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 or photographer B’s style? Maybe A’s style are having a great time and not paying attention to the camera vs. B’s style is more posed, looking in the camera images? Photographer A would be more of a lifestyle photography and Photographer B would be more traditional. You should choose the photographer whose style you most admire.

Custom photography ultimately is all about 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 best images that meet the photographers’ creative standards.

• Often the images are fully edited images – color corrected with blemishes and under-eye circles touched up.

• Custom photographers are also known as boutique studios, offering a range of products and unparalleled service. Think Lexus vs. Hyundai, or Nordstrom vs. Wal-Mart.

• A custom photography experience should have you and your experience in mind.


Why Does Custom Photography Cost More?

The digital revolution has brought amazing flexibility and ability to control various factors during the image taking and making process. Photographers, the hobbyist, the professional, the amateur all benefit from this ability to manipulate pixels. However, with flexibility comes a price. Digital camera equipment is still considerably more expensive when you factor in it’s lifespan, the need for additional resources for processing those images, the time it takes to get a usable image and the effort that goes into creating a work of photographic art. We all know that you can go to the local Walgreen’s and pay a $1.99 for a print – as a client you may wonder why you may pay upwards of $50, $70, $90 for a custom photography print. Photographers hear this statement every once in awhile:

“How in the world can you charge $40 for an 8×10 if it costs me less than $2 to print at “Walgreen’s” store?”

The truth is, you are not paying $40 for that 8×10 piece of paper, but for the time, energy, and artistic vision put into the image on that piece of paper. Much of the cost of a photographic print produced by a professional photographer goes to the usual costs of running a legitimate and LEGAL business.

The cost of TIME
Approaching it from a time standpoint, let’s imagine that you have hired a photographer who has work that you love. This photographer is traveling an hour to your destination to photograph your session. Here is an example of a time break down:

• booking time: 30 minutes to one hour (client contact time + paperwork)
• pre-session prep time (30 mins – 1 hour, includes equipment and back up equipment checks + vehicle checks)
• one hour travel time TO session
• 15-30 minutes prep time at client’s home
• 90 minutes-2 hours with client photographing subject
• one hour travel time FROM session
• 30-45 minutes uploading time from digital cards from camera to computer
• 30-45 minutes time spent backing up the original images
• 2-5 hours editing time to present you with a diverse gallery of edited images
• 1 hour prep time getting ready for ordering
• 2-3 hours time for ordering images
• 1 hour sorting through and checking order
• 30 minutes-1 hour prep time for delivery
• 30 minutes-1 hour getting order shipped
• any additional phone time or time needed for add on ordering, shipment issues, quality issues

In this example, the time spent per client can range from just under 13 hours to 19 hours – dependent on the photographer’s level of service. This is time dedicated only to ONE session. So when you pay your photographer, you are not just paying for the two hours of session time, you are paying the photographer for 12-19 hours of complete time for your session. (And keep in mind that 1/3 of what you pay your photographer goes straight to their taxes).

The COSTS of Maintaining a Custom Photography Business:

Regarding equipment costs, a good quality professional camera with a selection of good optical quality lenses and digital storage mediums and computer set up can run up to $50,000. Even though you can purchase a really good quality digital SLR for about $2100 there are still other costs related to photography. A good lens for portrait photography can run from $900 to $2500 (and most typically use about 5 different lenses). A dependable computer system with software loaded for business and creative usage can run $2500 to $8000. Then come lab costs for specialty products. A good photographer knows their professional lab is an integral part of their success. These labs often cost more and offer a range of products that allows the custom photographer to continually offer new, innovative products for the discerning client.

Discussion on other costs of running a photography business could take awhile so we’ll skip many of the intricate details. An overview: the costs of running the business, taxes, studio rental/mortgage if the photographer has ownership of a dedicated studio, vehicular costs, costs of advertising/marketing, costs of sample pieces that the photographer will likely bring to your session, etc.

