3 Reasons Why I May Not Be The Portrait Photographer For You

29th January 2018
In: Blog

You may wonder I’d write a post like this? Why would I attempt to put off people form using me and my services. Well, it helps us both..in the long run.

Photography is such a broad brush, and even narrowing down the portrait genre, there is still plenty of scope for variety. Every portrait photographer will have their own audience, and fans, but it won’t be every one. I talk more about this in a recent blog post 7 Things To Look For In A Portrait Photographer I know from experience I’m not a good fit for some clients, and some clients aren’t a good fit for me, so I thought I’d help us both out and explain why this may be the case….


Take a look through my portfolio and you will see who and where I photograph. It’s families, children, adults and couples, and they’re nearly always outdoors, and almost certainly shot using available natural light. Why this choice?
Let me tell you a story…. Many moons ago I was the other side of the camera, in a studio having an extended family photo session. There were a few bodies in a not too large room, six adults, one toddler and two babies no less, and it was hell. Hot, uncomfortable and not a pleasant experience, so when I started out photographing portraits, I vowed to do it outside or at least away from lights and white background.
Now, outdoors isn’t for everyone, I am aware of that, but children genuinely love it and that means parents do too. Freedom, space and a stress-free environment which shows in the resulting images. No two sessions are ever the same, meaning the experience and backdrops are unique to each client.
The feedback I have had from many customers in the past is that they would never go back to indoor studio style photo sessions after having a location shoot.


I’m kind of old fashioned. I love a print. I sincerely think you can’t beat it. Even with the best rendered images on a retina screen, there is something beautiful and tactile about a printed photograph. That tangible something you can grasp hold of. That is why I offer collections and packages centered around photographic prints. It is what photography is for. Older readers will remember the introduction of CDs which were heralded as the end of the traditional vinyl record, but which one of the two is making a comeback now, and which is in decline? Exactly my point!

However, digital does have it’s place, and I am acutely aware of online sharing that is every day to many of us, me included, so I do offer in some of my collections a mobile app, which you can store your photos on smartphones and tablets. It’s somewhere where the images will be viewed regularly, not consigned to a lonely CD in the bottom drawer, never to see the light of day.
I do offer digital files too, but only if I’m sure it’s right for you the customer. Investing in a portrait session then self-printing or sending the file of to crappy-snaps is a bit self defeating don’t you think?
I use one of the best photo labs in the UK to print my work and a canvas printer/manufacture that is pretty much unrivalled too, so I can be sure that you, my valued customers, receive the best quality printed images around.
People will often ask for the CD or memory stick of images without knowing what they want to do with it. It’s usually based in fear of not knowing what products they want from their photo session. That’s where I come in. After personally delivering proofs I will advise on what prints/types/sizes etc. you may need and actually want, you won’t be left confused and find yourself plumping for 10x8 print because you don’t know what else to do.


What I mean here is making a booking online without a pre-shoot consultation or chat, have the shoot and receive a web gallery to select products. That's just one face-to-face contact point.
However, I invest a lot of time with my clients, from an initial consultation, to the photo session and the proof reveal. All in person. Why?
Because most people don't have experience with using a photographer's service, and are unsure of what they want and what to buy. As that photographer, I wouldn't be doing my job properly if I didn't take time to understand my client's needs and advise them throughout the process. Everyone is unique, and need varying or different advice or guidance.
If required I advise clients on everything from; where to have their photo-shoot, what to wear, photo ideas, through to which collection or products suit their needs. You shouldn't be left with a memory stick of digital files or an online gallery of images that you don't know what to do with...should you?


Hopefully you can see what I offer, and why I may not, or hopefully, may actually be the portrait photographer for you. Whilst this post is focussed around my services, it is relevant to the broader collection of photographers out there. Every one will have their own vision and style, business model and way of working. It is not wrong or right, but simply their way. For you to get what you want from a portrait photo session it is important that you understand what each photographer offers and how they work, just as much as the photographer should understand you and your needs. For either of you to say "No", shouldn't be seen as a slight against each other, but simply good sense.
I hope you now see why I have written this post...because I'm here to help.


If you are interested in my location portrait work, download my Portrait Introductory Brochure, and if you like what you see, please contact me to organise a chat about how I may be able to help.


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