Posted in couponing

Couponing (Las Vegas): 60-minute couple’s in-studio photo shoot USD30 at Che·za·ray Photography

Date: 30 May 2013

Deal: 60-minute couple’s in-studio photo shoot with two 8″x10″ prints and two 5″x7″ prints for USD30

  • $30 for a Couples Photography Package ($395 Value)
  • 60-minute in-studio photo shoot
  • Two 8″x10″ prints
  • Two 5″x7″ prints

How it went:

T bought the Groupon voucher at my request and proceeded to make the appointment with the studio. All this was done through e-mail and really quite easy. An e-mail confirmation was sent about a week before the shoot to fill in some release forms (basically signing our rights to the pictures away and allowing the photographer to use them as he deems fit i.e. like stock photo or his portfolio). But here’s the thing, Mister being Mister didn’t bother reading it or filling out the form until I bugged him about it and this was like 2 days before the shoot. So the first confirmation said our shoot was 30 May 2013 and to arrive on time with hair and make-up done. BUT when we sent the release form back, it suddenly changed to 31 May 2013 and Mister being Mister, didn’t read it so we turned up at the previous appointment time. There’s a boo boo!


Getting to the venue was no problem at all. Upon arrival we rang a bell, T tried calling the number found in the e-mail correspondence and we were told that we weren’t supposed to be there. The photographer assumed we were his 4pm appointment and were 2 hours early, then told us to come back. I was upset and disappointed. T still thought that the photographer got it wrong and went to check the first e-mail again. We left and never went back at 4pm. I was angry and wanted to get him to write to Groupon for refund. But Mister is kind and gentle, unlike me. He doesn’t like being antagonistic and said I could write the e-mail if I wanted to because he couldn’t do it. It was good that I didn’t because Cesare (the photographer) rang back shortly after that conversation and it turns out that our appointment was for the next day. Cesare asked T a bunch of questions about our hair colour and eye-colour, then gave instructions for what to do and what kind of clothes to bring. After disconnecting, T double checked his email and realised there indeed was a 2nd e-mail sent just the day before to change it to 31 May!


Cesare’s studio was an extension in his home, not unlike an extra garage. Inside, it was spacious and air-conditioned (respite much needed from the desert sun). Lining one side of the wall were large portraits of A-listers like Sharon Stone, Antonio Banderas and Morgan Freeman in their younger days. On the opposite end was a bathroom – toilet, vanity/basin, shower. Other than that, the studio housed several shelving of magazines and random photography equipment, as well as a computer station and backdrops. Cesare himself was friendly and in general, nice. He tried to make us feel comfortable in front of the camera (mostly T, not me). He tried cracking some jokes to help T break into a smile and we did some practice poses before we changed and did the actual shoot.

I can’t remember how many photos he took but we ended up only choosing 2 even though there were so many more. On top of the USD30, we paid another USD200 for digital touch-ups (much needed) and high-resolution digital files (so that we can print or send it out to our family, or just use it for a profile photo on Facebook). Selection was quite fast because I knew what I wanted in a photo and T was easy with my choices. At the same time, T didn’t like how he looked (not because the photography was bad but he thought he looked fat as he has recently gained weight). I thought T looked adorable in the pictures but because he didn’t and I respect that, here’s the one that’s approved by both of us…


I have seen other photographs taken by Cesare on his facebook page and I do realise that he takes better pictures than those of us. I supposed it’s the subject – we’re just not good looking enough maybe? No make-over. These are our own clothes, I did my hair and make-up. T obviously did his own hair *koffkoff*.

Would I recommend Cesare Bonazza? Yes. He’s professional and easy to work with. It really helps that he’s in a good location too.

Is this Groupon really worth $395? I don’t think so. At least not for my shallow pockets. Imagine if I had paid the US$395 in full and on top of that, an additional top-up (the US$200 was already discounted for 50% apparently) for touch-ups and the digital files – that’s US$800 just for 2 photos.

But we had fun. I like doing random things like that just for the experience. No regrets about it. I can’t wait to do another fun studio shoot with T soon!


I produced an indie music festival in Singapore for 7years before I moved to the US to be with my indie game dev husband Tom who made Axiom Verge and Axiom Verge 2. We live in Los Angeles, California with our son Alastair (named for Alastair Reynolds) and our dog Goliath (named for his size).

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