APPLES to ORANGES to BANANAS:
Often times clients will mention to their photographer that X studio in the mall/department store only charges $19.99 for an 8×10 “sheet” or they may mention other things related to discount photography chains. The fact is those discount chains make their money on volume, not on customized 1:1 service. In February 2007 a company who has leased photography retail space in a rather well known discount retailer closed down 500 of their portrait studios across the nation. The reason it happened is simple, you cannot make money on 99¢ “professional” prints if you do not sell enough of them. Interestingly enough – those same studios that offer the loss leader packages often charge much much more for their a la carte pricing vs. many custom photographers.

A little history – the whole reason the big department stores began offering portrait services in the first place was to get you, the savvy consumer, in through their door so that you could spend more money with them in other departments. Your “PORTRAITS” are considered the “loss leader”. Your portraits that are meant to symbolize a once-in-a-lifetime stage in your child’s life are part of what a store considers a way to get you in there door to spend more money on goods that you might not really want or need but you buy because you’re there “anyway”.

Also keep in mind that when you go to a chain studio, as a consumer, you don’t have the benefit of 1:1 attention for 2 hours where your child is allowed to explore, play and be comfortable in their environment, nor do you get the experience that many custom photographers are known for as well as the lovely captures of natural expressions. You simply get a bare bones, “SAY CHEESE” experience.

REPUTATION/EXPERTISE of the PHOTOGRAPHER:
There is an old story about a ship that cost a company millions of dollars. Something went wrong in the engine room and the ship was stuck in dock. They called various “experts” who spent weeks trying to fix the issue to no avail and at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars. Finally a older gentleman was called in who simply brought in his small tool bag and a hammer. He set about pinging on various parts of the vast engine with his hammer, finally settling on one area. He spent a few minutes pinging in that area, took out a few tools and fixed whatever what was wrong. After a few moments the man straightened up, looked at the captain and instructed him to “start her up.” The captain disbelievingly went to get the engines started while the man sat in the engine room listening as the engine roared to life. The man tipped his hat as he exited the ship to the staff who sat dumbfounded because they had seen all the experts come on board for days with their expensive equipment only to have the ship not fixed. This man did it in a few minutes with a few pings of his hammer!

A few days passed and the man sent the shipping company a bill for $10,000. The accounting department contacted him immediately. Why all the rumors mentioned that this man had only spent “a few minutes” fixing the ship “with his hammer and a few other random tools”. When questioned about why his bill was for $10,000 – did he accidentally leave an extra zero on the bill? The man confidently responded: “In fact the time was worth the $1,000. The other $9,000 was for the years of experience and the ability to discern the issue as quickly as possible for the company.”

Now I’m not saying that photographers fix large ships, but being in demand, being well known for quality work, having a good reputation costs time and money on the photographer’s part (years of practice, study, training, classes, experience, etc). A photographer’s expertise comes at a cost, their time learning their craft and learning the intricacies of lighting and the commitment put forth on their end to create a persona about their business that oozes professionalism. A great number of photographers go a very long time from the time that they purchase their first good camera to making money at the business of photography. Many photographers, when first starting out, rush in thinking that the business will be easily profitable in no time, how expensive could it be to get a camera and use it to create their dream? These photographers often undervalue what they do because they have the realization that they do not have experience or expertise but are very adept at pushing the shutter on the camera. Many times these casual “professionals” neglect to factor in the cost of business, the cost of equipment, software, back ups, etc.. When you hire a photographer of sound reputation, you are hiring an expert, one that knows that they must always reinvest in their business to create the reputation of being top notch. To create good work a photographer possesses not only sound knowledge in the technical and creative aspects of photography but also good, reliable equipment and back up equipment.

The photographer who desires to be known as better/best/unparalleled reputation-wise knows that the most important thing they can do for their business is reliability and dependability. This is how reputations get built. Good work often is a wonderful side product of building that good reputation.

I hope this (lengthy) article helps shed some light on WHY a custom photographer is a better choice for your family’s memories. The photographs that are produced as a result of the professionalism and dedication that your photographer has will be cherished for a lifetime (or more) and great thought and consideration should be placed into hiring who is right for your family’s most precious investment.


