Wondering where to go to capture you child’s precious smile on film? You can use a chain photography shop, where you are herded in and out like cattle and forced to listen to the tantrums of children not your own; there are plenty of choices like those in the north suburbs. For a cut above the rest, however, try the ladies at Kids Portraits by Picasso for the ultimate in personal, private, professional attention.
Nested in the corner between Chuck E. Cheese’s and Barnes and Nobles at the Village Crossing Center in Skokie lies this small, suburban jewel. Our appointment was made a week in advance, for Valentine’s Day. We walked into the studio with a three year old, two spare outfits and one newly-bought Baby Jaguar just hoping the day would not end in tragic meltdown. Our photographers Lamees and Tiffany greeted us with a smile and asked us about our preferences. We didn’t have any—we just wanted a few usable pictures in Kidelt’s outfits, including and an adorable Milo and Tilley sweatshirt. We wanted a plain background, but beyond that, we told the ladies to use their best judgment. And what judgment it turned out to be!
We entered the studio sat behind the cameras on small stools. And then we watched the magic happen! Lamees calmly talked to Kidlet; she made silly faces; she hid stickers on her ear for Kidlet to find. Tiffany snapped away and Kidlet issued not one single complaint, just smiles and pouts on cue. I’d love to think this was a testament to our stellar [read: slacker] parenting skills, but it was all Lamees and Tiffany! We did an outfit change, the ladies changed the background to black and the poses began again. By the end of the session, Kidlet walked away thinking all the pictures had been her own idea! Brilliance!
We spent the rest of our session in the private office, looking at the pictures. Wondering what we’d do to entertain Kidlet while we ‘shopped’, the ladies popped in a Dora video at the kids’ table next to us, and we heard not a peep as we picked out the images. Of course we overbought; that’s our general theory of life. Prices are slightly higher than what you would pay at a chain store; an In-Studio Session for up to 6 people, one hour of studio time, is $50. An Off-Site Session is $125 for the first hour, plus a travel expense. Sheets are $25 if purchased individually. Enhancements (B&W, Sepia, Hand Coloring) are $10. Packages, with 9 sheets, start at $199. We bought enough for everyone, including two beautiful black and white photos for the grandparents, who were stunned at the pictures’ quality and their granddaughter’s expression.
Our photographer Lamees is also one of the founders, and started her own studio with a partner in 2001. They moved to Village Crossing in 2004 and Lamees is now joined by the other full-time photographer Erica, and an assistant. They pride themselves on standing out from the competition because of their people, their product offering, their affordable pricing, and their service. Their attention to their customers shows in every area of the studio and they are heartily—and happily—recommended for an individualized portrait session of your favorite people (or pets; they are welcome, too!). Smile!
Kids Portraits by Picasso is located at the Village Crossing Center | 7136 Carpenter Rd. | Skokie, IL 60077 | 847.676.1007