Why Invest in Fine Art Portraiture?

Lately I have had several inquiries from prospective clients asking about our portraiture. Most everyone that has called has been a referral by past clients. We have had a few calls from just the internet and these individuals have wondered about the wide disparity in pricing between some practitioners of photography. There are the obvious differences in image quality and emotional content and some not so readily apparent like the level of service and the commitment to consistant excellence. A great portrait does more than capture a likeness, it communicates to the viewer some of the essence or soul of that person. Pictures are a dime a dozen, they can be done with a cell phone or an expensive camera it makes no difference. They can be cute, sweet, funny or silly. A picture is pleasant to glance at and it may even bring a smile to your face.

A great portrait is so much more than the sum of its parts as it reveals the true nature of the subject. Where a picture is fun to look at, a wonderful portrait will have layers of meaning that will only be unfolded by taking the time to study it. I have heard over and over from clients that their portraits keep growing in value. What they are trying to say, is that they keep seeing more in them. Pictures are worth what you paid for them, they can be a nice representation of the subject or subjects. Wonderful portraits don’t broadcast their true value until some time has passed and you have the clarity of hindsight.

Several months ago my assistant wrote this treatise on portrait investment. She combined others thoughts, ideas from me and her own words to explain why masterful portraits cost what they do. Everybody has a camera and there are a zillion “pro” “fauxtographers” the question becomes are they taking superfical pictures or creating something that shows character, depth and will continue to grow in value to your family over the years?

Why custom photography is special.

Custom photography is not in everyone’s budget. The luxury of great service, better choices, and a superb end product are part of the custom portrait experience. That level of commitment is all but lost in the age of mass produced, mass marketed,”everyone is a number” society. The intangibles make the experience truly wonderful and the images themselves make the investment of money and time rewarding. The result is heirloom works of art.

Why does custom photography cost more?
We all know that you can go to the local drugstore and pay $1.99 for a print; as a client you may wonder why you would pay upwards of $200 – $400 for a custom miniture portrait. Photographers sometimes hear:  “How in the world can you charge $200 for an 8×10 if it costs me less than $2 to print it at ____ store?” The answer is multifaceted. Much of the cost of a portrait produced by a professional has a lot to do with the time, artistic vision, reputation of the photographer not to mention the usual cost of running a legitimate business. The actual invested time a photographer has for any given session is not just the 1-2 hours of the session itself. Including the setup, travel (if necessary), digital processing, editing, time with client selecting  portraits, ordering, receiving, and delivery, the time involved is closer to 12-15 hours.

A photographer’s expertise also comes at a cost; their time learning their craft, the intricacies of lighting, the skill to make a client feel comfortable during a session and the commitment to create a business that is professional. When you hire a photographer of sound reputation, you are hiring an expert, one that knows they must always reinvest in their business to maintain their reputation for being top notch. Ensure your investment lasts a lifetime by having a portrait by Cansler.