Why Choose Custom Photography?

Custom photography: an investment in the present for the future

Custom photography is more of a luxury product than your entry level cookie cutter photography chain store 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 superb 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
• destination
• event photographers

Not every photographer specializes in studio photography, not every on location photographer specializes in event photography and not every event photographer can shoot photojournalistic style portraits.

The beauty of custom photography is in the choices and in the luxury of thoses 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?

Keep in mind more than anything that the Lexus will never appreciate in value the way your portraits will. The portrait art you become invested in from your custom photographer will no doubt increase in value and become more priceless as the years pass.


All Photographers are not Professional Photographer

What makes a professional photographer?

A professional photographer is a skilled photographer that has dedicated their professional working life to partnering with you to create beautiful images of you, your children, your family.
Professional photographers not only know their equipment and know it well, they are also legitimate business owners who:

• pay taxes

• pay for their equipment and software with money they earn by providing this service

• support their families with money they earn providing professional photography services

Professional photographers do not need to “portfolio build”, they already have a portfolio. Professional photographers do not work for free: they understand that they provide a valuable service. Professional photographers are much like professionals of other occupations, they have overhead and create photography not out of just love, but out of a dedication to providing families with lifelong memories.

Some photographers participate in industry wide certification programs (i.e. Certified Professional Photographer), competition (competing nationally and internationally against other photographers), teaching/mentoring other photographers, writing about photography and reviewing equipment for trade publications, will mentor local photographers to achieve high quality photography as the norm within their area, work within the trade organizations to help maintain and/or create a sustainable profession where all learn and grow, etc. A true professional photographer will have a large display of work available to look through on their website, will have a client list and should be willing to provide references, should be able to provide you with consistent and beautiful images and will partner with you to create images that you will be happy with for years to come. A true professional photographer is not only a skilled artisan but also a business person like any other professional you may know.


I have a really good camera. Doesn’t just having a camera create a photographer?

No. Having a camera, fancy dSLR (digital single lens reflex camera) or otherwise, does not a professional photographer make. It makes that photographer a camera owner. Professional photographers not only know how to press a button they know their equipment backwards, forwards and upside down, they spend a lot of time educating themselves about the craft of photography, they spend a lot of time behind the scenes running their business(es), and much much more.

Many of the best professional photographers take time to continue their education via other photographer run workshops, lectures and attending photography conventions as well as entering image competitions and such.

There is a HUGE difference between a pro and a hobbyist photographer. Hobbyist photographers enjoy shooting and may have a great handle on their equipment however photography as a hobby is VERY expensive and the expenses add up quickly, hobbyists quickly learn there is a big difference between maintaining a professional photography business vs. shooting from time to time.

How do you know if the photographer you’re looking to hire is not a true professional?

Great question!!

By definition a professional is someone who is paid money to provide a service. However the topic of professional photography is muddied by the fact that dSLR cameras have become common place and there is an all too irresistible urge to call ones’ self a professional photographer.

Muddying the waters even further: there is no board certification for photographers (like there is for other professional service providers such as hairdressers, aestheticians, etc). There is no one standard that dictates who is or who isn’t a professional photographer.

In essence: it is all too easy to buy a camera, hang a shingle, open up a Facebook business page and start charging for photography services. In fact it is so common that it’s become an issue among true professional photographers, many of whom are going out of business because of an onslaught of hobbyist photographers who think that turning into a professional photographer is easy. They do so without understanding what being a professional photographer entails. Many of those that hang their shingle do so without acquiring a whole lot of knowledge, knowledge that is both business and photographic.

Non-professional photographers may have the following distinctive qualities within their work/within their business models:

• lack of consistent work (poor exposure, poor handle on contrast, lack of retouch work on photos, etc). In essence there is a lack of technical knowledge/proficiency with the equipment being used.

