What does it mean to be a full service photographer, and why does this matter for you?
In the current market, there are two basic options have when selecting their family photographer:
A.) a “shoot-and-burn” photographer or B.) a full service photographer.
If you don’t know the difference (or if you never knew there was an option), don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Allow me to explain.
The term “shoot-and-burn” photographer typically refers to new photographers or hobbyist photographers that charge one set session fee and deliver all of the minimally edited digital files from the session. Back in the day, they would deliver all of the images on a burned CD disc. (“Shoot” pictures, then “burn” onto disc.) Although we have moved beyond CDs to USB drives, online galleries, and other photo storage solutions, the term still remains in effect.
When I started my business, I trusted the people I photographed already knew what they wanted to do with their images. Because I serve a lot of busy families with kids who are in multiple activities, I thought that setting up another appointment after the session to view their images was just adding something else to their plate.
However, after talking to past clients, I kept hearing that they LOVED their pictures, but they still weren’t even printed. “I really need to get around to doing that.”
Summary: “Shoot-and-burn” photographers do just that; they take the images and deliver the files. There is no further follow-up, meaning the client must decide what to do with the images from their session on their own.
*There are many well-known professional wedding photographers such as Katelyn James who operate under a model that includes all files with your session. This blog article does not apply to wedding photographers who provide all images from a wedding in an online gallery, as we provide that, too!
Full Service Photographer
A full service photographer takes a much more customer-centered approach to their business, with the aim of offering a personalized photography experience to each client.
As a full service photographer, I believe in excellent customer service, making each family feel completely comfortable and confident.
I educate each family on how to have their best session ever, then deliver beautiful finished products that are ready for the wall – no additional work required. Rest assured, I will guide you to what will work best in your home!
The first time I speak with you is not to pick a date and a location. Instead, I want to get to know you and your family. I want to hear what your plans are, and where you envision yourselves in the future.
Next, we discuss your home and where and how you want to use your images. Your choice will affect how we design your session, everything from the feeling of the images – Silly? Romantic? A nice family reunion portrait? – to your selection of clothing for your family. (If your outfits clash with your walls, are you really going to feel proud displaying your images to visiting family and friends?)
Do you want an album for the coffee table in your living room? Do you want fresh framed images in your bedroom? Maybe your living room or kitchen needs some older pictures updated?
After we determine how you want to use your images, then we will finally move on to planning a location and date!
In preparation for your session, I will also ask you to take a few quick pictures of the walls of your home to help when it is time for your custom design session. This is a complementary service included with all of my sessions! There’s nothing more disappointing than ordering pictures to realize what you envisioned isn’t the correct size for your wall.
After the Session
We will set up a viewing appointment within two weeks of your session. While it is always preferable to do this together in person, the current world circumstances mean that often virtual is a safer option. If you prefer a virtual viewing session I am happy to work with you! I have a specialized program that allows us to view your pictures together and review any additional touchups you request.
Even better, we will then take about 15 minutes together to preview your images on YOUR WALLS so you know what will look best in your home!
What you purchase is entirely up to you. There is no hard sell; what you want is what you will buy.
My job is to take beautiful images that you love so you want to buy them all!
You have total control and flexibility to choose which artwork is the best fit for your family. Instead of being confined to the choice of a few preset package, choose what you like and what best suits your family and décor. After your viewing appointment is complete your finalized images will be available by online gallery for at least three months.
Experience the Difference
Was that more than you expected to read when you read what to expect for your session? I hope so!
Quality, Efficiency, and Expertise
By definition, full service means I will take care of everything. Get ready to be treated much better than that, because your memories deserve to be preserved, appreciated, and treasured for years to come!
As your full service photographer, I do more than schedule a photo shoot, take pictures, and mail a disc of files to you. You won’t have to worry about the time consuming tasks of designing DIY albums or navigating online shopping carts. I can also guarantee quick turnarounds without jeopardizing quality.
Peace of Mind
Your photo session should be more than just a check on your long “to-do” list. Make it an experience you look forward to, filled with laughter and excitement.
Plan your session with a photographer you can trust to capture your emotions and personalities but also deliver high-quality heirloom pieces that will last a lifetime. I want you to have both print and digital copies of the images you purchase. Share them online today and display them in your home forever!
Your family deserves more than a few days of “likes” online.