Right now, digital photos are everywhere. With instagram and other social networks, photos are practically the ultimate communication tool. That is pretty cool!
When there’s an increase of one thing, there’s a decrease of another. And with so many “instant” images, there’s a lessening of lasting images – the kind that hangs around (say, on a wall!) - the kind of photo that isn’t buried in a newsfeed by day’s end.
When most of us were kids, our moms would head to Sears and plunk us on that studio platform. They wanted to have something to frame, to pass around, to have in their wallets - to have.
I imagine the portraits I take of my kids will mean the world to me when they hardly resemble the miniature people they are today. So with this I’m answering, “why custom portrait photography?” And simply put - because it’s artistic, lasting, and worthy of showing in my home. It tells the story of their burgeoning little personalities.
This is why I am passionate about photography. And since I am a photographer, you would expect me to say as much! What about from your perspective, if you are not a photographer? To someone who may want to have custom portraits of their kids, there are obstacles in our busy lives. So for that I ask, Why NOT Custom Portrait Photography?
Have you thought the following? Professional photography… a) takes too much time and planning, b) is too unpredictable with little kids, c) is too expensive (potential hidden costs) or, d) is most easily taken at Target (the modern day Sears studio)? To all of the above perspectives, I am wholly sympathetic and I have some thoughts I am eager to share! Keep reading!
a) Professional, custom photography is a fun way to spend time as a family. It may take thought and planning such as in choosing what to wear (see my article here on that!) But with the planning it may take, it can be like a holiday – on a yearly (or so) basis, you dress up, go to a beautiful location and have photos taken while also having fun.
b) If you have the right photographer, it needn’t be unpredictable or stressful; the kids can have fun being themselves with the sense they are special for the camera. So unpredictability is good! The beauty of custom portraits is that everyone is free to be themselves – no need to sit a certain way or fit into a studio if that’s not your choice.
c) There should be no hidden costs. If you enter the session without knowing your total investment, ask for clarity. If that isn’t provided, you may not be working with an honest professional.
d) About Target portrait studios, I think that some professional photos are better than none. However, in my opinion, this is not the best choice - their quick approach to portraiture may not lend the best results. And they do employ a sneaky “buy more” approach. (No further details here, but ask me – I would be happy to share.)
I hope these ideas have shaped your thoughts on custom portrait photography. Best of all, you come away with a product to keep, which will grow in value and meaning as time passes.
© Mom of Three Photography / Meghan McLaughlin 2013