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So why do we cost more than other photography studios?

I often get asked this question.  And it is always followed by a lengthly discussion on the differences. Because there is a reason I charge more, for the same reason that a Mercedes costs more than a Ford and a Sony costs more than a Sharp.
First, all our portraits are custom framed using high end mouldings.  We use conservation grade mount board which protect your portraits as well as high quality low reflection glass which provide a truer colour rendition so the images look more vibrant and true to life without much of the annoying reflections of standard glass.


This quality goes beyond the products but into our service as well.  To start with we offer free, no obligation consultations to anyone considering booking a session with us.  During this meeting we sit and have a chat over a coffee giving us the chance to get to know each other as well as giving our prospective clients an opportunity to see the work we do in person. 


During the portrait session we offer an almost unlimited amount of time to ensure that everyone is at their most relaxed.  We are not interested in rushing people in and out.  This doesn't do our clients any good nor does it put myself, the photographer in the right frame of mind for being creative.  We also take a very consultative approach in our processes because we want to ensure we produce the sort of images our clients really want.  So throughout our sessions we take breaks to take a look at what we've done. If something isn't quite right we change it, all the while being guided by our clients interests. 

The next stage is the viewing.  These are done in person in our studio using projected images on a 150" high definition screen.  We provide you with a beautiful and moving slideshow of our selection of the very best images.  Each image image is carefully selected and given an initial degree of processing in order to make them suitable for viewing. 

We then take a closer look where our clients can eliminate their least favourite or highlight their most favourite, often comparing side by side images in order to narrow it down to the very best.  The whole while myself, the photographer, is in the room available for advice and guidance.  Again this is a very unhurried, low pressure session.  We do not believe in pushing our clients to purchase what they don't want or can't afford. 


Then finally we hand process each purchased image fully.  We start with the removal of any temporary blemishes (permenant blemishes can be removed on request and at no additional charge).  We smooth out any lumps or bumps.  We tidy up backgrounds and remove stray hairs.  We add a little punch, smooth and soften skin and we sharpen key aspects of the image.  All of this is a necessary aspect of high quality photography.  Digital images straight out of camera are rarely, if ever, acceptable without some degree of manipulation if we are talking about professional quality.  In fact, I've never personally printed any image without some degree of image manipulation even if they were just images for my personal use.  I enhanced images in the darkroom years ago and I certainly enhance images today in the computer. 

(Before) 
(After)
All our printing takes place at a professional lab and is then taken to my framer where she takes the utmost care in assembling each piece of work. 

We don't waste money on equipment we don't need.  We have a core set of professional tools we use which are reliable and are replaced as needed, not when we want a new toy.  We keep up to date on our training but we don't overdo it taking courses we don't need. 

But still all of this comes at a price.  We need to earn a living too.  This isn't a hobby but a profession.  Yes we could lower our prices if we were to reduce our level of service or perhaps cut back on the quality in our products.  But that is not what Christina Lauder Portraits is about.  And at the end of the day, as with so many other products and services, you get what you pay for.  People nowadays seem to be happy spending good money on new phones, laptops, and gagdets when they don't really need them but when it comes to portraits which last a lifetime they are much more reluctant. 

If you are someone who is happy with your mobile phone pictures it is unlikely I'll be able to persuade you to invest in a Christina Lauder portrait.  However if quality matters to you than perhaps you'd like to ring us for one of those free, no obligation consultations.  What do you have to lose?  And you might just find that we have something within your budget.  We will try to work with you as much as we can. 

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