TRADITIONAL VS. PERSONALIZED PORTRAITS

Here’s one of my adorable daughters Lauren!

The point of this blog post is not to say how adorable my daughter is (I’m just a tiny bit biased…), but to demonstrate the difference between a typical studio portrait vs. a lifestyle portrait. I do a lifestyle portrait session for each of my daughters on their birthday every year, and this year Lauren wanted a Hello Kitty themed photoshoot! We ALL have those awkward school portraits, where every single kid has the same exact pose, same exact background, and it’s at a relatively decent price. The reason why it’s at a decent price is because the companies that provide these portraits can make it up in a huge volume. What’s better than a captivating audience of 1500 high school kids who have no other options than to buy the school portraits? Easy money for the portrait studio to make.  Before you think I am bashing these type of portraits, I am not. I am a firm believer there’s a market for every type of client. Heck, I still get requests to make selective coloring on images, a la 1990’s style when photoshop was first invented.  But in my opinion, a traditional portrait shows NOTHING about a person’s personality. It shows nothing about what makes a person unique. You can’t possibly make a portrait ‘unique’ when it’s the same pose as the rest of 1,499 kids from the same school.  However, here are some reasons why I think traditional portraits are still popular today;

1. Easy Access
There are a ton of studios out there that offer traditional portraits. Sears, Walmart, JCPenny, Picture People, Kiddie Kandids, just to name a few. They all offer the same products; so they compete for your business based on price and convenience.

2. Affordability
You could get traditional portraits done for about $100-$150. Relatively affordable for most people.

3. Short Turn Around Time
There is NO editing and touchup done on those photos. The most they will do is a straight B&W or sepia conversion. You can get the photos within an hour while you shop! In today’s instant gratification society, there’s definitely a market for this delivery method.

So with all the advantages of a traditional portrait, why life style photography? To understand it, we need to define what life style photography is first. I define it as a style of photography that captures the essence of the subject. You just can’t do that with a set pose and standard background. I work with each of my clients to create a one of a kind portrait that showcases their personality. I strive to make each session unique. At the end, my clients get a product unlike another family’s. And to most of my awesome clients, that is priceless. And here are a few more advantages of a lifestyle portrait session

1. Personalization
I brainstorm with each client to select a location that is personal to them. Let it be the family’s favorite park, favorite past time, whatever it is. It is uniquely ‘them.’

2. Creativity
I don’t approach each session with a pre-conceived shot list. The creative process is organic, and it just flows. A lot of times it would be my first time meeting the family. We talk first, and I get to know them as people (instead of subjects in front of my camera). Then from there, I cater the experience to fit the personality of each family.

3. Post Processing
I spend hours culling through the images to make sure my clients receive only the best images from each session. I also edit each image to assure correct brightness, contrast, skin tone, and the signature look that my clients have come to love. I don’t have a magic “fix all’ button. Each image is carefully selected and edited before I release them to my clients.

So still not convinced you should go for a life style photography session? Check out these examples! To book your own lifestyle session, email us at mystory@jeremychou.com 

PHOTOGRAPHERS – Posing & composition is just one of the many topics we will cover in the new KICKSTART workshop coming up in March! Visit the workshop’s website for more information.

 

 

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