What is the value of a family portrait? Priceless (in my opinion!)
There are times when I feel like I have heard it all and then I'm brought back to reality when I get asked a question that just blows my mind. I had a recent conversation with a client regarding their family portraits and was questioned on the price of a custom sized photograph of the family. I was asked point blank "What justifies the price, do you use special paper or something?".
Hhhmmm, I'm not at a loss for words often but I actually was at that moment. I'm sorry, aren't family photos the first thing someone grabs when their house is burning down? When a family member dies, what do you treasure? When your kids are grown and head off to college, do you reflect back on their younger photos and lament about "where has the time gone?". Will you look back at your wedding photos as I have recently and wish a few people that were in that family photo were still alive today? Yesterday I looked at a photo of my grandmother from maybe 1943 or 1944 (she was in her early 20's) and noticed that my youngest daughter is starting to look more like her, how could I do that if I did not have her photo? Having these photos, having these memories, that is what photography is all about.
I feel that we attract clients that value photography much in the same way we do. So I was shocked speechless when this person did not want to spend more than the cost of paper to reproduce a photo of the people that they love most in the world.
This instagram post really resonates with me. Why is it that someone can drop a couple hundred dollars on Etsy for a mass produced photo of a bridge or $3500 on a reproduced piece of abstract art at Restoration Hardware (a copy, not an original), printed and shipped by the thousands, no limited edition run, bought to simply decorate the house, never mind the tens of thousands spent on original art that hangs in people's homes but not spend a couple hundred bucks on family photos? Trust me, I am not being dismissive of art and its value in any shape or form, I love, respect and appreciate art and all sorts of other things that cost a ton of money (shoes, handbags, watches, vacations, flat screen TVs, you get the idea) But something as special as a family photo should be recognized for the long term asset that it is.
The real issue here of course is value. If someone doesn't value the the importance of photography then they will most likely never recognize that family photos are the best investment you can ever make.
They are the most valuable things I will ever own.