• portfolio filled with many images of the same subject(s)

• all inclusive pricing for a very low cost

• poor customer skills, lack of know how in dealing with clients of any age (especially with children). You can see this in a portfolio when you view the images and note that there is poor eye contact, lack of enthusiastic or engaging expressions

• a noticeable lack of posing and/or awkward pose captures: sometimes the photographer will state that they prefer “unposed captures” which can be code for “I don’t know how to pose people”. This isn’t always the case, many photojournalistic style professional photographers also use this terminology but there is a distinctive difference when you view the portfolio of a pro who specializes in this style of photography vs. someone who lacks the proper knowledge

• may state on their site that other “professional photographers” charge too much, that they aren’t going to “gouge” you in their pricing. That’s usually a sure sign of a photographer who doesn’t understand business, why they are pricing in the manner that they are pricing and is quick to insult a true pro to make their work look more appealing (nevermind that they likely will not be in business in a year or two)

• does not have access to professional level product offerings for their clients: may use Shutterfly for albums, WalMart for canvas wraps, etc. These are not considered professional quality end products, some of these have a reputation for poor lab chemical calibration resulting in images that can fade and often do not represent colors accurately to begin with.

• general overall lack of professionalism: excuse making, whining about personal matter on their business page (Facebook) or blog, etc.. It’s one thing to have a family emergency or trying personal times, we all have those moments, but there truly are examples of photographers out there that are distinctly unprofessional. Let’s face it you’re paying for a service well done, so while you may have to cut a business owner some slack because they have a death in the family, as you should, multiple excuses and exclamations of “I wasn’t in the mood to edit your session today” won’t hold a lot of water and are hallmarks of unprofessionalism.

• a lot of stylized sessions featured on their site: we all love a nicely stylized session but as a photographer I assure you it is rare and few and far between where a client wants me to drag out the picket fence, lemonade stand and dress the kids up in the latest shabby chic wear to pout and pretend they’re pouring lemonade at sunset in a ravine covered in bluebell flowers. If you see more than several of these sessions on a photographer’s site you need to ask questions about those specific blog or Facebook entries (i.e. were these images done for a client or for personal work, did a client request those sessions, did you trial a new set out that you’ll be offering clients, etc). Stylized sessions CAN BE beautiful and well planned out but the truth is most hard working professionals work with clients to create images of their families as the best representation of who they really are and rarely, if ever, create these highly stylized sessions. I love a good stylized session for my personal work with my kids and I’ll occasionally share those images publicly but the best policy is to be upfront about it. A lot of newer photographers like the look of these, because stylized sessions can hide a multitude of photographic flaws (you’re too distracted by the prettiness of the set up to notice the poor focus and the even poorer exposure and color rendition). The rule is DON’T AVOID the photographer who showcases these sessions but ask questions about these sessions.


Questions to Ask your Potential Photographer

Too many times clients get caught up in the financial aspects of a purchase such as photography. Here are some questions that will help get you the best photographer for your family (not necessarily the cheapest).

How long have you been in business?
A good indicator, the more business experience a photographer has the less likelihood that photographer is a hobbyist.

Do you specialize in any one type of photography?
Photographers often specialize in one genre vs. another. For example a photographer who specializes in wedding photography may not a good candidate to photograph your new baby unless they have had experience doing so.

Do you have many repeat clients?
A great test of quality of not only photography but of customer service as well. Your photographer should be able to provide references if you ask.

Are there policies for rescheduling a session?
A photographer with their fair share of experience will have a policy set in place for almost any type of situation, rescheduling being one of the primary circumstances that necessitate a policy. A photographer with policies isn’t a turn off, in fact this photographer has seen “it all” and is prepared and well thought out for almost any client situation.

Have you had any experience with (name your specific concern)?
If the subject being photographed is a special needs child or if you have any other concern(s) regarding your child or family it is good to be aware if your photographer is adept at handling this sort of situation. Do not rule out a photographer simply based on this question, many times the photographer who is experienced will be able to deal with any situation you hand them with adequate notice (the hallmark of a true pro!)

