J Elizabeth Portraiture Haus of Portraiture Pet Photo Contest Bait and Switch Santa Monica California
J Elizabeth Portraiture is preying on people with pets. They tell you that you’ve won a contest for a free session and free portrait with you and your pet. Except there is no contest, it’s just a way to lure people in. They make you put down a $300 deposit for the appointment, and say it will be refunded (it isn’t).
The session itself lasts about 10 minutes, and then they take you into a room to go through the photos. They use high pressure sales tactics, one of which is that your photos are ONLY available right then and there, so you HAVE to make a decision immediately. And they use your love for your pet as a way to manipulate you into spending a ton of money to “upgrade” your “free” portrait. They tell you that the portraits are hand painted artistry (they’re not - it’s digital), and that’s why they cost so much money, and that it’s a family heirloom that will last for 200 years. When you tell them you can’t afford it (like I did), they quickly whirl you through a credit check and application for a LOAN. They did everything so fast, and did not give time to actually read through anything you were signing.
They’re charging thousands of dollars for these portraits, and they are not hand painted. My sister is a graphic designer and can do the same thing.
There are many of us who asked to cancel our orders immediately, and the studio refuses, saying that their “artists” have already begun to work on the portraits. But all the proofs they send are digital, and it’s very obvious.
I’ve contacted the loan company, and they said there’s nothing they can do because they immediately sent the money to the studio, and that it would be up to them to allow us to cancel (which they won’t).
We want our orders and our loans canceled, and also to stop these people from continuing to do this to other kind hearted, pet loving people. They have now started advertising under a completely different name, Haus of Portraiture.