A: Custom photography is about two things: choice and experience. No two clients are the same and they shouldn't be treated the same. Your photography session and experience will be tailored to you and will fit your choices. You won't get a cookie-cutter experience that you will get from a retail store. Custom photography provides an experience that is as unique as you are.
Q: Why do you charge more than Sears or Wal-Mart or Target?
A: If you go to one of the retail store studios, you will have several poses taken. You will then be presented with images that are straight out of the camera, with no editing done. How can they edit them in such a short time after your session? Of those poses, you'll choose one that will be included in the package price. Of course anything else will be extra. So you'll get one pose in several sizes for one price. No doubt you will have a scheduled time, but you'll only get about 30 minutes in front of the camera, and you'll often end up waiting behind other customers. And you'll be rushed through, because there are other customers waiting behind you.
Your session with a custom photographer is all about you. You will also have several poses taken with a custom photographer. But, you will have as much time as you need to get all the poses you want. After the session, you won't be simply presented with a little slideshow of unedited photos. A custom photographer will hand select and edit the very best images from your session. You will be presented with images that are professionally crafted to represent you and your family in the best possible way. This process takes time; time they don't usually spend with you in the retail stores. Not only that, you won't be forced to choose only one pose from several for your package. You can mix and match and get the package that is exactly what you want. When you hire a custom photographer, you are paying for his/her experience and expertise. That's something you won't always find in a retail store studio.
Q: So, do you have a studio? Where is your studio?
A: Anywhere and everywhere. Custom photography isn't about crowding you and your family into a 20x20 room and having you sit through a few stuffy poses. You want your photos to reflect you and your lifestyle. If you're the outdoorsy type, then we go outdoors. If you're a homebody, then I come to your home. If you prefer the studio look, I have partnerships with several studios to rent time and space to provide the photos that suit your individual tastes and style.
Q: What can I expect at my session?
A: First and foremost, expect to have fun. I love to interact with people and I try to make every session fun. Secondly, you can expect me to take your picture. A lot. As much as I love to interact with people, I also love taking photographs of people. If you are camera-shy when we start, I promise that you will have fun and hopefully learn that being in front of a camera is not a scary thing. Lastly, you can expect me to do some crazy things to get perfect and unique shots. I've been on my knees, lying upside down, standing on top of a step ladder or a wall, as well as some other interesting positions while taking photos. My clients often laugh at some of the crazy things I do to get the shot, but that goes to prove I'm willing to do whatever it takes to give you the best photos and the best experience possible. I believe that when you have fun, it will come across in your photographs. The more fun you have, the better your photos will be.
Q: How many photos will you take?
A: Good question! I'll take as many photos as I need to adequately represent the session. For individual sessions, that is typically 200-300 shots. For couples or families, it tends to be more, somewhere between 300 and 450. When I shoot couples and families, I also try to take individual photos of each person. An engagement session will be around 500-600 shots, because I want to capture all of that special emotion. Weddings average between 1200 and 1500 photos, but it could be as high as 2000 or more. One thing you should understand: You won't receive, or even see, all of those photos at your purchasing appointment. As your photographer, I'll select only the best of the session to present to you. The industry average of "keepers" is between 20 and 22 percent. So, for example, if I take 100 photos, you can expect 20 photos. Sometimes it is more, sometimes less. Typically, individual sessions produce between 40 and 60 photos. A full day of shooting at a wedding will typically produce around 400-600 photos.
You may be wondering why that is, and part of the reason is that as photographers, we need to test the light, and tweak the settings on our cameras to make sure that we get the absolute best possible photo because we want to provide only the best for our clients. We're professionals. It's what we do.
Q: How long after the session can I expect my photos?
A: Remember, only the best images from the session will be selected and edited. That process generally takes 2-3 weeks. Obviously, weddings will take longer, and I usually quote 6 weeks for weddings. I will work as hard as I can to get your photos to you as quickly as possible, and I'll stay in communication with you the entire time.
Q: How will I receive my photos? Do you offer prints? How about a CD?
A: After your photos are selected and the editing process is final, your photos will be uploaded to an online gallery that will be password protected. Your gallery is as unique as you and your session. We will schedule a purchasing appointment that you and I will both attend and we will go through your photos and I'll help you select the prints and sizes that are right for you. Your photos will be the only photos in your gallery, so we won't have to sift through numerous other sessions. Prints are available for purchase during the purchasing appointment. Several packages are also available to provide cost savings. Special products like canvas prints are available in a variety of sizes as well. Specific print prices are available on the online gallery, and a price sheet is also available upon request.
If the package you've purchased includes digital files, they will be provided on a CD or DVD, on a flash-based thumb drive, or you may choose a digital download option. A price sheet of prints and packages is available upon request.