Not so much a question but a simple gut feeling: personality and rapport matters.
A photographer’s main job is to capture emotions and moments, if your photographer doesn’t mesh well with you on the phone chances are you and your family will not mesh well with that photographer at the session and your images will look it.

If your photographer seems “off”, hesitates to answer any of these questions or has a personality that doesn’t seem to mesh well with yours: these are red flags. Even if that photographer is cut throat cheap it will cost more money in the long run when you have to hire someone else to re-shoot the pictures that you were unhappy with. We have but one opportunity to capture THIS moment and there is nothing as disappointing as a horrible photography experience.


Digital Files may not be the right answer

Photography has become commonplace, virtually everyone loves taking photos and a lot of people are pretty good at it. However there are times when you want to hire a professional photographer to create extra special images for your family. You want to display some incredibly beautiful, emotive images that capture who your family is at this moment in time, you want those photos to represent something spectacular, you have this vision of gorgeous albums, a stunning framed portrait in your foyer, an outstanding gallery wrap canvas hanging over your fireplace mantle.

You begin calling to interview photographers and inevitably you explain to them that you want to print these images yourself. You’re looking for the photographer that will create those beautiful, evocative images for you, unique to you and your family and you want them to hand over the images for you to print. Somehow you’ve come to believe that getting the disc of images is best because you control the process and it’s cheaper to print yourself.

This scenario is very representative of the photography market today. Somehow people have been brainwashed into believing that digital files are the best option when, in fact, they are not. Digital images are only MEANT to be a temporary method of storage: all too many things can go wrong with digital media leaving you in a lurch with a ton of images that were never printed; images that will never be displayed in your beautiful home; images that will never be archived and made permanent. Lets face it, for many people, after you get back your disc from said photographer, the disc goes in the drawer to never see the light of day. Maybe JUST MAYBE to be unearthed (if you’re lucky) in a year or two with an “I meant to print some of these…”.

Why some photographers do not sell digital images or sell them only at a premium price

Imagine…
Let’s say you don’t bother printing up those photos for yourself and that disc stays in the drawer for a period of time. Perhaps these images are of your newborn baby girl at 7 days old (and now she’s 12 going on 13 YEARS old!). You want to create something really special for her 13th birthday so you finally take that disc of images out of that drawer and put it in the CD tray of your computer to get them printed. In the CD goes as you wait… and wait. No images found. Hmmm… Pop out that CD tray, make sure the CD is inserted and again… waiting… waiting. In reality your images went POOF! They are nonexistent. This particular CD-R from your daughter’s newborn session doesn’t even show any data on it! There is no data on this disc!! Now you’re freaking out. So then you call the photographer to order another disc from them to get to your home ASAP but when you call the number it is no longer a business number. Then you go online to find that photographer only to find that they are now out of business! You have no way of getting a hold of that photographer and you had all these amazing images of your daughter you want to print an image for her for her 13th birthday and there aren’t any!! Your scrambling because now you’re sufficiently freaked out. You went to this photographer for the first two years of your daughter’s life, frazzled and more than a bit freaked out you start pulling CD-ROM out for each and every session from those two years and poof! One after the other the images on each of those CDs has somehow disappeared! It’s the photographer’s fault! It’s a defective disk! The photographer is a scam artist! A thousand thoughts whirl in your head when the sad reality is:

THAT DISC WAS NEVER MEANT FOR LONG TERM STORAGE

Sounds implausible? It isn’t. It’s actually a well known fact that CD-ROM and DVD-ROM discs are not meant as a long term storage solution.

It’s true! The Myth of The 100 Year CD-Rom

But wait!! That can’t happen to you…your photographer doesn’t burn images to a CD!! So this scenario isn’t possible. The photographer you use, well they’re smart (and so are you) for choosing to put images on a USB key. Those have to be fool proof – right?!

