Portrait Studios

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Inexpensive Portrait Studio

Nov 2008

We want to get some portraits of our 1 yr old and 4 yr old done at a photo studio. I'm thinking of Sears or JCPenney because we don't want to spend a lot. Does anyone have any recent experience with Sears in downtown Oakland or Hilltop mall? Downtown Oakland is closer for us but I'd be willing to go to Hilltop if it would be better. Is JCPenney at Hilltop mall better? Thanks in advance. Chris

I would strongly recommend Sapasorn Ridhikerd for family or individual portraits. Sapasorn has done black & white and color holiday portraits of our family for 6 years in a row, and we have always been extremely pleased. He's very friendly, quite talented, and reasonably priced. He is based in Berkeley, but does work all over the Bay Area. You can reach him at 415-632-6744 or sapasorn [at] gmail.com. Martin

Nightingale Photography is fantastic. The owner, Christina Hernandez, is also holding a free portrait party at Red Wagon clothing store in Lafayette, on 12/12/08. nightingalephotos.com lynda

Clix Portrait Studio Concord?

May 2008

Has anyone had experience with Clix Portrait Studio in Concord? I saw a rather enticing coupon for a $10 package, but I'm wondering if it's worth my while to drive through the tunnel. They have a website with a lot of pretty pictures but very little in the way of actual information (pricing, availability of images on CD etc). Are there any places out there that will sell me a photo CD with my portrait package at a reasonable price? I don't have hundreds of dollars to spend. I just want one or two pictures worth framing, a digital archive, and maybe something for my private family web page. Linda

We really like Clix-the $10 package is great, and they offer it several times a year. The one thing I suggest is to ask for Mel to be the photographer-I have found that she offers better direction and works better with our kids, leading to better pictures with her. anon

Picture People alternative?

Sept 2007

I used to take my kids to Picture People in a mall, but it appears to have moved. Any recommendations for a photo studio fairly close to North Oakland that has reasonable prices? (This is for yearly kids' photos, not formal family photos. Sears, JC Penney etc type is fine, but I didn't find them in my yellow pages.) Thanks!

check Hilltop Mall in Richmond ~ maybe it's too far but they have all the ones you mentioned... Sears, JC Penny (my friend got awesome pictures here) and also one or two independent photo stores similar to Picture People in the mall. So there are four for the price of one right there. -pictures are fun

Try JC Penny's in Hayward. We used to also go to Picture People and we've been to Sears before and our pictures were always just OK. We just went to Penny's and LOVED them. The photographer was so good, she got my reluctant kids to cooperate and every picture was great. I don't know her name, though. The only problem was that you have to select the ones to buy right on the spot for the discounted price, and it was too much pressure for me to decide, considering how many good ones I had to choose from! happy customer

We've always gone to Sears in downtown Oakland and been happy

Place to get toddler's picture taken

June 2007

I am new to the area and was looking for a good place to get my daughter's 3 year old pictures taken. I am looking for something reasonable in price, but will spend a little more if the place is good. Thanks. Amy

The Studio Montclair Reenie Raschke Photography 6232 La Salle Blvd. Oakland, CA 94611 Phone - (510) 339-8565 reenie[at]reenieimages.com She's a friendly, whimsical gal everybody adores! Stop by and see her work! She is AWESOME with kids and I believe she may still have little rabbits living in her studio! Good luck! lisa

Portrait Studio - not Dept Stores

November 2006

We've already tried the Sears photo studio a few times and it's just not a match for our needs/my requirements. We have also done the prof photographer in our home and on location (can't afford that every year to document the kids' growth & cuteness.) So I'm looking for something in between - an affordable studio (maybe with discounts/coupons?) that has photographers who are GREAT with kids. I want to go to a studio that has staff & a photographer who are creative and helpful in getting my kids' attention & smiles, is willing to be patient w/ their normal kid issues, and has fun/cute props. I think part of the problem is that I used to work at a high quality specialty kids photog studio (not around here) and so I have high expectations that may be hard to meet, but there must be someplace! I live in El Cerrito, but am willing to travel 30 min or so. If you've had a positive experience recently, please let me know. Picky & Thrifty!

My brother and his family have gotten pictures from ''The Picture People'' in the Stoneridge Mall in Dublin, annually, for the past 6 years. They always look great (and I know the cost is really reasonable). We even did a family portrait there (extended family) which honestly is better than any of the portraits we have done with photographers who we have hired. I think the Picture People do a really good, and very CONSISTENT, job I'll give up the artistic flair if I can get a pic where everyone is smiling!