Custom Lifestyle Photography vs. “traditional” photographs

I wanted to post this topic for awhile. I wanted my friends and blog readers to know what they get when they choose me to do their families portraits. If you look at the tab named, “Available Dates”, you will see what a family session costs. Now, some may say that it’s cheaper to go to the local superstore photography studio and get a package. We are all aware of the approach that these types of studios take. They offer you a package with X amount of pictures for a certain price. Then they typically choose the pose that is in the package. After that picture, they take all these creative photographs with props and backgrounds. (I’m not saying all are like that, I’m just sharing from my experience) What always bothered me about that was that they tried to pressure me into buying more than I needed or more than I could afford.

This is where I want to share with you all what Julie Lawson Photography is all about. I am a photographer and an artist. I make sure that your images are good  “in camera” but what happens after that is a true work of the heart. I always present to my clients my best work and will never give a client an image that I am not truly happy with. I take extreme pride in my work so that years to come my client has fond memories of our session. When I shoot a session with a client, I don’t hold anything back, I’m honest about what is working or not working, I give input and receive input from my clients. This is a joint effort so that the client is involved and not just “posing”. Lifestyle photography isn’t your mom and dad’s portraits sessions. This type of photography session is really becoming more and more wildly popular. People everywhere are loving the fact that we are capturing you, your children, etc…at their best as they are at that particular time. These types of images really do tell a story. It’s not cookie-cutter images. I do pose people in my sessions, but it’s the natural moments that I capture that are just so great.

Now, as for pricing. My session fee may cost more than your typical packages…but when you look at the whole picture, I feel people will see the difference. Once your session is over, I upload all images and take only the best images from your session. I then edit all images myself so that each person in the picture looks their best (minimal retouching). I usually try to give at least 50 images in your personal gallery to choose from. From there you are free to choose whatever pose you like. I prefer to go a-la cart on my prints. I also keep my print prices very very affordable for one reason only, I want you to be able to get beautiful pictures for not a lot of money.

Here is a quote from Anne Ruthmann that she posted on her blog and facebook about photography and the artist within us.

‘It’s a delicate balance- trying to be an artist and a business person at the same time. The artist mentally is quite obsessive and perfectionistic. The artist hates being bothered in the middle of being intensely focused because it can ruin a creative streak. The artist wants to simply shut out the world around her so that she can enjoy every little creation as it’s being made. The artist works on something until its done, not until the timer has run out. The artist has a lot of pride in her work and would be horrified if it were to be out there unfinished. Yet, we also have to be business people. We have to meet our clients needs and keep them happy, even if it doesn’t always give us the freedom to do what makes us happy. We have to set deadlines and meet them no matter what happens or else we lose our client’s trust. We have to answer emails and return phone calls in a timely manner so that our clients feel valued and respected. As a business person, we WANT to do all of these things because we care about our clients, and because without our clients support, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do!! We love our clients and we want to give them the best of everything. It’s just a delicate line we must walk every day, always trying to stay in balance- and sometimes we fall down, but we pick ourselves back up in the hopes that it is our accomplishments, not our failures, which will be the ultimate measure of our success.”



6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Travis Owney Photography
    Dec 10, 2008 @ 11:00:38

    Very well said and right on point Julie – heck, I may be accused of plagarizing you at some point. 🙂 It’s funny because I just had this discussion with a coworker on Monday. She was complaining because she was pressured into buying $115 worth of photos from a retail chain and the pics were so bad that she refuses to show them to anyone. She then complained that “real” photographers charge rediculous amounts. I simply brought her back to my computer and showed her a few of the galleries. I then asked which would she prefer – purchase photos at a department store that she will never show or make an investment in an image that will be cherished for generations? It looks like I have a new client. 🙂

  2. Jen Rinaldi Photography
    Dec 10, 2008 @ 11:38:50

    Julie, I’m glad you wrote it. It came out so well and sounds so good. Well written my friend! I may have to write something like this up myself when I configure my 2009 pricing.

    Keep doing what you do!! You’re a true artist!

  3. Julie McLeod
    Dec 10, 2008 @ 21:04:51

    I think your work speaks for itself but you’ve explained beautifully for those prospective clients who don’t understand the time and skill that goes into your images.

  4. Jennifer B.
    Dec 11, 2008 @ 02:05:54

    You are a true artist, and you love what you do! You do take amazing pictures and are so worth the extra expense! I have seen and experienced your work with my family and am so blessed to have you to take ALL of our pictures no matter the occassion!

  5. Vinnie
    Dec 11, 2008 @ 16:03:52

    Julie that is beautiful. Your work really does merit the price you are charging (if not more). You have a unique and creative eye. It’s not the cookie cutter photographs that you can get a nearly every discount department store studio.

  6. Oscar
    Dec 12, 2008 @ 16:45:35

    There’s no price for your soul.

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