Very happy with my son's senior portrait. I, too was there on the overbooked Aug 20, 2011 Saturday. It was unfortunate there was a scheduling misunderstanding and they double booked the day (which is why I rated them 4 instead of 5 stars). However, I found every staff member pleasant and accomodating. Sometimes you have to make the best out of a difficult situation. Naturally, we had the option of rescheduling, but we opted to wait. I did not find the studio dirty, however the clutter that was there was from the students themselves...extra changes of clothes, musical instruments, even a dog or two.
Here's how the senior portrait works. Your school will likely chose ONE photographer for the yearbook portrait. Yes, it is a headshot, and no, headshots were not invented in the 1970's. The only thing that 'dates' your photograph is your choice in glasses, hairstyle, clothes. I'm talking to you ladies, as guy trends such as tie width and length of hair change more slowly. The senior yearbook portrait sitting fee is FREE, folks. (a yearbook fee might apply, depending on your school). A change of clothes cost your $15. Contemporary backgrounds and props are $25 and up. And, no, you are under no obligation to purchase photos. We chose the $15 option with the change of clothes. The photographer showed us the photos on his camera and even allowed me a retake of one of the shots. Nice!
Yes, students appeared to be photographed out of order. While I was there, students were changing in and out of clothes and some left for lunch and returned so the photographer took photos 'out of order'. No sense in waiting for a dressing change when you can slip another student in.
Yes, you will pay $75 to take the proofs out of the studio. If returned within the week, you can get a full refund. Or, if you like, you can apply that fee towards your purchase. Why do they charge you? Come on...scanners are widely available and let's face it, some people don't play nice.
When I returned to order prints, I was even offered a free retake (I declined). I told the employee exactly what size photos I wanted which was different from the portrait packages offered. They offered a simple switch-out...I need less wallets, and more 8 x 10's. This was done at no additional cost.
Bottom line...talented photographer, patient staff. An unfortunate scheduling day but they managed just fine. If you're the type that gets super stressed at portrait time, try just the yearbook photo and reschedule a special shoot (outside, multiple changes of clothes, whatever) at a different time. Your darling will be a senior for 9 months!