Saturday, December 13, 2003

ABCs of X-Mas Special

P is for portrait

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Family portraits can make great gifts for Grandma or faraway family members. And it's not necessariily too late.

One-hour studios have made the process of portrait-sitting infinitely quicker and easier. You don't even need an appointment.

Photo King, a one-hour studio in the 99 Ranch Market building in Mapunapuna, will take portraits even on Christmas Day, according to owner Peter Tsai. Appointments will be needed, though, for sessions on Christmas Eve or Day.

A family of four can choose three poses and receive a package of four 5-by-7s, 30 wallets and three 3 1/2-by-5-inch prints for $31. Additional prints can be ordered, with 8-by10 prints at $7.95. A $5 charge is added for each additional family member and the studio can accommodate up to 20 people.

Saying cheese for a one-hour portrait is the Hull family from left, Brandon and Shayla with mom and dad Jim and Karen Hull.

One-hour portraits are also available at Fantastic Shots at Aloha Tower, Pearlridge, Ward Warehouse and Windward Mall. Packages for a single person start at $13.99 for 40 wallet-size photos. Prices increase with the size of the group.

Another option is the purchase of a portrait sitting as a gift. Formal studios aren't able to produce packages as quickly, but a gift certificate is an alternative. House of Photography offers a standard package for $190, which includes one 8-by-10; two 5-by-7 prints and eight wallets. For $250, add one 11-by-14 and two 5-by-7 prints.

At Sears, a five-sheet package costs $49.99; 10 sheets are $79.99 and a collage-style portrait costs 22.99 (a sheet is an 8-by-10, two 5-by-7s, or the equivalent in smaller prints). A standard Sears gift card can be used for photography services.

Tom Terrific's in Manoa can transform photographs into personalized gifts. Among top sellers are candy tins which come in six sizes from $6 to $20. Metal or laminated bookmarks cost $2.79. A charm bracelet would make a great gift for Mom, at $16.95 per charm and $21 for the bracelet. Mouse pads, key chains, pendants, calendars, photo mugs, puzzles and piggy banks are other choices, costing up to $62.95. Orders normally take about three days but will be rushed to meet holiday demand.

The Star-Bulletin's countdown to Christmas continues daily, one letter at a time.

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