simply put, they are not my competition. i "practice" custom photography...what is custom photography? photographer marianne drenthe of marmalade photography writes...
custom photography is about finding someone who will photograph your family, give you devoted 1:1 attention without worry of who is next 'in line' or the feeling of a crowded portrait studio. custom photographers will show you a gallery to highlight 'the good images that meet the photographers' creative sensibilities, often fully edited images, & are known as boutique studios...think lexus vs. hyundai, think nordstrom vs. walmart.'
custom photography is not for everyone - it requires a 'level of commitment, investment in time & money, forethought and planning on the part of the client and requires a larger time commitment for the photographer as well.'
clients who take a more active role in the creation of their families' memories have the desire to have portrait art that is truly personalized. some even 'budget and allot time for a custom photography session.' the custom photographer takes pride in 'creating high end custom photography sessions' and realizes a great deal of time is involved...the time invested at the session is only a small portion of the time involved in this process.
there are on location, studio, mixed studio/on location, specialty location and destination type photographers. the beauty of custom photography is in the choices and in the luxury of those options. the knowledge that your final images are the result of someone caring about those moments so much that they take extra time ensuring that the artwork you receive is good enough to stand by with their name on it. that level of quality an commitment is all but lost in the age of "mass produced" & "mass marketed." how great to sit back and allow a photographer to do this highly custom work for images you will most likely cherish for a lifetime? there is no doubt your investment will increase in value and become more priceless as the years pass...
why does custom photography cost more?
the truth of the matter is the answer to this question is multifaceted...a lot has to do with the time, equipment costs, artistic vision and reputation of the photographer not to mention expertise and the usual costs of running a legitimate business. the cost of time...booking time, pre-session prep time, travel time to session, prep time on location, 90 minutes to two hours photographing clients, travel time from session, uploading time from cards to computer, backing up files time, editing time, prep time for online gallery, ordering time, processing order time, sorting and checking order time, shipping time, and additional phone/email time for ordering, shipment issues, quality issues.
the time spent per client can range from just under 13 hours to 19 hours...this is time dedicated to one session! when the photographer charges $150-$300 for the photo shoot (aka session fee) you are not just paying for the two hours of session time, you are paying the photographer for 13-19 hours complete time for your session.
in addition, there are costs to maintaining a custom photography business - equipment costs (camera, lenses, digital storage mediums, and computers), lab costs, and the other costs of running a photography business...taxes, studio rent, vehicular costs, costs of advertising/marketing, costs of sample pieces, props...
the photographer who desires to be known as better/best/unparalleled reputation-wise knows that the most important thing they can do for their business is reliability and dependability. this is how reputations get built. good work is often a wonderful side product of building a good reputation.
and so i conclude...i am a custom photographer, love what i do, & take pride in my work.
meijer portrait studio is not my competition.
peace & bliss,