I think this is the generation of the selfie. Practically everyone owns a cell phone and the in phone cameras seem to only get better with each passing version so why should anyone want to book a photography session anymore?
Well that is a loaded question.
Yes, cell phones can take amazing candids and the options are only getting better. Everything is either photographed or video recorded in this generation and the bar is set very high on expectations because of this.
Teens have mastered the art of the perfect selfie and since they can simply delete and take another 100 until they find that instagram worthy winner they have become extremely critical on their expectations.
They want to look Kardashian perfect and accept nothing less.
These photos are great for a fast social media post but that's where it usually ends. Have you ever tried to blow up a cell phone photo to make a yard sign or a canvas for your home? It's not pretty. They just aren't made for that. The purpose is clear, great "social media" worthy photos.
I am not knocking them because I do it myself. They are great when you are out and want that spir of the moment photo and didn't want to lug around a camera. Or on a hike or adventure where phones are a lot easier to bring along than photo gear.
I can tell a huge difference between a great cell phone photo and a professional portrait. But most teens and young adults sometimes cannot. Or the difference isn't that drastic for them to take notice.
This is why I try to not only offer a great session, but I also go the extra mile and furnish all photos from the session (fully edited), or at least those not mid blink or full on blur. Anything from decent to perfect I edit and provide. This lets the clients know that not only do they get a fun session from their day but they are getting more bang for their buck.
I'd rather give 300 photos from their session than the top 25 because first, not everyones taste is the same, What I find beautiful, you may find decent and vice versa. This way the client has them all and can decide for themselves. In addition I also have very average or below average pricing. I get a lot of slack for this from the other photographers but my motive is simple. I want my client to see that I am not just selling portraits, I am selling an experience. I truly love what I do and this is evident in just how many photos I provide in each session. You can look at any online gallery I have and be able to piece together the day and get a glimpse of the story they tell.
But yes, my time is valuable and the bills still need to get paid. I feel that keeping my prices low not only brings me more business and word of mouth referrals but it gives family's a chance to maybe get in a yearly portrait session and maybe even a holiday mini as well, instead of a once in a blue moon or just on special occasion. So its a win win!!!
Certain sessions are more costly then others only because I am not a clock watcher. So if I know its going to be a long day like newborns who have their own schedule or smaller children who take more time to get comfortable, I adjust according to need and just how much time goes into it. I hate clock watchers so I ensure that every session has my undivided attention. Usually the last 15 minutes is when they are finally at ease in front if the lens, so why would I stop abruptly when its just getting good?
Its about making a memory. Most sessions the clients are uncomfortable at first. Its awkward to have some stranger in your face taking photos or asking you to pose and interact with your family as if she wasn't there. So I let the session lead me. I want to know all I can about them, their hobbies, how did they meet? Get them remembering the why's and let the lens tell the story.
Family sessions allow them to not only relax and have fun together but telling their truth allows them to remember all the silly things about each other or a couple session gets them in their feels as they remember how they met, or who said "I love you" first. I love to walk away from a session seeing a couple laughing and canoodling as they go to their car, This is what its all about. The photos are just the cherry on top.
So why should you choose a photo session? Because it's an experience. No two stories are the same and everyone has a story to tell. So you not only get a great portrait for whatever your occasion, but you also walk away with the experience as well. Because recalling the little things you love about your partner or enjoying some extra play time with the family is what life is all about and I am just a stowaway for a few moments of the journey and in the end you get to show that piece of your story
to the world for generations to come.
Take that Apple & Android!!!!