Portraits USA LLC, Studios Of America, or whatever other name is a scam!
I went to pick up some groceries at my local Bi-Lo back in September and an associate for this company was there. He saw that I had my infant son with me and told me how great it would be to have good photos of him for the small fee of $10 and $6 for sitting fee. Then he said this was a one time deal and you had to sign up early. Finally, just to get the man to leave me alone and shut-up I agreed and found out I had to pay him $10 right there on the spot. I dished out the cash, scheduled my time, and went on my way with a now hungry and wet infant.
I showed up with my children and in-laws, who were in town visiting, the day of our appointment. Things started to seem iffy from the moment we realized that they were taking the pictures in the restaurant deli area of the store. You couldn't choose backgrounds, there was no privacy or actual studio type set up and the photographer was very creepy. He started taking pictures, but we were not allowed to see the pictures. He scared the s**t out of my 14 month old son and made him cry and even scared my 3 year old. Then he sent me away since it would be easier if I wasn't around and my son would stop crying (my son did stop crying, but when I came back my son broke down again and wouldn't let go of me). We were almost finished with the photo shoot when I realized that I still had my heart rate monitor on my arm. I asked him if I could take it off and if he would take one more family photo of me and my kids and he said no! Then we had to schedule a time for me to come back, see the pictures, pick up our free ones and pay for others.
I went to the next appointment alone. The lady selling the pictures talked up the company, Stated how they are a very "well-renowned" nationwide company with years of experience and the highest ratings, laid out the prices, showed me all the pictures, then showed me my free ones, which were the worst of the bunch! After 20 minutes she convinced me to buy a package with the CD. I wanted the CD so I could take it home and photo shop some of the photos so that they A- didn't have my heart rate monitor in them, or B- didn't have my son screaming in them. I couldn't even look at the family photo because it made me feel so guilty that I had put my poor baby boy through that Hell! I agreed to 4 payments of 89.99, gave them my Debit Card information (!) and left with the pictures with a promise to get my cd in a couple of weeks as well as 2 photos that had somehow disappeared from the printed out pictures (they did call me later to say that the photos had been found in someone elses package and tell me that they would send them with the cd).
It is now almost 2 months later and I have yet to receive the CD or pictures. I have called a couple of times with no response from the number I have (it seems they are always "conveniently" out of the office when I call. I am so disgusted with this whole experience. My poor son to this day is terrified of Photographers. I took him to Wal-Mart (who has a wonderful studio) to have good photos taken for my husband in Afganistan in November and we weren't even able to get pictures of my son because he would not stop crying and he seemed terrified of the nice photographer. I am devastated that this one experience at such a young age had such an impact on my baby boy.
This is the worst scam I have ever had against me. It has scarred my now 16 month old son, resulted in photos that I cannot even look at because they make me want to cry due to the memory of the experience and what I willingly put my children through, my mother-in-law is angry with me for not getting the cd yet so that she can send out her christmas cards (I think she thinks that I have it just haven't gotten around to sending it, which being the currently single parent [due to husbands deployment] of two toddlers is understandable), and I am out over 200 dollars! If I do not get the cd in the mail soon I will be submitting a complaint to the BBB as well as with Bi-Lo. If you go to BBB.org and look up this company they have a BBB rating of "F"! I wish I had.
Please, for the love of everything that is good, DO NOT FALL FOR THIS SCAM! Do NOT let them take your money, Look the other way if they are at a store in your area, Don't put your children through this hellish experience! Tell them that you have read horrible ratings about them from other people. Do your research before you get conned like I did. I wish that I had done mine. I pray to God that no one else has to go through what I have gone through.