"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 superb end product. The result of all this are heirloom quality images. The time invested at the session is only a small portion of time involved in this process.
The customized service level you are sure to experience will be amazing. The knowledge that your final images are the result of someone caring about those moments so much that they take extra time ensuring that the artwork you receive is good enough to stand by with their name on it. That level of quality and commitment is all but lost in the age of "mass produced," "mass marketed," corporate "everyone is a number". Custom photography is based on being unique to you...creating images that you will most likely cherish for a lifetime.
Custom photography is about finding someone who will photograph your family, give you devoted one on one attention without the worry of the 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."
Hopefully this answers some questions that you may have about custom photography! Also remember that you are paying for much more than just the 1-3 hours of actual shoot time. Your investment also covers the hours behind the scenes which includes consultations and emails, travel time, session time, file handling, organizing of images, post processing (the most lengthy part of the service), saving and uploading onto a viewing site, preparing the preview, burning the photos to a disk, runs to the post office, etc! Professional grade equipment doesn't come cheap either. Cameras, lenses, accessories, computers, computer hardware and software, etc. are also required. And often times, these are things that need to be replaced and upgraded quite frequently.
So as you can see, there is so very much more work involved than most clients realize. Many long hours are spent on your session to get it just right and get you the best possible images...unique to you and your family!