These days a decent camera is so much cheaper to buy and easier to use. Digital technology has made photography accessible to all and many people are finding they can take great pictures with no fuss and print them off cheaply. So with that in mind and with the current financial climate so poor, why would anyone pay good money for custom photographs?
When you book a photographer, you are not just paying to have a few images snapped, you are paying for experience, quality and time. Many people pale at the thought of paying out top dollar for a photography session, and that’s before you have paid for any prints from the session. So what exactly are you paying for?
Well any good photographer knows that in order to build a reputation, and produce top quality images, it takes time, investment and experience.
Professional camera equipment does not come cheap, camera bodies can run into thousands of pounds and thats before factoring in high quality lenses, which often cost more than the camera itself.
But why pay so much for a camera when a cheap compact can take good shots?
A cheap compact camera does not have the versatility of a professional grade SLR camera, which has the ability to take different lenses & filters, can shoot great images in low light, take long exposures, in fact has a whole host of settings that enable the photographer to achieve different effects to enhance the scene before him/her. On top of that is the megapixel difference. A pro-grade camera with a high megapixel count will enable the photographer to produce large prints with no loss of quality, and when you have an image you love, you want to see it large and show it off! Then there is the computer equipment needed to process and store such large photographic files, software to edit them and printers to print them. Your photographer will use high quality inks that won’t fade and photographic paper that will last a lifetime, will have spent hours finding the best combinations of these consumables that work to create the best prints. On top of all that, technology is advancing so fast that a good photographer will be constantly re-investing in equipment in order to keep up to date and produce the best quality images and prints possible.
Experience & Knowledge
Good equipment is a great start, but its nothing without knowledge. A good photographer knows that photography is forever evolving and changing, and will be up to date with latest styles, trends and technical aspects. A good photographer will have spent a long time learning all about photography, building a strong portfolio, gaining experience and mastering the equipment. They will constantly be researching, practising and trying new ideas and techniques in order to keep up to date and be the best they can be.
When you book a session with a photographer, consider how much time will be spent on your images. The photography session is only a tiny part of it. Add to that travelling, research, uploading images from camera to PC, processing, editing, proofing images to clients, printing, delivery and presentation, and suddenly you find that your 1 hour session has actually become 10 hours of work to get the images into your hands.
When you book a photographer you are buying into their ‘style’, so it’s imperative you are familiar with their portfolio or website so you know what their work is like, and whether it is to your taste. Every photographer has their own vision, style and way of capturing an image, and editing it to their liking, and here is where you will benefit from hiring a custom photographer. Equipment can be bought, techniques can be learned, but having a great ‘eye’ for an image and the vision to produce great images time after time that are pleasing to look at whilst capturing happy memories for a lifetime is not something that can be taught. A good photographer will have this eye for a composition inbuilt, it will be second nature. They will see a great image where others will not. Capture a fleeting moment before it is gone.
The Personal Touch
A good custom photographer will make you feel relaxed and happy, which in turn will produce the most natural and pleasing images. In booking a session you are buying one on one time, no rush, no urgency, your photographer will want to be sure that you enjoy the session and look back on it as a great experience which resulted in fantastic photographs. You can be sure that your photographer cares as much about getting great images for you as you do and wants to produce photographs that you will cherish for a lifetime.
Custom photography is not for all, it is definitely a luxury item. Many people book a session as a once in a lifetime treat, others will return year after year to capture their children as they grow up, or to capture birthdays, anniversaries or happy moments for future years.
In many ways custom photography can be likened to buying a car, all will get you from A to B, but how much nicer would it be to get to point B smoothly, reliably and efficiently, whilst luxuriating in soft leather in a climate controlled environment? Its these little touches that count, make an experience valuable, memorable and worthwhile.
So yes, a custom photography session may cost a little more, but consider the time, investment and effort that goes into creating the results, the care and thought that is involved in capturing those special moments.
After all, your memories are priceless.