What does it mean to be a full-service photographer, and why does this matter to you?
There are two basic options have when selecting your portrait 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 couples and families, 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.” AGH. That totally gutted me. I was SO excited for them, but I could have helped them so much more.
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.
As a full-service photographer, I love taking a customer-centered approach to my business. Each client receives a personalized photography experience, starting with the planning process. Not only will I help you plan coordinating outfits, but I’ll also advise on the best colors to complement your home.
As a full-service photographer, I educate you ahead of time on how to have your best session ever, so you feel comfortable and confident before I ever pick up my camera. After you contact me to be your photographer, you’ll receive a short email welcome series helping you start to plan, including frequently asked questions and a what-to-wear guide.
The first time I speak with you is not simply to pick a date and a location. Instead, I want to get to know you. I want to hear what your plans are. Most importantly, I want to know why now? Why are you planning to hire me for your portraits?
Next, we discuss your home 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’ll 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
Within three weeks of your portrait session, your gallery will be ready for review. I recommend we schedule a viewing appointment so I can answer any questions you have, but this is not mandatory. I have a specialized program that allows us to view your pictures together and preview them on your walls using the photos you provided me ahead of time!
Depending on the collection you selected, you’ll either have the option to select a number of images or will already have full download privileges enabled. Use your product credit in the gallery print store to take those images from digital to physical!
One of my most popular products is my deluxe albums. (See my Products page for more information on these.) If you’re interested in an album, I’ll make sure an album design is included when you receive your gallery. You’re welcome to tweak the design as needed, but that’s just one more way that I make it easy for you to love your images 😉
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 packages, choose what you like and what best suits your family and décor. Your finalized images will be available by online gallery for at least three months.
Feel free to send me questions at any time. I love guiding you to what will be the right choice for you!
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 – but display them in your home forever!
Your family deserves more than a few days of “likes” online.-your full-service photographer