Congratulations on your new baby!
If you are here, most likely you’ve got a call from 1-800-465-9383 or 1-905-940-9661, or “CAN BABY” on your call display.
It is Canadian Baby Photographers. They specialize in 1-6 months baby photography at your home. When your baby is born, they buy information with your address, name and phone number from different sources. It can be some application form at any baby store, hospital you stayed in for delivery, your doctor’s office, follow-up clinic. Anyone who has information about the new born can sell it to Canadian Baby Photographers against any privacy conceptions and laws. In our case we started to receive everyday calls from them after visit to Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. Many people complain on calls after dealing with Welcome Wagon.
Finally when the call has been answered, they made a very good offer:
Come to our place with all professional equipment, take pictures in different poses, and provide three 5×7 prints absolutely free of charge with no obligations and no purchase required.
My wife intentionally called back to Canadian Baby Photographers to clarify if we can get three different pictures as a gift when they are ready. They confirmed that. We also tried to figure out what kind of prices to expect, but they did not mention any specific prices only telling that there are many different packages and prices are very competitive. Well, sounds like a good offer.
We set up time and photographer showed up exactly during one hour window. He set up his portable studio with flash stands, washed hands, and took pictures. Actually there were only two poses: sitting and lying on a tummy position with some angle. Photographer has also used some props. He did the job very professionally. But he claimed that he did not have any idea about the prices.
One week later CBP called us to make an appointment at home to show us pictures. The first appointment has been failed, because sales man showed up one hour earlier than the set up time when nobody was at home. In another three days he came on time.
Sales representative showed us 14 small printed pictures. Honestly, we expected something better. They were about average quality. Dark blue background was not good at all. And again, there were only two different poses. The price for all these printed photos was $199 plus tax! It is not a competitive price. Last time we did a professional photo session with unlimited number of poses in a stationary studio we bought 10 photos for $60 + tax. It was a special promotion with no sitting fee and other discount. But Canadian Baby Photographers do special promotion as well: no sitting fee + “three printed pictures free of charge” as a gift.
We did not want to buy all the photos for $199 + tax, because many of them looked the same, and it is very uncompetitive price. May be 2-3 additional photos. So, we asked for the price. It was $35 per photo! That is $40 bucks including taxes for one small picture. For example, Sears charges $10 per photo which is twice bigger in size than Canadian Baby Photographers offer. The quality of photos taken at Sears professional studio were even better, and there were many different poses with baby and us.
According to other customers’ negative experience with Canadian Baby Photographers at different discussion forums, we were very lucky with photographer and sales representative, who was not pushy at all. He just told that we can get “really professional” photos only from them, all other studios are unprofessional.
We also wondered if they provide digital copies of the photos. Yes, we could buy CD with images for $59 but only with $199 purchase of printed photos. Sears offers all photos on CD for $199 (without any discounts) taken in a stationary professional studio with virtually unlimited number of poses and participating people (can be the whole family).
If we knew about the prices at the beginning we would not spend two hours on these meetings. Canadian Baby Photographers unfair promotion was very disappointing also. They promised three different photos as a gift, but gave only one.
Usually people do not make professional photography during baby’s first months, because there is a lot of stuff to care about, so parents are not aware of really competitive prices and possible quality. Canadian Baby Photographers take advantage of it, and continue to call every single day to make a photo session. When you see good pictures of your baby for the first time, there is a natural desire to get some of them, or even all, even for $199 + tax. However you may spend the same two hours to shop around and find the same or better quality for less.
Take care of your family!