People often wonder what goes into the cost of hiring a photographer to do what I do. They tend to try and compare the cost of custom photography to that of, Sears, JC Penney, Wal-Mart or “The Picture People”. It’s easy to do; you are constantly bombarded with mailings for cheap prints and free sessions.
You may be asking yourself, “Why would I spend that much money for her to shoot for an hour and print them off at Wal-Mart?” Should be cheaper than Sears, right?
Well, not exactly. The mall photographers can keep costs down because they use the same backdrop and pose for you that they have used for the last 500 people that walked into the mall. The lighting is the same; the color is the same. Their computers are set to these variables and you get a very consistent result. No artistry or talent necessary. The person behind the camera just presses the shutter button. He hits “print” and your treasured family memories pop out of the printer in the back of the store. Don’t believe me? Just go over to your neighbor or aunt’s house. You’re bound to see the exact same photograph and pose only with different people in it.
There is a lot that goes into making a great photograph that people don’t consider. From the moment you book a session with me there is a lot that goes into the process from start to the final print.
Location: I spend a lot of time looking for beautiful, unique spots that have the perfect backdrop and lighting to tell your story. Each client has their own unique style and I work to find just the right location to best capture the personality of the client being photographed.
Session time: A typical session lasts 1-2 hours. This allows time for everyone to relax and be able to capture your true personalities. It is especially important with kids to allow them to play and just be themselves. There is a lot that goes into creating a work of art. As the lighting changes I am changing the settings on my camera to compensate and adjusting my aperture to dictate how much or how little I want in focus in a shot. There is a lot more to it than just hitting the shutter button.
After the session: My work has just begun! For a normal shoot, my editing time is around 2 hours. First, I run through all the images and weed out the obvious non-keepers (blinks, blurry shots, bad lighting, weird facial expressions, etc). This allows me to get my final group–the absolute best images. Each of the final images are brought into Photoshop to be tweaked into perfection. Typical adjustments include color, exposure and contrast adjustment, as well as applying my own special touches to make a photo “mine”. Each image is then saved.
Printing: Once a client places an order, I have the images made at a printing house which gives me consistent, fabulous images that are made to last a lifetime. Print quality makes SUCH a difference.
Thanks for sticking with as I explained what is takes to make a creative custom portrait.