My wife and I received a $300 voucher to use at Viva Photography towards a photo shoot and prints.
The photo shoot was great and the photographer made us feel comfortable. The photos were a mix of casual (with clothes) and intimate (without). No complaints with how we were treated there.
We viewed the photos afterwards in the viewing area with a staff member to choose which photos we wanted to buy. We chose two casual photos and 5 intimate ones for a total cost of around $700 plus the sitting fee of $150. It was a stretch for the $700, but we felt it was worth it. With the voucher, our out of pocket was about $550.
Due to the neutral clothes we wore in the casual shots and the lighting in the viewing area, the casual photos appeared to us to be in colour. In the viewing area, I referred to the two types of photos as "colour" for the casual ones and "sepia" for the intimate ones.
On the purchase form, there was no option to select black&white, sepia or colour. Thinking we were buying 2 colour photos and 5 sepia photos, we paid our money and left, satisfied with the experience.
A week or so later, the photos were ready for collection. My wife picked them up. I was shocked to discover the 2 "colour" photos were in sepia, which I particularly dislike for casual photos and made them useless for what I was intending to use them.
After several phone calls and emails to Viva Photography in Subiaco and Perth (head office), it became clear that they weren't going to exchange the sepia photos for colour photos unless we paid another $80 per photo. They said that the photos were all viewed in Sepia and because we had not specifically requested colour, we couldn't do anything about it. They said they would have been happy to print the photos in colour had we requested it at the time.
As I said, the clothes we wore were neutral, the lighting of the photos wasn't terribly good in the viewing area and we viewed them from across the room. There was no option anywhere on the purchase form to choose colour. Most of the casual photos on display in the studio and in the viewing room are in colour.
Right through our back and forth, the staff insisted that the photos "look better in sepia anyway". That's their opinion, not mine. My wife was quite distressed that we paid all that money and I won't have the casual photos up anywhere because I can't stand them in sepia.
To rub salt further in the wound, a week after our complaint, they sent us an intimate photo (in sepia, which was appropriate), one of the ones we didn't choose, with a message saying they hoped we enjoyed our experience at Viva and would recommend them to our friends. Notice they sent that, rather than one of the photos in colour, even though they were well aware we wanted the casual ones in colour.
My message to anyone getting a photo shoot with Viva is to be crystal clear about EVERYTHING you want. Don't assume that because you view the photo in a certain way that it actually is like that.
Perth, Western Australia