Caution!!!!! Free Family Photo Opportunity

My family and I typically have portraits taken before the holidays at Proex and have always been pleased with the results. Last year we missed the chance to have portraits taken. Our schedule was busy and we called too late.

Consequently, we were excited when we received an email earlier this year from Debra Johnson, a lead photographer at PhotoBox Studio offering free portraits in exchange for helping her develop her portfolio. We agreed to participate and even bought new shoes for the kids. We set the date for the early April.

When we arrived at Debra’s studio at the scheduled time she was ready but was clearly still getting her studio set up. She seemed capable and we enjoyed having the photos taken. Her son wandered around the studio while she worked. Our children are of a similar age and they seemed to get along well. We left on what appeared to be good terms. Debra indicated that we would receive our photos and a free 11×14 in a couple of weeks and that we would need to sign a release at that time.

Unfortunately, our photos disappeared into the black hole of Debra’s studio. In spite of my wife’s countless emails and phone calls, all we have at this time are empty promises and the memories of our photo session. I am still not clear on why someone starting a new business would operate this way.

At least one other family we know of also responded to Debra’s email and they were treated no better. I will now be more skeptical of offers like Debra’s email. In addition, I will be calling Proex earlier this year. 


About Mark Mizen

I have over twenty years professional experience in all aspects of photography and digital imaging. I am Chair of the ISO WG5 TG2 committee responsible for physical properties and durability of imaging material and am currently with HID Global working on systems for security printing for IDs, licenses, and credit cards. Previously, I was Director of Digital Development at Creative Memories from 2009 to 2012 and was responsible for the Creative Memories digital products and services. I also established and directed the Creative Memories Technology Center, which evaluated new products prior to product introduction, assisted with production difficulties, and provided technical information to support product sales.
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2 Responses to Caution!!!!! Free Family Photo Opportunity

  1. Mary says:

    The PhotoBox site says it’s the best for weddings. Maybe she loses your pix on purpose if you’re not a wedding? What a disappointment! Good for you for getting the info up here. Have you contacted the Better Biz Bureau? I checked it after I had problems with a custom-mattress manufacturer, and I found out she’d had MANY BBB complaints with no resolution. Just another way to make a trail for others to learn from.

  2. Debra Johnson says:

    We will make no comment regarding this family. –PhotoBox Studio

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