worth of photos. There are plenty of decent reasonable photograph studios out there who would be far better.

Bin the voucher, it isn't really worth that money!

Mono1 Wed 09-Jan-13 14:57:39

We've recently done the whole "photo experience" just before Christmas and have come away with some lovely shots. Helluva expensive tho but you could just take the voucher pic and run. I thinking depends on what branch you go to. Each branch is a franchise so they are dictated to by a Head Office but could (in our case at least) be a bit flexible.
The shoot itself was very laid back and although they tried all the guff about "telling a story" or a "journey" we ignored all that and just took nice family photos.
Then, this is the important bit, they did us a good deal on the print we bought and electronic/jpeg versions of the photos. It was still A LOT of money and more than we intended to spend but when we made it clear that it was the price that was stopping us they were very prepared to negotiate a deal.
I'd suggest that you phone them and explain your circumstances and ask them to extend the voucher until baby is about 6 months. If they don't seem understanding then I think you'll get an idea of how they would be about the rest of the "experience".

They're OK. We have some prints from them. If I were you, I wouldn't go, for all the reasons you listed in your OP. They are good and valid reasons to ignore the voucher.

My dh, for reasons unknown to me, really likes them. We went once when dd was a baby and again when ds was a toddler. First time we went, Venture and their style was a new thing. By the time ds arrived, everyone was doing it, many of them better and cheaper. I could not convince dh of this and he insisted on going there and on buying prints for my birthday. (I know!!) The one of ds is really cute. They didn't really capture dd and I think I look like a pair of tits and dh like he's balding. He doesn't see it though! I have spent the past 5 years pretending I like the ruddy huge prints on my wall.

Don't do it! Wait until you feel gorgeous and baby has passed the wrinkly stage, then book a session with your local photographer.

One thing in Venture's favour though: people say they do a hard sell. Maybe they do, but we never felt pressured (well, apart from me feeling pressured by dh).

MrsShortfuse Wed 09-Jan-13 15:00:11

Agree with all the above. Very hard sell, they don't like it if you don't want to pay ££££ on top of your voucher and they are pretty unpleasant about it.

Avoid!

NolittleBuddahsorTigerMomshere Wed 09-Jan-13 15:02:54

Awful, DM won a photograph with them when I was younger for a family photo, but DF was working and couldn't go with us, and the women refused to take the picture! shock What if he had died? Or Walked out on us? She didn't ask why he wasn't there and told us we couldn't come back and was very rude. Never forgot it, and never used them with my own family!

NoNoNoMYDoIt Wed 09-Jan-13 15:04:27

oh yes - the editing. they edited DS's eyelashes. he was about 7 months old and he looks like he is wearing mascara. it's a nice photo but tbh i have taken better ones myself.

Twattybollocks Wed 09-Jan-13 15:05:13

Serious hard sell experience here. Dh booked me a makeover and shoot with them when I was in a really low spot a few years ago. They were lovely until the last bit when I reviewed the photos to decide which I wanted as my free one (none really, I looked fat and tired anddepressed on all of them, no amount of slap and nice clothes was going to hide that)
Once it became clear that I had no money to buy more and no intention of succumbing to the pressure, the bloke became quite unpleasant and couldn't get me out of the office fast enough. Left me in tears on the way home. Never again.

Vagaceratops Wed 09-Jan-13 15:09:31

I used to work for them as a telesales agent.

Nasty company - they are liars too.

therewearethen Wed 09-Jan-13 15:10:00

Thanks for the quick replies, my gut instinct was to think oh god I really don't want to go but what do I tell the person who I assume parted with hard earned cash to buy the voucher when they ask!?

I know it's not an AIBU but didn't know where else to post and they've rung and left a voicemail which I've ignored but I assume they'll keep ringing me until I answer!

I'm all for using someone locally as long as I'm not in it as the only price I could see was for the 'free' print and at £98 that made me shock tbh if I had that in the bank I'd be ordering my electric breast pump and not buying a photo!

squeaver Wed 09-Jan-13 15:10:17

They are naffola and a complete rip-off.

SilverBellsandCockleShells Wed 09-Jan-13 15:13:32

I had a 'free' Venture picture taken at a show a few months ago. Once they'd taken the picture, they tried to book me in for a family photo shoot! I can't remember what the actual deal was, but it was 'normally' £150 and down to about £20. When I declined to book in, I got the third degree about why I could possibly resist such a bargain. They realised they weren't getting anywhere and moved on. If they were that bad at the show, I dread to think what they would have been like at the studio (which was, incidentally, an hour away and I'd have had to go twice ...)

