You Get What You Pay For

Why does custom photography cost so much more than a portrait studio? When deciding on who should take your family photos, this is something that inevitably is going to come up. After all, consumers want a quality product for the cheapest price possible. Just remember, CHEAP + FAST + GOOD usually don't all come together at once!

Sure, you can go to a department store and sit your children in front of a plastic, rolled-down backdrop and get some okay photos of them. But it's not going to say anything about your child. Or the relationship they have with one another. Or the relationship they have with you. Portrait studios' goal is take your picture, print them, swipe your credit card, and then move on to the next person. But I think having photos of your family should be more than that.

Custom photography is all about...

Sidney Blog (9)


I meet clients on location - whether it be in their home, a nearby park, or a funky-painted alley. Allowing clients to choose their location makes the setting so much more personal. You may have a certain memory attached to that location and that helps tell the story in your photos.

Brittany Grunge Blog (8)


You actually get to use creativity! Sure, you could have Christmas photos in front of a backdrop with a fireplace on it, but where's the originality with that? Why not have your photos in a park, on a train, or at the zoo? If you have a neat idea, together we can pull it off!

Emily & Brett Blog (5)


Props can enhance the story you are telling in your photos. Just don't go overboard with it! Having one or two extra things in the frame is enough.

20 years from now when you're looking at your photo albums and remembering the good 'ole days, you want to be able to look at a photo and be able to talk about the story around it.


Yes, custom portrait photography is more expensive than going to a local portrait studio, and here's what you're paying for when you hire me instead of a walk-in store.

  • booking time: 30 minutes to one hour (client contact time + paperwork)
  • pre-session prep time (30 mins – 1 hour, includes equipment and back up equipment checks + vehicle checks)
  • one hour travel time TO session
  • 15-30 minutes prep time at client’s home or on location
  • 1-2 hours with client photographing subject
  • one hour travel time FROM session
  • 10 minutes uploading time from digital cards from camera to computer
  • 10 minutes time spent backing up the original images
  • 2-5 hours of editing time to present you with a diverse gallery of edited images
  • 30 minutes spent uploading a preview to Facebook
  • 30 minutes time spent burning a photo CD, packaging it, and mailing it
  • any additional phone time or time needed for add on ordering, shipment issues, quality issues

In this example, the time spent per client can range from just under 8 hours to 13 hours – dependent on the photographer’s level of service.  This is time dedicated only to ONE session.  When the photographer charges $150-$300 for the photo shoot (aka SESSION FEE) you are not just paying for the two hours of session time, you are paying the photographer for 8-13 hours complete time for your session.


Custom photography is a personalized experience tailored just to you and your family. It's not where you can just have a background and drop any family in front of it. Stacy Anderson Photography personalizes each session directly to your tastes, relationship, and story. Contact us today to find out more about how we can put your life and love into pictures.