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What Is Custom Photography?
The photographic art you choose to place on your wall is ultimately the result of the vision of the photographer. This vision, coupled with what you wear to your session, the environment, the lighting, even the mood the subjects are in at the time of photographing creates the work that you will want to proudly display on your walls forevermore.

What custom photography ultimately is all about is choice and experience. 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.

-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.

Why Choose Custom Photography?
Custom photography is more of a luxury than your entry level cookie cutter chain experience. 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 for 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.

Why Does Custom Photography Cost More?
The digital revolution has brought amazing flexibility and ability to control various factors during the image taking and making process. Photographers, the hobbyist, the professional, the amateur all benefit from this ability to manipulate pixels. However, with flexibility comes a price. Digital camera equipment is still considerably more expensive when you factor in its' lifespan, the need for additional resources for processing those images, the time it takes to get a usable image and the effort that goes into creating a work of photographic art. We all know that you can go to the local Walgreen's and pay a $1.99 for a print – as a client you may wonder why you may pay upwards of $50, $70, $90 for a custom photography print. Photographers hear this statement every once in awhile:

"How in the world can you charge $60 for an 8×10 if it costs me less than $2 to print at x store?"

The truth of the matter is the answer to this question is multifaceted. Much of the cost of a photographic print produced by a professional photographer has a lot 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 Approaching it from a time standpoint, let's imagine that you have hired a photographer who has work that you love. This photographer is traveling an hour to your destination to photograph your session. Here is an example of a time break down:

-booking time: 30 minutes to one hour (client contact time + paperwork)
pre-session prep time (30 mins – 1 hour, includes equipment and back up equipment checks + vehicle checks)
-one hour travel time TO session
-15-30 minutes prep time at client's home
-90 minutes-2 hours with client photographing subject
-one hour travel time FROM session
-30-45 minutes uploading time from digital cards from camera to computer
-30-45 minutes time spent backing up the original images
-2-5 hours editing time to present you with a diverse gallery of edited images
-1 hour prep time getting ready for ordering
-2-3 hours time with client for ordering images
-1 hour sorting through and checking order
-30 minutes-1 hour prep time for delivery
-30 minutes-1 hour getting order shipped
any additional phone time or time needed for add on ordering, shipment issues, quality issues

In this example, the time spent per client can range from just under 13 hours to 19 hours – dependent on the photographer's level of service. This is time dedicated only 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 12-19 hours complete time for your session.

APPLES to ORANGES to BANANAS: Often times clients will mention to their photographer that X studio in the mall/department store only charges $19.99 for an 8×10 "sheet" or they may mention other things related to discount photography chains. The fact is those discount chains make their money on volume, not on customized 1:1 service. In February 2007 a company who has leased photography retail space in a rather well known discount retailer closed down 500 of their portrait studios across the nation. The reason it happened is simple, you cannot make money on 99¢ "professional" prints if you do not sell enough of them. Interestingly enough – those same studios that offer the loss leader packages often charge much much more for their a la carte pricing vs. many custom photographers (as high as $40-50 for an 8×10).

A little history – the whole reason the big department stores began offering portrait services in the first place was to get you, the savvy consumer, in through their door so that you could spend more money with them in other departments. Your "PORTRAITS" are considered the "loss leader". Your portraits that are meant to symbolize a once-in-a-lifetime stage in your child's life are part of what a store considers a way to get you in there door to spend more money on goods that you might not really want or need but because you're there "anyway" you buy.

Also keep in mind that when you go to a chain studio, as a consumer, you don't have the benefit of 1:1 attention for 2 hours at your home where your child is allowed to explore, play and be comfortable in their home environment, nor do you get the experience that many custom photographers are known for as well as the lovely captures of natural expressions. You simply get a bare bones, "SAY CHEESE" experience.

What can I expect at my photo session?
We’ll spend as much time as we need to make your photographs, so relax and enjoy yourself. Don’t expect a strict regime of gimmicky poses. The best images, and incidentally the images you’ll love the most will be the ones created when you are simply interacting with your loved ones. A typical photo session lasts about an hour.

Do you schedule more than one client per day?
No. Once your photo session is scheduled you will have my complete attention for the day.

How far in advanced should I book my photo session?
We recommend booking your photo session at least one month in advance. For a better understanding of the timeline, visit the “About” section of the website. Please take into account any deadlines you may have (i. e. the due date for yearbook photos). Give yourself plenty of time. For the procrastinator, Rush fees are available. We recommend booking newborn photo sessions for two weeks after your due date. We’ll keep our schedule flexible for your new arrival.

When will I be able to view my pictures?
You can expect to view your images in a personal password protected gallery 3 weeks after your photo session.

What payment options do you accept?
We accept cash, checks made out to “Taylor’d Photography”, and credit cards via PayPal online.

Do you sell digital negatives?
Yes. Your images are available to buy with a Personal Use license. A personal use license will permit unlimited personal use of the images only to the person/company who purchased them through Taylor’d Photography. Copyrights for all images are retained by Taylor’d Photography. Check our “Prices” section of the website for more information.

What is on location photography?
On location photography does not take place in a studio. We go where ever you decide you’d like your session to take place. Whether that’s your home, your backyard, or a scenic spot in town—anything’s possible. You are not limited to one location. We prefer to hop from one spot to the next, this allows us to provide you with a wide selection of photos. Newborn sessions take place in the home.

When is the best time of day to schedule on location photography?
Early morning and late afternoon are the ideal times to schedule your photo session.

What should we wear?
Get creative! Wear what makes you feel good. An upcoming photo session can provide the perfect excuse to buy a new outfit.

What’s a trash the dress session?
Many brides schedule this session to take place once all the commotion from the wedding has subsided. This is the ultimate model session. Since the wedding is over many brides celebrate the beauty of their dresses by mimicking high fashion photographs. This allows us to go crazy. Anything goes; running through the desert, wading through fountains or streams, riding on the back of a motorcycle and basically trashing the dress in the process.