No. USB storage is a very recent phenomena and knowing how technology evolves chances are that the USB storage key you received from your photographer will go the way of the floppy disc within ten years, give or take. Think hard now, when is the last time you’ve seen a computer with a working floppy drive? Can you guarantee you’ll still have a working computer with a USB port in ten years?

“Oh but I didn’t just LEAVE those images on the USB key…I also downloaded them to my hard drive!”
If I had a dime for every hard drive failure I’ve heard about I’d be at least $100 richer. Do the math. That’s a lot of hard drive failures. And they’re very real and very scary.

But you need not worry, you have multiple copies of your images on multiple hard drives scattered far and wide, right? Yeah well…

A photographer friend (who shall remain nameless) hadn’t printed up any images of her young children in several years. She decided since they were taking a long trip away from home that “now’s the time to get editing and printing.”

Off they went on their trip, planning on working hard on getting up to date with her photos she did the smart thing: she brought along her laptop, her external hard drives and the back up drives with them on vacation. You know… so she could do catch up, get some editing done, get some images tuned up and ready to order.

A few weeks into the trip, all seems good, right as rain, she’s excited because many of these images were of her youngest when she was super little and she didn’t have any prints from this time in her life. She’s finally going to get them printed.

She kept her equipment locked up and secure when they were away but somehow someone knew to break into the place where she was storing said equipment (hard drives and back up drives) and someone took it. EVERY last bit of it. Every drive, the laptop, everything. Can you imagine how awful that felt? To lose all those memories?

That’s a tough lesson to learn. I mean she did do the right things mostly, right? She had back up drives of her images… but yet this method still failed her EVEN without the hard drive failure!
Years of images GONE. Zero printed copies of these long gone moments. Probably stuff like baby’s first bath, baby and big sister playing in the bath tub, playing dress up, baby’s first steps… the list of lost images is heart wrenching. Had she had the prints at least she would still have the prints, I’m pretty sure prints are zero value to a petty thief but they are invaluable to the memory holder.

That story is 100% real and it’s 100% sad and there’s a hundred more like it: hard drive failures, power surges that mess up operating systems, house fires that ruin computer equipment. More theft (in homes). A lot of what I’m illustrating happened to those who do and should know better: photographers!

I bet they won’t have to learn that lesson twice.

So what you’re saying is digital files are bad?

No. To the contrary what I am saying is this. Think long and hard about basing your photographer choices based upon availability of digital files and/or price. What you’re making the investment in may not be what is truly the best option for you: digital files are great if you plan on using labs that you know for a fact can reproduce images to what your photographer saw on their screen when they edited those images. If your photographer sells digital files then they should recommend to you a lab that can do a decent job. HOWEVER know this: to get the best quality images from your session you really should think about having your photographer control the printing process simply because your photographer has access to labs that can accurately reproduce images to their standards. I assure you most photographers are so ridiculously strict on what they deliver to a client you’d really be surprised how many images don’t pass our muster and have to be redone. A true professional photographer CARES about the quality of the images that hang on your wall because THEIR name is on those images, maybe not physically so but that is their life’s work up there. They want your friends and your family to be wowed by the gorgeousness of their work, it only serves them to do so.

Quality should trump quantity every time. Often photographers receive the questions regarding digital files and then “How many images do I get?” Unless you plan on wall paper plastering your walls with photos from your session the question shouldn’t be: ”How many images do I get?” but ”How much will I love my images?”, or ”Will I want to display my images?” The answer should be yes. The photos you put on display in your home should reflect the character and beauty of your family and be captured in the best manner possible and should be reproduced on fine quality professional photo paper or canvas.

A hobbyist photographer may say you’ll get 50 images… and based on the law of averages, you’ll probably like some of them.

A true professional photographer will be confident in their skills enough to say: “You will love your images, all of them.” and assure you the images captured at your photography session will be of the finest quality, reproduced in print on the finest paper by the finest professional labs available to them.


This article was written by Marianne Drenthe of Marmalade Photography http://www.marmaladephotography.com and can be found at the Professional Child Photography site at http://www.professionalchildphotographer.com

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