Let's play pretend. (It's okay, even though we're not five anymore...and you might want to grab a cup of coffee for this one. Promise it's worth the read...with lovely images to boot.)
ONCE upon a time, you made the decision to hire a photographer. (Yay!) You searched internet-land far and wide, and alas found one you hoped was just right for you (at a rockin' price) and the big day arrived. You coordinated your outfits and looked charming. Maybe you even had your hair and makeup done. The location was dreamy and the shoot went as well as anticipated (always the goal, right?). Afterward, you waited for your Prince to come, I mean prints to come. (Couldn't help it.) Fingers tapping the table in nervously excited anticipation.
Perhaps the magical photographer you hired promised you all your images on a CD to print whichever ones you'd like. Sounded great. Your disc arrived and you parted ways and your photographer drove off to Never Neverland. You popped them into the computer, posted your favorites (or all 95 of them) on your Facebook page and started to dream of the ones you might print. Somehow, it became a little trickier than you imagined to make a decision. "They all look nice, but how many 8x10's do I need over my couch...or which 4x6 do I want on my desk?", you thought to yourself. You couldn't decide, so you just decided that you'd decide later. (Lots of the use of the word "decide" but no actual decision.) You slipped the disc in a drawer far, far away and found it a few months later. "I should really figure out which ones I should print, but I'm just so terribly busy. I'll do it this weekend." But sadly, that weekend came and that weekend went...and time, well, it just dragged on. Tick. Tock. The images you really liked all those months ago became the images that only mysteriously existed on a disc (and an old Facebook post).
Okay, okay. So maybe that's not you. And cheesy fairy tales aren't your style. Procrastination has never been your style either. Let's alter our story to a little better case, present day scenario, shall we? You're able to make a decision. (Awesome!) You get that disc and all super excited, head over to your local and convenient print shop (CVS, Walmart, Costco) print them all in 4x6's, tuck them away in an album and have a cute little scrapbook. You might even print a few 8x10's which seem so big compared to a 4x6 and even decide to do a little gallery above your sofa. You can't quite figure out though why your room suddenly feels smaller and why the lab cropped off your hands in the prints. Oops. You also notice that the coloring of your prints look different than they did on the disc. They're not super crisp, kind of shadowy and they're a little orangey. (It's a word.) "Hmm, that's odd. I don't remember using spray tan" you think. ;) But, at least you printed them and can enjoy them. Time goes by though, and they start to look even more "off". It's not good, my friend. Inside, you're not near as happy with the results as you thought you would be.
End of the pretend story.
Wait...except the sad part is, it's very much a reality of so. many. people. (Did you read that with emphasis?) I personally know countless stories of those who've gone through this exact scenario (both of them) and the photography industry as a whole is loaded with them. Here's why: by nature, so many of us are built to do whatever is easiest. Sometimes the easiest thing to do is put off making a decision. However, failing to make one becomes the actual decision. Funny how that happens. Sometimes we just can't figure out which option is best! (Boy, have I done that with paint colors...and the bedroom stays unpainted for far too long.) It's okay to admit we need a little guidance. On the other hand, for those who have no problem making their print decisions, heading over to the convenient general mass consumer print lab yields just that: mass produced photos. Labs like that are built for speed, not consistency or quality or longevity. That "off" orangey color (just one possibility) is because the images on your disc weren't calibrated with that lab's printer or the lab didn't offer color correction at least. And those "chopped off" cropped hands...well, as a photographer it's my job to let you know that some print sizes WILL have cropping due to the aspect ratio of the photo. Some images, depending on how they're taken will look better in certain sizes. Also, if we do need to crop a photo, I can manually adjust which part of the photo is cropped when my lab prints it. Mass consumer labs just crop with the image centered. If your hands or ear or something of importance happens to be "in the way"...well...sorry. "Too bad for you" they theoretically snicker. It's the way the cookie crumbles. ;)
The saga continues with those 8x10's over your sofa. I have to be really honest with you. It might hurt. I'm so sorry. I'll rip it off fast like a band-aid, okay? 8x10's do not belong over a sofa. I repeat, 8x10's do not belong over a sofa. I know that they're so popular at the mass photography studios (won't name them) and all the aisles in our favorite superstores (Tar-jay...it sounds better in French, don't you think? ;) are sporting 8x10 frames and they really do seem a lot bigger than a little 4x6 print. Reality is: they only make the room look smaller (and they definitely do crop off a good chunk of the original image...assuming your photographer is using what is called a full-frame camera.) Besides, if you've taken the time to hold a photography session and get all dressed up, don't you really want to be able to SEE the detail of your images? They'll need to be bigger than that if you do.
If you're still reading this, you're 1) fabulous and 2) obviously curious where I'm going with this.
This is where I step in. Am I trying to sell myself to you? Maybe. ;) Most importantly though, I want you to realize WHY hiring a custom, boutique photographer is different and what you can expect from ME if you decide I'm the right one for you. (I've described some of this already in the FAQ link above.)
As a boutique photographer, I focus on giving each client a very customized, personalized experience. (That's what defines it as "boutique".) Instead of marketing to the masses, I prefer to hold fewer sessions which enables me to give 100% to every client who comes my way (and because I think that's what my clients deserve). My clients don't have to worry about ending up like our fictitious "you" in our pretend story. Don't worry. It's not really "you". What does happen is my clients have beautiful session images that result in even more beautiful wall art for their home. They become conversation pieces, family heirlooms and enhance the beauty and design of the room.
So much goes into creating images for my clients before even getting to the final edited stage, but once there, my FAVORITE part is the complimentary wall design consultation I provide when we get together to select their favorites. This is when I help them figure out what in the world to do with them all. It's a lot of fun and takes the guesswork out of how they'll look on the wall. It instantly makes their investment a reality, not just an idea in their head. (And, if you're like someone here, you're a very visual person. Did you guess that about me? ;)
And if you're STILL reading this...you've made it to the pretty pictures: how I help my clients make the most of their images (using labs built for consistency, quality, longevity and all that good stuff that YOU should expect.)
Using gorgeously designed room images (in which I can customize the colors of the room and accessories) OR using an image from the client's own home, I come up with wall galleries on the spot using your favorites, based on what looks best in the room. Options are practically endless and fit a variety of budgets.
Can you see now why a few 8x10's just wouldn't make the cut?
Product options include fine gallery wrapped canvas (classic yet modern), brilliantly crisp and colorful metal prints, modern standouts, print wraps and traditional framed prints (with a variety of options).
In addition to bringing prints to life, I bring a variety of product samples to eliminate any possible guess work. Most of all, when all is said and done, my clients have beautiful, tangible memories. (And they're really, really happy.)
If you've been considering hiring a photographer for a special day in your life or simply realize it's been far too long since you've appreciated the miracle of "everyday" as a special day, I'd love to be the one to introduce you to the world of the boutique, personalized service you'll receive with me at Gail Centeno Photography. To read more about the fantastic wall design, click INFO above then select CLIENT WALL DESIGN GUIDE.
When you're ready, click "contact me" above or below or email me at [email protected] or call me at 768-213-4245. (I do admit, email is usually best, but I promise I'm friendly on the phone. ;)
Here's to YOU having all your hands in your photos!