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  • Writer's pictureJuliana Leschinsky

Picture Perfect: How to Choose the Photographer That's Right For You

So you decided you would love some professional photos taken of yourself with your loved ones but you weren't sure exactly what photographer would be right for you. You may not even realize that there is more than one type of portrait photographer from which to choose. In fact, there are generally two categories that photographers fall into: "shoot and burn" and full service. To help you make the best choice, here is an overview of both.

SHOOT AND BURN PHOTOGRAPHER

The term 'shoot-and-burn' generally refers to amateur or hobbyist photographers who offer a flat session fee and deliver minimally edited digital files to clients. Originally, these photographers would transfer all the files to a CD, hence the term 'burn'. Nowadays, photographers use USB drives, online galleries, and other digital storage solutions instead. Essentially, 'shoot-and-burn' photographers only take the pictures and hand over the files without any further assistance or follow-up. This means the client would need to figure out what to do with files and how to manage them.


Years ago, I hired a photographer to take family portraits but was disappointed with the experience. After waiting three months to see my photos, I received a gallery of images with large watermarks that made it difficult to see our faces. The only editing that was done was brightening of the photos but things like distracting objects, loose hairs and extra people in the background were considered extra for an additional charge. I paid for the digital files (which was my only option) and spent a lot of time editing them myself. It took me another year to get around to creating my own wall art collection and hanging it on my walls.


FULL SERVICE PHOTOGRAPHER

Unlike "shoot and burn" photographers, full-service photographers believe in excellent customer service, educating clients on their options and helping with their selections, and creating beautiful finished products such as prints, wall art, albums and portrait boxes. They are professional photographers who understand the value of providing their clients with something tangible and beautiful that they can enjoy and cherish for years beyond the social media post.



My personal experience with the shoot and burn photographer made me realize how important it is for me to work with my own clients and walk them through the entire photography experience -- from outfit and location selection to the size and style of art they should hang on their walls. This is why I include a planning consultation, a photo reveal and design session, product creation, and artwork delivery.


Planning Consultation

Our initial conversation is not just about scheduling a date and place. It's about understanding who you are and what you want. I'm interested in learning about your connections with those you love and the reason you want me to take your portraits.


We then talk about how you envision using your photos at home. For example, would you like to have an album on your coffee table, or beautiful wall art on your living room walls? Once we know how you want to use your photos, we can select a time and place for the session.



Cinematic Photo Reveal and Design Session

Shortly after your photo session, we will meet at your home or an agreed-upon location where you will have the chance to enjoy a cinematic presentation of your best images from the shoot. Depending on our meeting location, this would be done via projector, TV or computer. You will have the opportunity to look at various sample products and I will help you with your selections and the ordering process. There are no preset packages so you choose only what you love and that which fits your family and décor. You can relax knowing that I will be there to help guide you every step of way.


Product Creation

Once you've made your selections, your images will be fully edited to ensure the highest quality results. Unwanted objects, loose hairs and anything else that detracts from the beauty of your images will be removed at no additional cost. Your wall art and heirlooms will be printed on the finest materials sourced from vendors all over the world.


Delivery

I deliver your order! All orders are shipped to me first for inspection. For local orders, I personally deliver each art piece to your home. I also provide installation if needed.


MAKING THE RIGHT CHOICE

Choosing the right photographer and understanding their services can make all the difference. If you're looking for high-quality photography and a personalized experience, a full-service photographer could be the perfect fit for you.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juliana Leschinsky is a full service, portrait photographer specializing in family, couple and pet photography serving Monmouth County, Central New Jersey and the Jersey Shore. Juliana focuses on capturing the natural and genuine emotions and personalities of parent and child, partners, and pets and their owners. The end result is a collection of timeless and cherished images that perfectly showcase their special bonds.



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