I did like the picture they took, so googled local photographers and found a lovely lady who came to our house, went out for a walk with us and took photos of us all. She gave us a digital copy of all the images and free reign to use them. All for £200! Much nicer pictures out in the countryside, too, rather than against that stark white backdrop Venture use.

valiumredhead Wed 09-Jan-13 15:15:00

Shit and over priced and will do a huge hard sell on you like you have never experienced before!

A local photographer will do a better job ime for a fraction of the price.

RyleDup Wed 09-Jan-13 15:15:05

Shite. They do a serious hard sell and any extra photos you want would mean taking out an extra mortgage. You dont own the copywrite to your childrens photos and they can use them for advertising without asking you. Steer clear. Get a local photographer instead, cheaper and a better all round experience.

I have some lovely pics at home from a photo shoot with them.
I thought they were very good. Pics are all fun pics and I don't usually like having my photo taken.
It is a hard sell but as long as you are strong you won't fall for it all.
I had 1 set and that was it. Think I paid an extra £30 and that was it.
It you're not good at saying 'no' then it's probably not for you.

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.

IDrankAllTheGravy Wed 09-Jan-13 17:16:54

The photographers are normally very good at getting you in the mood for a photo session. Ours was lovely and we got some great pictures to choose from, they were all very bright though.
We were given the mega hard sell, it was awful. It was me and my ex and we were about 18 years old being pressured in to spending thousands on pictures.

I would never go back just cos I hate being sold to.
If you can be firm and don't mind the hard sell then go for it.

EmpressMaud Wed 09-Jan-13 17:19:54

I've never used them, personally. And I'd never heard of them until reading negative threads here, and they usually are negative on the whole.

SoldeInvierno Wed 09-Jan-13 17:20:10

I had a session with them about 8 years ago. When I went back to get the free print they insisted I bring DH along. They wouldn't give it to us without both of us being present and they insisted that it had to be just the 2 of us, no DS!!

Anyway, by the time I got there, I was so pissed off, I told the guy to not bother with the hard sale. I just got my free picture and left. I must have looked like I meant it because he didn't even insist.

diddl Germany Wed 09-Jan-13 17:21:13

OP-if you do go, can I suggest that you just take the voucher as "payment"?

littlewhitebag Wed 09-Jan-13 17:23:51

I spent quite a lot of money on photos from venture. I really love them and still get a lot of pleasure from looking at them.

BrianCoxandTheTempleofDOOM Wed 09-Jan-13 17:38:00

littlewhitebag the pictures we had done (it was my mum who paid) are lovely and she adores them, but she sounds like their sales person when she says the money is worth it as "it is a piece of art to be passed down to future generations...."

I understand her meaning of course, it has meaning to her therefore it was worth it.

Our session was 9 years ago (this week actually...) I remember because I was 3 weeks post C-Section and they were trying to make me climb on my brother's back confused

therewearethen Wed 09-Jan-13 18:00:26

You've all confirmed my fears, it says in the T & C that you have to give 5days notice if you want to cancel or a £25 charge will apply. This is why I assume they need your credit/debit card details when booking, and of course to make it oh so easy for you to spend £££! I wonder what they'll say when I tell them I only have a visa electron card! Oh wait it's my husband that has all the money isn't it grin what happens if your a single parent!?

mungojerrie Wed 09-Jan-13 18:11:32

Really hard sell - full of emotional blackmail - stay well clear! If you do go - when you return for the 'viewing' make sure you don't take any wallets/cards/bags etc - and keep repeating 'i'd like the complimentary print only please'!!!

happynewmind Wed 09-Jan-13 18:24:34

Their hard sell is awful.

I have a bridge camera (I between a normal and a pro) and can take better pictures than they did, even the funky coloured ones.

I returned dds school photos (15 quid for a six by 4 and took them myself.

Hydrophilic Wed 09-Jan-13 18:28:09

Please don't go just after giving birth. Your hormones will be all over the place and they will use this to their advantage to get you to spend £££.

I have never had a photoshoot with them but hate the idea of standing in a clinical environment posing like a twat. As someone said above, why not wait until the baby is older and get a local photographer to come and take pictures in the woods, at the local park etc.

