Thursday, October 14, 2010

Why custom photography?

To most of us, memories and milestone moments in our lives are important to archive and remember. It’s only human nature to cherish and value memories of important times in our lives, to be able to look back and remember how we felt at that time that feels so long ago. One of the most powerful ways to remember those moments is through photographs. That’s why walls, nightstands, refrigerators, bookshelves, and desks all around the world are adorned with photo keepsakes of the ones we love. What do photos help us remember? Our childhoods, our four-legged best friends, our family dynamics, the symbolism behind that beautiful ring on your left hand, and that year that went by so quickly that it felt like little Johnny was only 3 for a month. “He’s 7 now? I can’t even remember what he was like at age 3…where does the time go?” That’s why photos are important. As we all know, time flies, and the further away we get from those milestone moments in our lives, the less vivid those memories become.

Enter: Custom photography. Custom photography is not the cookie cutter mall studio, sit, stand, pose, “say cheese,” experience. Custom is, well, just that: personalized to fit you and your fiancé’s, your family’s, your pet, or your kids’ stories, personalities, and unique traits. Custom photography takes the power of a treasured keepsake the next level by combining you and your loved ones with the artistic eye of a practiced professional. Custom photography also relies heavily on the use of lighting, location, clothing choices, and the emotional connection between subjects to tell a story. The outcome is the collaboration between all of these things and the artistic vision of the photographer in the form of luxury art that will remind you of those moments on a daily basis.

Often times most people come to a custom photographer with the mindset of “I want some really cool pictures of my family/fiancé/dog and I, but I’m not sure what I’ll do with them…” Maybe they don’t have the end product in mind. It’s important to remember that the combination of your distinctive location with the customized experience allows for the creation of beautiful art. If you’re thinking fun key chains, a nice mouse pad for your office, 30 4x6’s to give as Christmas gifts, maybe custom photography isn’t for you. Most custom photographers offer their clients the ability to purchase gorgeous gallery wrap canvases, yummy gallery mounts, beautiful wall sized prints, and classy session albums for display in your home. These fun goodies are really what you take away (absolutely loving!) from the tailored partnership between your family and the artist.

But not only do you get these high-end wall mounted art pieces for your home, or the breath-taking album guests will see on your coffee table, but you’re also walking away having been given excellent service, care, and attention to detail. And not only that, but hopefully you’ve left with a new family friend. Since custom photographers spend so much time really getting to know their clients and their stories, they aren’t seeing hundreds of faces a day like your neighborhood Sears or Target Portrait Studio. And you aren’t calling their phone and each time getting a new, unfamiliar voice on the other end. You’ve established a connection and bond that is a critical ingredient in the success of your portraits, and it should show in the end product. This photographer truly cares about Fido or your twin daughters and how 3rd grade is going for them. They care about your wedding planning process and they put so much effort and time into ensuring that your engagement pictures will go nicely with your wedding theme and show who you are as a couple.

When choosing a custom photographer, it’s also important to keep in mind your style. Check out the photographers other work, follow their blog, and make sure their personality and sense of photographic style will mesh well with what you have in mind. If you’re thinking rural, laid-back portraits of your kiddos in a field with fun vintage props but the photographer whose website you’ve landed on features mostly urban cityscape engagement portraits in their portfolio, maybe they aren’t for you. While most photographers are diverse, each has their own style, and it makes the process easier on both you and the potential photographer to keep that in mind while on your search.

Want to know why custom photography costs more than your local Target portrait studio? This article gives a good explanation why.


  1. This is brilliant advice Brittani : ) I am visiting again from Jasmine's blog. Your comment today on that wedding post was so lovely : )
    Wasn't that amazing? loved it like crazy!

  2. Thank you! I think it's important for people to understand these things so I spent a lot of time writing it and trying to get the message across the right way :) And yes that Virginia wedding was breathtaking! Jasmine is such a hardworking and admirable photographer!