I get emails like this all the time. "Wow! You are so expensive!! I am just going to go to Target." I know I am not the only photographer who gets that. Many of my photographer friends & I have had chats about this. It is pretty common in our world. Why though? Why people people just assume that Target, or another studio like that is a better deal than hiring a photographer?
I think most of the people who say that, haven't looked into the cost. They don't see what they get for the price. So, I did that research for you. First I browsed the internet trying to get answers. I found a few helpful things but not what I really needed. So I called a several different stores & get a lot of useful information.
Target's sessions are 10 minutes long. Did you know that? You don't have a choice on where to go either, you have to go to them. You do have a choice of a few backgrounds depending upon the season. Did you know that almost anyone can work at the Photo studio. As young as 16 in some States. These people do not need to have any photography background or knowledge at all. They do minimal training then your photographer is ready to do your session! If your child is scared, unfortunately you are out of luck. You only have 10 minutes, so there is no time to warm up to this random stranger trying to take your picture. Target does not do editing either. They do put a few storyboards together but that is about it. If you want a CD of your session that will cost you $150. If you want as many pictures as what I offer, that would be $300. If you want them in black & white as well, that will cost you $600. If you want prints they offer them as well. They are standard prints with no customization besides adding a name, date & changing the colors of some of the boarders. Target also does not allow pets in your session so leave man's best friend at home.
I do things are a lot different. Our sessions are an hour long. If you have a shy or wild child, there is no worries about having to rush your session because you have plenty of time. I take the time to get to know you so you feel comfortable with me! There is nothing worse than looking scared, annoyed or uncomfortable in your pictures. Your session is also customized just for you! With me, the sky is the limit! You want a session at the beach because you love the water, sure, lets do it! You are a car buff & you'd really like the car you spent the last 2 years restoring in the pictures, sure lets do that too! How about your pets? If you are anything like me, your pets are your family & having them in your photos is important. I am pet friendly! I love pets & encourage people to bring their furry friends. Since photography is all I do, I take pride in my images & want to give everyone the best! That is why I spend the time editing your images making them frame worthy. You wouldn't spend the time & money to get your pictures taken to not display them. That is why I offer a huge list of products to display & share with your friends & family. I offer prints, canvas, books, personally designed cards & announcements for ANY occasion and just about anything else you could want. On top of that, I also give you a CD of your images for $200. That makes it easy to share on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media. You won't get a teenager or someone with very little training here! I have been shooting for 7 years. I am always reading, learning & trying out new things to keep things fresh. All my equipment is professional grade & I am always updating to make sure I keep up with the ever changing technology.
So lets just recap. With Target you get a 10 minute session in a small boring studio, if you want to buy the same number of I put on a CD, you have to pay $600. There is no editing & very little flexibity. A minimally trained photographer will be taking your pictures. You have very little to choose from when it comes to products & very little customization.
With me, you get a 1 hour customized session with a highly trained photographer who has been shooting for 7 years. I travel & am very flexible with what you want in your session. Pets are welcome & encouraged. Your session can be anywhere you can imagine. Your images on a CD are only $200. We edit all our images & offer an endless number of products customized to you!
For those of you who would rather just see a chart instead of reading it all...here ya go!
Don't get me wrong, I love Target. Most of my money goes there lol, but not for their photo studio!
Now, do you still think Target is the way to go?
**Disclaimer - This is comparing the only kind of session that Target offers to my Family session. Coopet Photography offers a large range of sessions so you are not limited to one package.**