Why Does Custom Photography Cost More?

custom photography

Why Does Custom Photography Cost More?

In yesterday’s blog post I talked about why custom photography is worth the investment and why it’s all about you, the client.  Well, a common concern that I see come up is that custom photography is expensive in comparison to a portrait studio and why should you pay more for just a few quick shots?  But that’s just it, you’re not paying for just a few quick shots.  You’re paying for an experience that is completely catered to you.  So let’s dive into exactly what it is you’re paying for…

You’re looking to have family portraits taken. You begin your online research and you notice a trend. Photographers charging prices you never imagined paying. Prices beginning at $200, $300 and sometimes much more. But why you wonder? When I can go to Sears for half that cost, or even less? Well, let me fill you in. It’s a little thing known as custom photography. It’s what I, along with many other photographers, specialize in. We’re not cookie cutter photographers. I won’t prop you up in front of a cheesy backdrop in a studio that every single other family has been propped up against. Custom photography is geared directly towards you and who you are.

Time. The time that it takes from start to finish on your session can be anywhere upwards of 5+ hours. I communicate with each and every client a minimum of 2-3 times prior to your session even taking place. If I’m going over wardrobe options with you then it can be much more than that. Your session which will typically take 1 hour and then 3-4 hours of editing time after that. After you’ve chosen your images I make sure to package it all up nice and pretty for you. This doesn’t begin to touch on the time it takes to scout the perfect locations or meeting with clients face to face. I want my clients to have a meaningful experience from start to finish. When you walk into a chain store it’s very generic. Nothing is tailored to you. You will get the exact same experience the person before you received. No extras and definitely no one going above and beyond to make sure your experience is superb.

Cost of Doing Business. I don’t want to boggle you down with details that I’m sure you don’t care about, but as a photographer that’s not a part of a huge chain store I’m responsible for purchasing my own equipment (which if you’ve ever looked into photography equipment you know adds up quickly!), props, business license, insurance, packaging, etc. All of this comes out of my pocket so I have to recoup those costs.

Expertise. I’ve taken courses (in person and online) and continue to learn to become an expert at what I do. I take the time to learn and develop my craft. I know the settings on my camera and when to use what for my lighting conditions. I study posing guides.  And most importantly during my off time I practice, practice, practice! Most generic store photographers aren’t taught the ins and outs of photography the same way a custom photographer is. They don’t take the time to develop and hone their craft.

There’s more to what goes into custom photography, but for the sake of this post being too lengthy I’ll stop there.  I hope this has given you some insight into this world of mine and shows you the true value of what you’re getting as my client.  As your photographer I’m dedicated to producing a wonderful product that I know you will cherish and appreciate for many years to come.  And if you’ve never worked with me I would love the opportunity to discuss your session with you.  Contact me so we can discuss the perfect session for you!


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