I got a Bounty Voucher from the maternity hospital when I had Anna. Well I got 4 actually - 4 vouchers for free portraits of the baby (with of without siblings) over a 24 month period.
I decided I had better use it last week given the first voucher covered up to the end of the first 6 months and she was 7 months old last Saturday.
You can choose from Pixifoto studios or Portrait Place photographers.
When I had Marcel and Charlotte, I thought these vouchers were wonderful - the photos were superior to anything I could do - they used Hasselblads back then and I had a Minolta SLR.
Now, however, they use DSLRs - I have seen them use both Nikon and Olympus. That is to say, the actual photographic equipment they are using is no longer superior to what I use at home (Sony 350). Given Thomas bought me umbrellas for my 40th, I now also have the start of the lighting package they use too. Ok, I would need a few extra lights - coloured ones, soft and silhouette lighting but I now think the only thing I am lacking is a room without a window and a black and a white backdrop before I could take superior photos. The reason I say that is, I believe these photography companies are now so confident in their equipment, they are no longer employing decent photographers, assuming anyone with that equipment can take a decent enough photo to flog to the average punter. This of course is true, but a sad ambition. The photographer the other day did a fair job with Marcel and Charlotte as they were old enough to be cooperative but the little ones are more difficult to photograph nicely. He was a sweet enough young guy but he was definitely not as good a photographer as I am. He was happy if he got them all looking in the right direction, assuming somehow that a smile would be a bonus rather than a necessity. I don't believe he had an eye for photography, he simply put the kids in half a dozen pre-rehearsed poses - with teddy, with building blocks etc rather than taking ten minutes to get to see the dynamics of the group and working with that, the way I could in the same studio, given I know the dynamics as their mum and can take a decent photo with decent equipment.
It is frustrating not to have my own studio, not only because I could do better photos of my own family, but I believe I could also do better photos commercially.
I just found this photo on flickr... hmmm I am wondering where else I could keep my lawnmower and bikes, if I was to turn my garage into a photographic studio too!