What is Custom Photography? And why are you doing it? The best way to explain custom photography is to start by explaining what it is not. For the past 2.5 years I have essentially been burning and turning my images-Thank You Norina Leyde of Maple Hill Photography, for the analogy. When I first started, I gave my clients upwards of 75 images. I would then upload them to one of my editing programs, tweak them until they were “good enough” to give to a client, and too the mail they went. This way of editing was fine. It worked for over 2 years. Clients told me they loved my photos- the problem was I did not. I new I could do better- I just didn’t have time to. Not only would it take entirely too long to custom edit each image, I would have been wasting my time. Before making this change I asked several of my clients how many images they were printing off the disc of 75+ I was giving them. 10-15 was the common answer. 10-15!!! That meant I was wasting time editing 60-65 images that never even made it off the disc. I wanted to cry when I thought of the hours wasted, but I put on my big girl panties and decided to fix the problem. For the past few months, I have been offering each client the old way of shooting (since they booked me based upon what they had seen) or the new way. Each of them choose Custom Photography. They picked their own images at a gallery viewing, I only edited those images, and I did it to the BEST of my ability instead of just “good enough”. I can assure you, I will never go back. I wasn’t happy with the product I was giving. If I would have stayed in the rut I was in, I would have quit doing photography within the next year or so. I can now be proud of each and every image, and I will not give it to you until the image will not only make you proud, but make me proud to give it to you. Please *click here* to read this article. It really sums up the difference between Custom Photography and well, the other kind.
Why the new logo? I knew it was time to change the logo. My business is undergoing a major change and I felt my logo needed to reflect that. So what is it? It really has two meanings behind it and each are equally important to me. If you notice, the logo resembles a bottle cap. Why a bottle cap? It is a symbol for a memory I don’t have a single image of. A huge part of my childhood was spent at my grandparents’ country house. When we exited the highway, Crane’s General Store was always our stop before heading to the house. Grandpa and I would always grab a Coke out of their old fashioned Coke cooler, pop off the bottle cap, then look around at all of the new goodies they had added to the store while grandma grabbed the staple groceries for the weekend. My grandparents were two of my best friends. They are two major reasons photography is important to me. When I had to think of a logo that defined my business, the bottle cap stood out because it resembles a memory that I pray remains captured in my mind forever. The other meaning is based on a promise I made to myself when changing my business: To never give a client an image until I am proud of it. I am having my logo made into a stamp. It will serve as a seal of approval. Each and every shipment that goes out will be sealed with my stamp of approval. Just as an architect will not stamp an unfinished blueprint, I will not stamp an unpolished image.
Why is your pricing not on your site? My pricing now comes in the form of a booking packet. If you contact me, I would be more than happy to send it your way. The booking packet offers a wide variety of pricing, boutique products, and further explanation of why I decided to take this route with my business.
Something tells me your pricing went up. Why? You are giving less images, shouldn’t it even out? My pricing did go up, not in excessive amounts, but it did go up. I am giving less images but I am also investing in better equipment. I began my business shooting with a Rebel Xsi (which I am sure many of you who are not photographers own). I am now shooting with one of the most coveted cameras- the Canon 5D Mark II. I have also invested in better lenses. While I don’t want to get hung up on equipment, investing in good lenses is quite often even more important than the camera. Most importantly though, I am investing in training. I do not want to remain stagnant. I want to keep getting better. Who wants to do a job they never improve at? Who doesn’t get a bit of a raise with a promotion? With this change, comes a lot of responsibility. I need to strive to make every session better than the last. Photography is so much more than the click of a shutter. My old editing process is now just the first step- completed before you even select your images. Shooting Custom Photos will take more of my time and attention- both of which are valuable. I have a little girl who loves her mommy. I am sure if she were in charge of placing value on her mommy’s time- the prices would be even higher.
I hate being in pictures. Why should I have my picture taken? My mom HATES being in pictures. She hates her smile. I FORCE her to be in pictures and FORCE her to smile. I often have to act like an idiot to get her to laugh but it is worth it. One day- you won’t be here anymore. You may not like your smile, or how you look but I can assure you that your children love it-they love you. If you are uncomfortable in front of the camera, I make sure to allot time to warm you up. I don’t want to capture cold, forced moments. I want to capture your natural interactions, capture your personality. I do my best to be a fly on the wall. I will, of course, give you direction and get you in a general pose but I wait to press that button until I see that the stiffness is gone and you have eased into the natural look of just being you.