No Stress Family Photos: JCPenney Portraits

We have partnered with JCPenney Portraits to highlight their indoor photography studio. However, all opinions are my own.

As a mom, family photos are SUPER important to me! I have asked for (and received) a family photo session for every Mother’s Day since my oldest was one! Until this year, we have always taken our photos outdoors! I LOVE and treasure those pictures, and was just sure I preferred outdoor photos to an in studio session. When my family and I had the chance to try out a session with JCPenney Portraits in Penn Square Mall, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I mean, I’m sure we all remember studio portraits from when we were kids:  Shag carpet.  Stiff poses.  A dreamy cloud background. Maybe even a glamorous glow accompanied by a heavy vignette?

That’s Yours Truly in the turtleneck being completely upstaged by my oldest cousin’s amazing bangs circa 1991.

Our in studio experience was NOTHING like that.  There were a variety of backgrounds to choose from, and our photographer was great about helping us choose the best ones for our outfits!  I was SO pleasantly surprised with the fresh, clean, and authentic look of the final product we received!  From scheduling through delivery, our service was wonderful!  I was able to call and schedule an appointment just a few days in advance. Our photographer asked me several questions about my kids and gave me tips for their age groups as well as ideas for outfits and background options! When I mentioned that my toddler had a serious case of stranger danger, she made a note and gave me some ideas to make him feel comfortable. When we arrived the day of the pictures, she was friendly to him without being overwhelming. She even allowed him time and space to checkout the entire studio- from the waiting area to the props- so that he could get familiar with the environment!

Our photographer was so patient, and our kids were almost instantly at ease.

The thing that I loved most about our in studio experience was that my kids were so much more cooperative than they had been in the past at outdoor locations. I love the candid shots we have gotten in fields and parks, but it has always proved challenging to get shots of BOTH kids smiling and LOOKING AT THE CAMERA at the same time! They were always easily distracted by other people, airplanes, squirrels- you name it! However, in the studio, there was only ONE thing for them to look at! We got great shots- quickly– in each pose because there were no distractions- just an entertaining photographer with a feather duster that tickled the nose of my toddler prompting sweet belly laughs every time!

Well…the feather duster worked ALMOST every time!


This is one of SEVEN pictures we LOVED of the whole family.

My husband’s favorite part of the shoot was how FAST it was! Our photographer had tons of great pose ideas, and, because we weren’t walking around a large space, we were able to spend MUCH less time on the actual session (which is a big bonus when you have littles with short attention spans or a husband who is less than enthusiastic about photos…or is it just mine?).

Our family pictures turned out really well, but some of my favorite pictures were the individuals of my kids! When I spoke to the photographer on the phone to schedule my appointment, she suggested that I bring their favorite things with us so that we could document what they were interested in at this age. I wasn’t sure I would be a fan of prop pictures, but they ended up really bringing out their personalities and being some of my favorite shots! My five year old got pictures with Rainbows, her teddy bear (who is basically a family member and goes EVERYWHERE with us), and my son got to play with his favorite things- dinosaurs! I ended up LOVING those shots because of how personal they were to us.

Rainbows has totally earned her place in a frame over the years, and I love that we have documented my little boys love of “Nine-Ohs”!

After our session, we were able to view our photos immediately.  From there, the ordering process was easy and quick! My family went with a digital file package, and ALL 25 of our photos were in my inbox within a few HOURS (although our photographer had told me to allow up to two days).

I still love outdoor photos, but I couldn’t have been happier with the service we received from our JCPenney photographer. JCPenney Portraits specialize not only in family pictures, but in photos for all occasions- babies, pets, couples, business headshots, military families, seniors, prom goers and family holiday photography. They are also great at capturing important milestones- birthdays, engagements, maternity, baby’s 1st year, 1st communions, and quinceaneras.

If you haven’t considered studio portraits before- give JCPenney Portraits a try! They are way beyond the posed and staged glamour shot photos I remember. The pictures we received felt personal and authentic and documented this sweet chapter of our family’s story beautifully!

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