The Worth of Custom Photography

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Worth of Custom Photography

I've been using this blog mainly as a spot to share photos from recent shoots, and news about new products & things that I'll be offering. I think it's time to blog about something a little different.
A friend of mine recently suggested that I consider selling a disc including all pictures from a session. I've been considering her suggestion (I know it's something I'd be interested in if I were the consumer!), and I can't help but keep thinking that when I do manage to nail down a price, it'll be something that consumers won't understand.
I think it's common for people to assume that as a photographer, I show up at a session with my camera, shoot for an hour or two, go home, load the pictures on my computer, & I'm done.Not so! I do those things, but that's when the 2nd half of my job comes into play. It's when I pull up Photoshop & go to town, carefully selecting the best images to present to my client, correcting light, colour, & white balance before showing the proofs. Once the client has chosen the prints to order, I go further with processing the images- smoothing skin, removing circles under eyes, clearing acne, removing distracting background objects, & adding any other artistic touches (if I haven't already added them before proofing).
It is for these reasons that I have to charge what I will for files. I'm not just burning them to a disc- I have to process them before they're ready to be printed. I'm not just raising the price to compensate for lost print sales. I don't know if clients will understand these factors (if I weren't doing this myself, I know I wouldn't!), but I hope anyone who may read this will have a better understanding.
As an aspiring photographer, I love to browse the websites and blogs of other photographers- locally and all over the world. It's so inspiring to see other artists' work. One such local photographer that I was happy to discover one day is Julie Tauro. I was excited to find her website & blog because I really like her style! (If you haven't before, go check her out- she's great!)
Julie recently wrote an entry in her blog where she referred to a website called Professional Child Photographer- a new website dedicated to answering consumers' questions about custom children's photography. I think it's a great idea! If you're curious, go take a look & read some of what has been written there so far- it just may help you to get a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes of a custom photographer, why prices are what they are, & why custom photography is so great!

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~Heather Lynne

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