Saturday, March 7, 2009

Custom Photography... What is it and is it for me?

Today, I wanted to do a post on something that may help explain (and take the mystery out of ) what I do as a custom photographer. Obviously I take pictures :-) which is something I love to do! I get to meet great people and I get to express my artistry when I document wonderful moments and expressions of adorable kids and families. I literally "fall in love" with everyone while I sit at my computer and do my editing. I think that the best part of being a custom photographer is knowing that I am creating something that families will cherish forever. It's a 'feel good' business but it IS a business. You may find yourself thinking, "I know Toki takes nice pictures but my Uncle Joe has a good camera and takes pictures too. Why should I hire Toki to take our photos?"

Well, that's a very good question and I'm glad you asked!!

Since I'm not the best writer, I am going to give all credit to the amazing Marianne Drenthe of
Marmalade Photography for her well written explanation of what custom photography entails. The following is an excerpt from her Consumer Guide to Custom Photography which you can see in full here.

"Custom photography truly is not for everyone. It requires a level of commitment, investment in time and money, forethought and planning on the part of the subject/client and requires a larger time commitment for the photographer as well.

Clients who enjoy taking a more active role in the creation of their families’ memories have the desire to have portrait art that is truly personalized. These more discerning clients have been known to budget and allot time and priority to do a custom photography session. Many clients opt for it to be a once a year special experience, some opt to have custom photography sessions done to record their child’s stages in life. Having said this, it is clear that custom photography is not in everyone’s budget, it is something that most families save for to splurge on from time to time to memorialize their children as they really are (not posed and primped in the cookie cutter studio setting).

There is a great deal of time involved in creating high end custom photography sessions for a client. The luxury of great service, better choices and a supberb end product. The result of all this are heirloom quality images. The time invested at the session is only a small portion of time involved in this process

The customized service level you are sure to experience will be amazing. 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 and commitment is all but lost in the age of "mass produced," "mass marketed," corporate "everyone is a number". Custom photography is based on being unique to you. How great an experience would be, to be able to sit back and allow a photographer to do this highly custom work for images that you will most likely cherish for a lifetime?

Keep in mind that the portrait art you become invested in from your custom photographer will no doubt increase in value and become more priceless as the years pass

In short, what custom photography ultimately is all about is choice and experience (as in THE experience). Custom photography is about finding someone who will photograph your family, give you devoted 1:1 attention without worry of the next ‘in line’ or the feeling of a crowded portrait studio. A custom photographer will typically show you a fairly extensive gallery culled to only show the good images that meet the photographers’ creative sensibilities. Often the images are fully edited images-color corrected with blemishes and undereye circles removed. Custom photographers are also known as boutique studios, offering a range of products and unparalleled service. Think Lexus vs. Hyundai, think Nordstrom vs. WalMart. "

Hi, me again. I know this was a long post but hopefully it gave you a better sense of what I do and what I can offer to you and your family. And now, an image for your viewing pleasure since no post is complete without a photo. Enjoy your weekend!

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