Why Choose Custom Photography?
Rather than write up something new when there has already been several articles on why Custom Photography is best, I will share with you an article from The Professional Child Photographer: The Consumer Guide for Custom Photography: http://www.professionalchildphotographer.com/information/
Custom Photography as something “special”
Custom photography is more of a luxury than your entry level cookie cutter chain experience. Custom photography truly is not for everyone, it requires a level of commitment, investment in time and money, forethought and planning on the part of the subject/client and requires a larger time commitment for the photographer as well.
Clients who enjoy taking a more active role in the creation of their families’ memories have the desire to have portrait art that is truly personalized. These more discerning clients have been known to budget and allot time for a custom photography session. Many clients opt for it to be a once a year special experience, some opt to have custom photography sessions done to record their child’s stages in life. Having said this, it is clear that custom photography is not in everyone’s budget, it is something that most families save for to splurge on from time to time to memorialize their children as they really are (not posed and primped in the cookie cutter studio setting).
There is a great deal of time involved in creating high end custom photography sessions for a client. The luxury of great service, better choices and a supberb end product. The result of all this are heirloom quality images. The time invested at the session is only a small portion of time involved in this process./
Custom photography has been likened to purchasing a fine vehicle. To get to point B from A let’s face it, even a bus ride would suffice. If you want to luxuriate in a finely appointed vehicle, customizing your own experience by listening to smooth jazz while sitting in a climate controlled setting adjusted purely for your comfort in a body hugging leather interior, perhaps that Lexus you so desire is your cup of tea. Custom photography is much the same cup of tea. It is the Lexus of the photography world. It is where the intangibles make the experience truly wonderful and the images themselves make the investment of money and time truly worthwhile.
Custom photography can be broken down into even more levels. There are on location, studio, mixed studio/on location, specialty location and destination type photographers. The beauty of custom photography is in the choices and in the luxury of those options. The customized service level you are sure to experience will be amazing. The knowledge that your final images are the result of someone caring about those moments so much that they take extra time ensuring that the artwork you receive is good enough to stand by with their name on it. That level of quality and commitment is all but lost in the age of “mass produced,” “mass marketed,” corporate “everyone is a number”. Custom photography is based on being unique to you. How great an experience would be, to be able to sit back and allow a photographer to do this highly custom work for images that you will most likely cherish for a lifetime?
Why Does Custom Photography Cost More?
Much of the cost of a photographic print produced by a professional photographer has a lot to do with the time, equipment costs, artistic vision and reputation of the photographer not to mention expertise and the usual costs of running a legitimate business. Approaching it from a time standpoint, let’s imagine that you have hired a photographer who has work that you love.
Here is an example of a time break down:
- booking time: 30 minutes to 1 hour (client contact time + paperwork)
- pre-session prep time (30 mins – 1 hour, includes equipment and back up equipment checks + vehicle checks)
- 30 mins or more travel time TO session
- 30 minutes prep time at client’s home or at location
- 1-2 hours with client photographing subject (depending on which portrait sessions but most are 1 hour)
- 30 mins or more travel time FROM session
- 30-45 minutes uploading time from digital cards from camera to computer
- 1 hour or less to go through photos and select then upload to a gallery
- 5-10 hours editing time
- 1 hour or more for prep time and ordering products
In this example, the time spent per client can range from 11 to 16 hours. This is time dedicated only to ONE session. The reason for charging $200-$400 for the photo shoot (aka session fee) you are not just paying for the 1 hour of session time, you are paying for 11-16 hours complete time for your session. This also include the thousands of dollars spent on equipment and insurance!
What Is Custom Photography?
The photographic art you choose to place on your wall is ultimately the result of the vision of the photographer. This vision, coupled with what you wear to your session, the environment, the lighting, even the mood the subjects are in at the time of photographing creates the work that you will want to proudly display on your walls forevermore.
Your first step in the process is more about determining who you are, who your family is and then seeking a photographer that reflects your style. For instance let’s say your family is extremely outdoorsy and loves playing on the beach. You start determining what style you like, browse through photography website portfolios and determine if any of the styles exhibited there would be a good fit with your life and family style. You have already determined that you should probably seek out a beach type photographer (that is if you live near a beach) and then begin narrowing the field down a bit.
Finally after a bit of internet research, you have narrowed it down to two photographers who do what seems like solid work, the sort of outdoor beach look you desire. It is now time to ask yourself: Do you like photographer A’s style over photographer B’s style? Is it because the people in the images of A’s style are having a great time and it seems very caught up in the moment vs. B photographer more posed, looking in the camera images? If this is a case, you probably like LIFESTYLE photography or perhaps even take it a step further and define your desired style as a PHOTOJOURNALISTIC photography style. The photographer you probably should choose is photographer A because their style is very similar to the style you desire.
What custom photography ultimately is all about is choice and experience. Custom photography is about finding someone who will photograph your family, give you devoted 1:1 attention without worry of who is next ‘in line’ or the feeling of a crowded portrait studio.
• A custom photographer will typically show you a fairly extensive gallery culled to only show the good images that meet the photographers’ creative sensibilities.
• Often the images are fully edited images-color corrected with blemishes and undereye circles removed.
• Custom photographers are also known as boutique studios, offering a range of products and unparalleled service. Think Lexus vs. Hyundai, think Nordstrom vs. WalMart.
A custom photography experience should have you, the client and your experience in mind.
(The Professional Child Photographer: The Consumer Guide for Custom Photography: http://www.professionalchildphotographer.com/information/ & Keri Meyers Website)