Four years ago, Elayne Wandler opened Bopomo Pictures‘ Kitsilano location because she was having trouble finding a portrait studio that produced high-quality photos at affordable prices. Families at the time could choose between an independent professional photographer who took creative photos but at a premium price or a more affordable department store-type portrait studio – many of which produced uninspired photographs.
“Many department store studios have a camera fixed on a tripod,” Elayne says, explaining the typical portrait studio’s cookie-cutter results. In comparison, Bopomo photographers keep their cameras in their hands. The advantage is that they can move into shots, allowing them to capture the moments better – and create more varied images.
Bopomo brings together the best of both worlds: customers are treated to independent photographers – many of whom have an alternative “artsy” gig on the side – in a retail setting, which means lower prices since the studio can turn-over the volume to make the enterprise a viable business.
It seems to be working: Bopomo has been successful enough to open a second location in South Surrey’s Morgan’s Crossing development, which also recently welcomed Mink Chocolates and Blo Blow Dry Bar.
And Bopomo doesn’t just do family and newborn photos. They also do quick passport photos – and are specialists in getting that ever-ellusive infant passport photo. Professionals can also get head shots taken. I recently stopped in for my photos for the upcoming CRAVE Guide.
Some Insider Tips
Allow some time. Although your session might be for 45-minutes, plan to spend about another hour reviewing and deciding on your print purchases.
There are tons of print package options. I recommend reviewing prices and deciding easy things – like whether you really want digital photos or how many enlargements you need – ahead of time. In the end, the staff will help you find the combo that saves you the most money.
Take lots of breaks. My kids were pumped and excited at first but my oldest daughter fizzled out fast. We took our most important photos first and came armed with snacks.
They’re used to working with kids. I’ve been in for newborn photos as well as family portraits and the photographers and assistants are terrific. They know all the tricks. To get my kids looking at the camera, they asked if they could see a ladybug in the lens. They also have an arsenal of puppets and even feather dusters for tickling little feet to keep your kids laughing.