Thank you fo much for taking the time to review my website.
Finding the right photographer takes a lot of time and research. Given the nature of your questions, it seems you are well on your way!
In the digital age, as access to professional quality cameras becomes increasingly easier, consumers should remain wary when selecting a professional photographer. Many new photographers are emerging every day, setting up websites and charging for services which are not profesional in quality and for which they have little to no training.
The right photographer for you will meet many criteria which may include: photography style, price, reputation, available products and quality of work.
Based on your questions, pricing is a major factor in your search for a photographer. While I can't deny the financial side of any decision, it is also beneficial to understand pricing in order to make the most informed decision possible.
Does your photographer use top of the line equipment? If so, they have likely invested tens of thousands of dollars into quality gear in order to provide you with the very best images possible.
Does your photographer have a good reputation in the community? If so, they likely provide a good product, and pricing is justified by that talent.
Does your photographer have an extensive product line? If so, they have likely built solid relationships with many vendors in the photographic industry and have invested a great deal of time and research into finding a wide array of products their clients will love and be proud to display.
Does your photographer offer all digital files with a low session fee? If so, they are likely new to the business and are attempting to undercut established professionals by offering a deal.
You get what you pay for. When you hire a professional photographer with a good reputation, great products, keen eye, professional process and appropriate pricing, you lift the burden of worry. Since quality, custom portraiture does require an investment, it is important to consider:
1. Am I prepared to make a higher investment to ensure the quality of the work?
2. Will a reshoot be possible? For many occasions like weddings, reshoots are not possible. And since we don't often have the gift of a reshoot, capturing memories like weddings or having a newborn with care and confidence is worth the investment - every time.
3. Is the event I am capturing time sensitive, emotionally important, or unique? If so, you can't afford mistakes -- it needs to be done right the first time.
Many prospective clients ask, "Why am I paying you $50 for an 8x10 when I can produce my own for $3.50 at the one-hour photo or a $29.95 photo package at my local chain studio? Photographs obviously don't cost that much to produce."
Truthfully, while it doesn't cost much to print an 8x10 at your local Missoula one-hour photo, it does cost a professional photographer much more. Factored into every photographer's price is the cost of doing business professionally. The $250 session fee for a two hour session does not mean your photographer earns $125 per hour; in fact hours of editing, retouching, cropping, presentation and/or online gallery preparation, slide shows, printing, packaging, labs and delivery to produce quality photography are required. Selling an 8x10 for $3.50 would quickly put a professional photographer out of business. Note that Infinite Photography only use a professional photo lab for our prints. There is a tremendous difference in printing via professional photo lab and your local Walmart or Walgreens. Our professional lab is custom calibrated with our computer screen and editing software to perfectly present your photos. Your photos then can be displayed beautifully in your home or with your friends and extended family. The result from your local one-hour photo will be over-exposed, loss of detail, out of focused, and red or green color casted.
So while it may be tempting to consider lower pricing, a professional photographer shouldn't be compared to a chain studio since many professional studios provide a custom experience and are not merely putting you on an assembly line. You are paying for time, skill, and costumer service for the very best experience possible,
Another troubling trend among photographers is to offer all images in high resolution on a disk included with the session fee. Those digital file packages are likely to cost a fair bit to obtain, however, and handing digital files to a client is a disservice when we strive to provide clients with professional quality prints and products. For the effort and investment you have made, Infinite Photography want your images to be ones you will continue to treasure for a lifetime. The local photo mart simply can't create that.
I wish you all the best in your search, dear client, and thank you again for making Infinite Photography, your Missoula photographer!