This summer, Annabella’s mother reached out to me; She was distraught. She had trusted a professional photographer to photograph her daughter on the day of her First Holy Communion, and to provide invaluable memories of a day that was so monumental for them as a Catholic family. When the gallery was delivered she was beyond disappointed and so embarrassed she chose to save a few dollars at the expense of her daughter’s memories. She felt betrayed and scammed after paying what she did and receiving less than professional quality work. We agreed to re-do her daughter’s communion portraits at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie New York in the fall when our schedules would sync best. She was so appreciative, and honestly, my heart was so happy to do this for her. I was honored to be trusted to provide the memories she had wanted for her daughter.
I want to clarify, I’m not here to put down another photographer, but I do however want to stress the importance of the investment of good photography. Images like these take experience, education, practice and time to create. I couldn’t do work like this when I started; nope, no way. I spent a lot of time and money learning how to do this by attending workshops, watching podcasts and webinars, and by reading books and studying photography. Have I made mistakes in my time as a business, heck yes I have (!), but I hope I’ve never falsely represented myself to be more then I am when it comes to my artistic ability. Do I charge more than other photographers, sure, but there are photographers that charge more than me too. As a full time business that helps to support my family, I calculate my costs based on what I need to pay my household bills, my salary, and my business expenses, which are inclusive of the educational opportunities I take advantage of to improve myself and the equipment I use to produce images like these. I want my clients to love their images so I work hard to provide something that is memorable, not just because it is a photo, but because it is stunningly beautiful.
However my photography fees are not the point here; what is most important is that these are the type of images that Annabella’s mom wanted and thought the photographer she hired would produce, because that is the impression that was sold to her. A few good images on a website never show the full story. Ask to see full galleries, and always ask to see more than one gallery. Ask about their professional experience too. Finally, never let the price tag scare you away from a photographer who’s work you love, because it’s almost always guaranteed that timeless, artful images will cost more.