Monday, December 31, 2012

Portrait Innovations....EH!

For our first Christmas my family and I went to a local photo studio for some portraits to be made. We asked around and heard nothing but good things about Portrait Innovations (henceforth known as PI) so we decided to give them a chance and see what they offered.

We set up an appointment which we later had to cancel due to Elizabeth getting sick.  On the second appointment we arrived early and were eagerly greeted when we entered the "studio" by the young lady who was to be our photographer.  The young lady was super nice and energetic which really helped to relax and have a good time since this was our first time as a family taking professional photographs.  I can not say enough how nice the photographer(s) they were all really good with Elizabeth.  After taking 20 minutes to take the photos, we all sat down at one of their super large computer monitors to pick out our package and poses that we wanted. The original picture set that the photographer started with was well over $450.  I told her from the get go that the price was WAY too much.  After much deliberation and conversation between Julie and I we worked the package down to about $250+ tax.  The entire time we were picking out pictures and poses the photographer (which turned into a sales person) kept pushing the fact that we needed to stay over $100 otherwise we wouldn't get the CD with all the poses and pictures.  After almost 30 minutes of discussion we choose to stick with our $250 package.  So we concluded our "session" and was told the pictures would be ready for pickup in about 45 minutes.

The pictures we picked up were really good and we are pleased with the quality of the shots and the printed pictures.  We took the pictures home and started to separate them out for each family member.  A couple days later I decided to put the CD that came with our awesome picture package.  When I put the CD in i soon realized that the HI-RES pictures were not accessible on the disk.  I then went to PI's website and found this listed under their Terms of Serve:

"Studio Portraits
Portrait Innovations retains full ownership of all right, title and interest in and to, including without limitation all copyrights in and to, any content and materials created, photographed or developed by Portrait Innovations in any of our Studios, including, without limitation, photographs and other images, text, graphics, videos, visuals, sounds, data, files, links, information and other materials (collectively, "Studio Portraits") at all times.  At our sole discretion, Studio Portraits may be available for purchase and accessible through the Services.  Upon purchase of the Studio Portraits, we grant you a limited license to use such Studio Portraits solely for your individual, personal use.  By accessing and using the Services, you hereby grant Portrait Innovations an unlimited, irrevocable, perpetual, royalty-free and fully-paid right to use, duplicate, alter, distribute, transmit, transfer, create derivative works of, and publicly display and perform (publicly or otherwise) such Studio Portraits, in connection with the Services, including the promotion of the Services, and for any other lawful purpose......   "

I take issue with a lot of what's in this section.  1.) I feel that they are broad stroking the copyright brush here and essentially stripping you of all your rights to the photos of YOUR family.  IF anything they should have limited copyright to these photos since they do not own you or your family.  Further more, I think it's shady that they do not clearly state this prior to your purchase with them and that once you have in fact purchased photos from them, you have granted them.."unlimited, irrevocable, perpetual" rights to use your pictures. 2.) For the price I paid I should have full HI-RES pictures that I can take anywhere to print.  I just feel that @ the price that I paid, I more than paid for the right to have full access to the pictures.

Would I use PI again?  I don't know honestly.  This has left such a bad taste in my mouth.  EVEN after contact their corporate office the only response I got was"
"...As for access to high resolution photos, you can email your request for a copyright release to: requests@portraitinnovations.com. Please include your session number, date, the image number you need rights to and the reason for your request."
I feel like the reason should be because they are mine! If their reprint prices weren't so high, that would make it better..but I don't know.  I think I'm more mad at myself for not putting the effort into doing research prior to picking PI to do our photos.  I guess it's my fault and I will just have to take it on the chin and learn from this mistake. Thank you life.  LOL

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