I am about to start a photography course and would love the opportunity to practice in different environments, you could ask at your local college to see if any of the students would like a family to practice on?

AlwaysHoldingOnToStarbug Wed 09-Jan-13 18:39:15

My SIL booked the whole family in for a session, so we had her family, ours, plus dh's brothers and their kids. We had a huge group one done then individual family ones. Dh's brothers actually refused to even go look at their photos so I went with SIL and we chose the whole family group pic as a present for PILs and we each bought our family ones for £75 for a 7 x 5 photo.

The pics were nice enough and we weren't given too much of a hard sell (maybe because we were the little women and hadn't bought our men with us) but I wouldn't say they were worth the money. And they're out of date now as we have DS5.

I have a friend who is a great photographer who has offered to take pics of my kids, nice outdoor natural ones.

KenLeeeeeee Wed 09-Jan-13 18:42:28

Shit photos, crappily edited & photoshopped, hugely overpriced & will lay on the hard sell at you when you come to choose your "free" print.

I won a session with them too, meant to include a free 7x5 print. I ended up being talked into spending a further £600 on a block print thing of us. A week after it was delivered, we split up. hmm

SeeYouWhenISeeYou Wed 09-Jan-13 18:44:05

Nasty nasty company
Hard sale
And the photographs really aren't nice at all

gordyslovesheep Germany Wed 09-Jan-13 18:47:18

I have the hide of a rhino - I only purchased the pics I wanted and paid what I could afford ...don't do it if you are easily pressurised - plenty of places do the same stuff cheaper now anyway

foreversunny Wed 09-Jan-13 18:48:57

We had a free session which included a free 6x4 print. We went just to get the freebie with NO intention of buying anything.

When it came to the viewing of the photos, I was genuinely hmm at the photos. They were very unflattering, bland and boring. I didn't like any of them.

They tried with the hard sell but I was having none of it. I told them outright I thought the photos were awful and we were by no means going to buy any of them. We were in and out in 10 min after picking the least awful one for our freebie.

The prices were absolutely shocking.

whateveritakes Wed 09-Jan-13 19:03:34

I had to have bare feet as their studio is an all white affair....nott happy as I have hideous bunions.

My mother brought 2 photos and we had the free one. I quite liked the photo shopping as they brought out my son's blue eyes and his blue hooded poncho.
However I wouldn't have done it for subsequent children and TBH baby photo's look odd when they are growing up...who wants baby photo's on the wall when they are 9 or 10 and doing interesting stuff in photo's?

PeerieMootsMum Wed 09-Jan-13 19:07:37

Got talked into buying a session for £50 when I was out for first time on my own with DS1 and booked appointment. DH flat out refused to go as he'd had photos there before and said the hard sell was incredible.and he'd rather 'lose' the £50 than be pressurised into spending a fortune. We ended up using a local photographer for a fraction the cost and v happy with the results. Oh and they KEPT phoning way after the expiry date to rearrange, I'm a chicken so just dodged the calls and they have up after about 2 months!

A couple of years ago my daughter a box set photo experience (like the red letter day thingimies) it cost her £35. Looking at the small print hidden inside the box, so you can't see it until unsealed, it stated that each person involved in the shoot would have to pay £20 each, so £100 for us, which would be deducted off the cost when a larger photo was purchased. We decided not to book our shoot and apologised to DD, thankfully she understood.

EnjoyResponsibly Wed 09-Jan-13 19:27:16

Get a good local photographer to take some photos.

They will likely be better quality and more original/representative of your family than Venture styley that you can spot at 50 paces.

Then tell the relly they're the shots they paid for grin

therewearethen Wed 09-Jan-13 19:39:02

Well their keen ill give them that, they rang again at 6:30 tonight, right in the middle of me doing dinner!

I doubt I'd ever book anything like this myself, but it was a gift and I feel awful about lying if the person asks to see the photo sad

Jinsei Wed 09-Jan-13 19:39:59

Don't go. We were given a voucher and went for the photo shoot, which was quite good fun, but we refused to go back for the hard sell viewing because we had alarm bells ringing. They insisted that both DH and I attend, but under no circumstances were we allowed to bring dd with us. I was later told by someone "in the know" that they want women there because they think we will emotionally engage with the pictures and insist on buying them whether we can afford it or not hmm, that men have to attend too because there is an assumption that they control the purse strings hmm hmm and that DCs are not welcome because they might distract their parents from the sales patter.

