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Why Custom Photography…and what is it anyway???

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Custom photography costs more, the wait for the final product is longer, and the sessions are generally twice as long!  I know what you’re thinking…why on EARTH would I choose that over a large chain where I can go in one hour and have my pictures the next?  One-size-fits-all chains do as they promise…they get your images to you quickly while keeping the cost low.  I have had many great images done at exactly those same chains as you have.  So what’s wrong with that..you ask?  Not one thing.

But like most things in life…you get what you pay for.  Sometimes you simply don’t have the time, the money, or the need for custom photography.  Things like seasonal photos..Santa, Easter Bunny, etc. are perfect times to get the quick shots to keep as a cute, sweet memory.  Other times, are themed shoots…like getting photos in a Halloween costume, football uniform, etc.  I think that photography for the masses has it’s time and place, and delivers what you need it to.

You know what type of photography is out there at virtually every mall or shopping center, so I won’t go in to detail about what they offer.  However, you may not know what Custom Photography is…so let’s talk about that for a moment.

Custom Photography is…

~done by a photographer who is educated (either self-taught, from coursework, or a combo of both).  Bottom-line is…they know their camera and how to use it, not to mention the principals of basic photography and a “creative eye.”  Not only are custom photographers  knowledgeable, but also passionate about what they do.

~a personal experience…each and every session begins with a conversation about clothing, location, lighting, your style, basically everything that is going to contribute to the look and feel of your final images

~an event…to get the final images that have that special something, we will be chasing beautiful lighting, just the right setting, and that takes time!

~hard work…the job is not complete as soon as you part ways with your photographer.  Hours of creative editing, uploading, organizing photos into proofing galleries, communication, ordering, etc. goes into the final product.

~special…everything about the process is unique.  The setting, the processing of the photos, the endless choices in prints, fine art, and press books/albums.  The limitations that are inherently part of a “Big Box Studio” is just not an issue with custom work. 

I know what many of you are thinking…”I want something convenient and cheap, and the studios for the masses get the job done well most of the time.”  I’m not going to argue with any of that, it’s all true!  

I will leave you with this thought.  I went to a standard mall studio for the first 10 months of my boys’ lives.  I was happy with those photos then, and they still bring a smile to my face now.  For the boys’ one year photos I wanted to do something special….so we went the custom route.  These are the photos that will never leave my walls.  I look at them everyday and get so much joy from them, and for the past two years, I have never strayed back to the “mall studio.”  In fact, it’s what inspired me to begin the journey of becoming a photographer myself.  I now get the joy from both ends of the spectrum.  What else can bring someone that much joy for a lifetime?  Not much…that I know for sure.  Your memories are worth honoring and treasuring.  Tomorrow they will be just that…memories.  You owe it to yourself to have them preserved in such a way that will return that feeling of joy time and time again.

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