Everyone thinks about it, you may have even done it. I did it. I’m talking about buying the photographers’ photo disk. I bought the disk from my wedding photographer because I wanted to edit them myself and print what I wanted. I printed an album of the key elements but haven't opened that CD since, and I’ve been married for 5 years now. I think the reason is we want to keep all of the photos and may not have enough money to buy each and every one. We think to ourselves , “I could print out everything I need for who I need." Ha! I wish it worked that way. Since the digital age of photos on a memory card, we just don't get around to printing every picture we take.
Take for example, before when we had film we were limited to about 24 shoots per roll. We would pick and choose our shots very carefully because we all knew developing was a little pricy. Then we would rush to the 1 hour photo lab to have them printed. Not any more, now we take dozens of photos of our kids, playing on the playground, eating an ice cream cone or as my child does, takes dozens of pictures of her knee, the wall, and the ceiling fan. But where do they all end up? On our pc's, never to be seen again! Ask yourself, when is the last time you pulled up your photos on your computer? Maybe if you are lucky and have a digital photo frame you can update it with new pictures every now and again. Like me, I think the last time I updated it with new pictures is about 8 or 9 months ago. With little ones changing everyday it's far too long.
Then comes that little nagging feeling, what happens to my photos if something happens to my computer?? I Hope that never happens to you. Well I have a cd of the prints, you say. Think about VCR tapes, slides and film reels. What do kids now know about theses much less have a way to play or view them? Can you imagine what will happen in a few years when your kids are grown and they find these little flat circle things? You now it will happen. Look at Hollywood video and Blockbuster. When is the last time you have stepped in to one? Steaming videos is growing more and more each year.
So this leads me to my topic. Why should we choose to have the photographer print our portraits for us when we have them taken professionally? Everyone gets dressed to look their best for their portraits. Let's say you do print them out at the local drug store. You get back your pictures and your husbands' head is cut off and your nice new haircut and color that looked so great that day is now showing up green! Like you dipped your hair in chlorine green! But they looked so good on the studio screen. Welcome to what all of the processing we do behind the scenes!
Our job is not finished when you go home. It’s just beginning. When we work on your order we look at many different things. Professional labs and drug store labs have different quality standards. Don't get me wrong, they do great for everyday photos (most of the time) but for those once in 10 year, everyone is together and looking their best, don't trust them to make your portraits look "professional". We, as your photographer, have to work with each photo when sending them to the lab for processing. When you are at home you may upload them, click 4x6 for each, click submit and done. We edit each and every image which takes up time. Sure you could print them cheaper down the street but the quality won't be there. You are paying for our time to take the portraits and work with each one individually.
Here are a few things we do with your portraits.
Composing- Some sizes don't print well straight out of the camera. Depending on your camera settings 4x6's usually come out as taken. Anything bigger and things start getting cropped off. Just like widescreen will show all details but standard 4:3 ratio chops the image. Sometimes it’s a head here, a foot there. So for every pose you select we have to edit each one manually on the computer. So nothing gets cropped out.
Coloring/Brightness- Here we have to make sure your hair doesn't have the green tint. We have to make sure the brightness is adjusted so your photos don't come out dark. The local drug stores do not adjust the coloring for each new batch of photos. Sometimes you have to uncheck the "turn off in store color adjustment" box or it will "fix" the coloring for you, resulting in green hair or blue coloring in all of your whites.
Editing-Clothing wrinkles, hair out of place, and the people walking in the background of your portrait are all things we have to fix while working on each and every image we take. Imagine a child running through your background, a pole coming out of the top of your head. These are all edited out for each print you order.
Quality- Difference between drug store and professional labs is the paper in which they are printed on. Glossy and matte make a huge difference in the look and feel of your portraits. The difference in quality can mean fingerprints and glare and sometimes how long the photo will actually last. Cheaper paper can fade or colors run if you get them wet or leave them in a sun filled room.
Prints- You will actually be able to enjoy them if you have them printed for you instead of put on a disk somewhere. Most people do not have time to print them, much less go through all of the above steps for each photo that you take and print. I can easily take about 50 poses depending on the type of session. When will you have time to print them form a dish much less edit each and every one individually?
If you have the time to do the edits and printing great! If not, let us do all the work for you, that is why we are here. I'm not saying to never use that drugstore down the street; they do good work for everyday prints. But when you want your portraits looking as good as you did on the day you took them, trust the professionals to get it right and on your wall so you can enjoy your beautiful work of art!