Go to a local photographer instead. You'll get a lovely photo for a fraction of the price and none of the hassle!

Stealthfart Wed 09-Jan-13 19:41:29

My mum got mislead by one of their offers a couple of years ago (she's a bit soft) and paid a lot of money for photos that have now begun to fade fairly badly.

YesIamYourSisterInLaw Wed 09-Jan-13 22:52:41

Alright diddi keep your knickers on I was just mentioning the price in a roundabout way and to show how expensive it would have been I even said I would never have paid full price for them and I never said they were worth that price.
We had pictures done with a local photographer and had 4 in a block frame for around 270 so I while I have no doubt they made a profit I still feel the framed pictures we got in the end were worth what i paid.

musicposy Wed 09-Jan-13 23:20:29

A friend of mine had photos done with them. They are lovely photos but obviously a bit touched up to make her daughter look perfect. She paid over £600 for 3 relatively small prints. There's no way we could run to that.

A lady from them accosted me in a shopping centre. I showed a mild interest and what a mistake! She was so pushy, insisted on finding out if I had a DH and said he would have to come, wouldn't let me go. In the end I had to be really rude and just walk off to get away. I knew from friend's experience if I gave in it would cost me £££.

A friend of ours takes photos for motor magazines so we asked if he would do the DDs. He wasn't even sure himself as portraits weren't his field of expertise. However, he borrowed a backdrop, came round and took some photos of them.

They are just the most gorgeous photos, far, far nicer than the venture shots. The girls look so happy and natural. All our relatives wanted copies and 4 years on we all still have them up. He only charged us costs but it would have been well worth paying a couple of hundred for them. They are not ostentatious or fakely posed like the venture ones, just beautiful pictures.

I'd wait until baby is older and you feel human again, and get a local photographer. Maybe just be honestvwith the voucher giver whilst making it clear you appreciate the thought behind it.

SneakyNuts Thu 10-Jan-13 00:02:46

My photos are really bloody nice actually. I love them!

Porkster Thu 10-Jan-13 00:05:31

The photos are the definition of naff and Venture will try very, very hard to rip you off.

Tallalime Thu 10-Jan-13 00:16:09

I was given this exact package -PIL were given it when they bought a car and gave it to us - yes, the whole family did have to get involved. At first I was dubious as both DH and I hate having our photo taken.

We did it though, our photographer was actually really nice. He spent 10 mins taking 'family' pics and the rest of the time did pictures of just DD, who LOVES having her picture taken and had a whale of a time.

They did put the hard sell on us at the viewing but since there wasn't a snowflakes chance in hell we could afford anything it was a pointless endeavor on their part and I took pictures of all the photo's on my phone as they did the show sneaky like, so I have them all we ended up with a lovely photo of DD and it was free.

So while I wouldn't pay for them if you know you are strong enough to refuse to buy anything else and can put up with a few pictures of yourself being taken you should at least get a nice photo of your newborn out of them.

mummyplonk Thu 10-Jan-13 00:21:00

They are overpriced..but most I have seen are nice photos from there, if you have time I guess look for a local photographer. There are so many talented people trying to start a business now, it's really worth just asking their prices.

MrsMelons Thu 10-Jan-13 08:33:07

We have been 3 times, once we knew we were going to spend a lot on a big piece for the lounge (£1100 shock) but the other time we got free vouchers.

The time we were given vouchers we made a decision we would have the free photo plus 1 other the same size so around £100/150. We stuck to that.

The photos we have are really really lovely but it is so so expensive. The people we saw were not pushy but when you are seeing all these lovely pictures it is hard not to be tempted.

My friend was in a similar situation re the expiry date as she had also just given birth but they agreed to extend it for her - have you asked them?

freddiefrog Thu 10-Jan-13 08:38:30

We were given a voucher too and got a really nice photo.

I think they're ok if you can be all hard-ass with them, I've never experienced a hard-sell like it but I stuck to my guns, didn't take any money/bank cards to the photo viewing and came out with the 1 free photo. They really tried it on though

FobblyWoof Thu 10-Jan-13 08:46:38

I got the same offer as you OP, but they signed me up at a shopping centre.

We had the photoshoot and left with just the free picture. There wasn't a hard sell for us. They do try and get you with the emotional crap but we had a really positive experience with them. plus I wanted some pictures where my spots were photoshopped out!

trixymalixy Thu 10-Jan-13 08:51:04

I have a lovely picture of DS from them. My Mum won a photoshooot and we all went. The pictures of all of us were pretty rubbish but there was one amazing one of DS. The price was ridiculous. I managed to talk the guy into selling it at a massively reduced price, about the same as you would have spent at a normal photographer.

I now think it's a bit naff unfortunately, but still a lovely picture.

MumWithCamera Thu 10-Jan-13 13:13:28

I don't often feel like I have anything useful to add to threads but in this instance I couldn't not speak up! angry

I am a mum and a photographer. I do family photography.

I am by no means alone in the photography industry in thinking that Venture are giving photographers a bad name and making all our jobs more difficult.

Because of the combination of hard sell and their prices, customers repeatedly come away with a terrible experience. Can you think of any non-photography sales situation where you would willingly put yourself through a hard-sell situation? I despair that it has become so successful for them (£££ of course!) that so many mums think it is the "norm" for photography angry

Professional photography should be a joy from beginning to end - that is what I aim for, and I get feedback from each and every client - and so far, touch wood, they are 100% satisfied from start to finish. Indeed they loved the photography and loved the sales session - because I asked them pre-shoot what they were aiming for (eg, a canvas for the wall, a present for grandma etc). tailored the shoot to this and didn't push anything - only suggested what seemed right for their home, their style and their budget.

Another point that someone mentioned I'd like to pick up on - Venture only do the white-background same-style-for-everyone. Because we've all seen this in people's homes everywhere we are brainwashed into thinking that's the 'correct' way to do it. I wouldn't personally want a white-background photo of me and my family on my wall, but some people do love it. Just like you wouldn't all want the same piece of art on the wall - it's not a one-size-fits all kinda thing..!

I give clients the choice, and the vast majority want to do outdoor shoots - walk in the country, natural relaxed posing with the family in beautiful suroundings, or non-posed shots of children interacting framed in an artistic manner with beautiful natural lighting, sunset etc. smile Just be aware you do have a choice.. you just need to find the right photographer to suit your style.

When choosing a local photographer go with your instincts. Look at their portfolio (there should be a good range on their website), look at how long they have been working, look for testimonials/recommendations, and look for someone that suits your style.

Sorry for the rant, but MAKING MUMS HAPPY with photography is very close to my heart!! That's why I do my job!

And no.. I don't make much money I do it because I love it and it brings so much joy smile

HecatePropolos Thu 10-Jan-13 13:16:58

don't touch them with a bargepole!

Ridiculously expensive. high pressure sales tactics and trying to make you feel like you hate your children if you don't pay at least a thousand pounds for pictures.

There are some fantastic photographers out there. Pick one of them.

smileyfacestar Thu 10-Jan-13 19:43:32

Do not get involved with Venture! They insist on the whole family being in the pictures and attending viewings. They make you tour their studio and listen to their spiel and get huffy when they don't have your full attention because the baby is irritable after an hour long photo shoot. They will harass you by phone and accuse you of wasting their time if you refuse to return for the so called free picture because of said harassment.

StinkyWicket Thu 10-Jan-13 19:55:02

AmandinePoulain that was me, they airbrushed out my baby's birthmark. The manager sorted it and was very apologetic and to be fair I love the pictures we have.

BUT

Very very very very hardsell. We ended up taking a loan for about £1000 to get one of their large portraits done (it has about 9 photos in it) which we only paid off last year.

I do like the photos but definitely wouldn't do it again!

smileyfacestar Thu 10-Jan-13 19:56:29

Do not get involved with Venture! They insist on the whole family being in the pictures and attending viewings. They make you tour their studio and listen to their spiel and get huffy when they don't have your full attention because the baby is irritable after an hour long photo shoot. They will harass you by phone and accuse you of wasting their time if you refuse to return for the so called free picture because of said harassment.

Pandemoniaa Thu 10-Jan-13 20:07:12

I'd avoid them like the plague, tbh. Their over-processed style of "relaxed" photography is very dated and the hard sell has to be seen to be believed. I have a friend who could afford their prices and even she was taken aback by their methods. In particular, their refusal to allow her to view the images without her husband being present and the appalling emotional strings they pull (your pictures will be destroyed) in order to get a sale.

It did them no good at all because had Venture behaved sensibly, she and her dh were happy to spend several hunded pounds on family portraits anyway.

I advise you to look for a well recommended, local, professional photographer and quietly "lose" this voucher. The grief you'll go through is simply not worth it for the results you'll get.

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