It happened to me.  I was the brand-new Mama, sleep deprived, but still determined to get professional photos of my beautiful firstborn.  It took a few weeks after Jordan’s birth for me to even start feeling human again, and by the time I started emerging from that beautiful Mama of a newborn fog, my sweet baby was already eight weeks old.  And so, I carefully got my precious bundle dressed, fed, and ready to go to his first portraits at our local chain studio.  Gasp!!  I know, really, but if you had searched for a custom photographer in our small town in northern California, the chain studio would’ve looked really good to you, too.  Let’s just say our little town was seriously lacking in custom portraiture.

I ended up with this.  And yes, this was pretty much the best of the bunch.   That day was the catalyst that launched me into photography.  I was determined that no matter where we lived in the world, I would be able to make sure my family had beautiful portraits to pass down to each other for generations.


And, so, my friends, I’ve got 10 reasons why you should choose custom photography over a chain store studio.  (Before we dive in, though, I want to make something clear.  My reasons below aren’t talking about every photographer who has a studio.  There are many talented photographers that have their own studios; that do amazing custom work out of their studio.  What I am talking about is the average run-of-the-mill photography chain store that you can normally find inside of your local big-box department store.)


1. Photographs in your home or location of choice

Those sweet, sleepy newborn photos are normally best taken when baby is 5-10 days old.  What Mama really has the energy to dress herself, and her baby, and get to a studio at an appointed time, when baby is only about a week old?  I didn’t.  And, oh, the germs.  Don’t even get me started on that one, or you’ll know I’m a germaphobe 🙂  Having the photographer come to your home to photograph you in your element, is a much more relaxing way to go. And if it’s family portraits you’re after, how much more fun to be able to pick a location that means a lot to you, or be able to be photographed right in your home?


2. More personal

You guys, seriously, maybe I just really have the best clients in the world, but my clients aren’t just clients to me. . .so many of them have become friends.  Yes, really friends.

3. More fun!

I hate to be negative here; but, really, crowding into a small room with a bunch of other family members, with all sorts of bright lights shining on me isn’t exactly my idea of fun.  Playing tag in a field, reading books on a blanket, or having a jumping contest on Daddy and Mommy’s bed sounds a lot more fun?

4. More passion

If you chose a  custom photographer that really knows what they are doing, they have spent countless hours, and more likely years studying and honing their craft.  It’s not just a job most of us wandered into, it’s a passion.  It’s almost as important to our life as the air we breath, and one thing that helps us make life beautiful around us.


5. More product options

When you choose custom photography, you can pretty much be guaranteed that you will end up with more than just an envelope with one 8×10, two 5×7’s, and ten wallets.  Looking for more options like canvas, metal prints, albums, that were designed just for you?  The custom photographer can help you find what suits your home and tastes.


6. Artwork

A custom photographer will ultimately help you end up with artwork to pass down to your children, rather than just a CD of images that will sit in your desk drawer and a few wallets that will get lost and crumpled.


7. Indecisive?

Most boutique photographers will even help you decide how to style your pieces in your home!


8. Help with preparation

Preparing for a photo session can be a little intimidating, but many custom photographers are right there with you, giving you info you need, and even helping you with your clothing choices, if you wish!


9. More artistic flair.

Running through a field at sunset is definitely more artistic than everyone sitting still in front of white seamless paper.  

10.  Connection

A boutique photographer will be careful to capture the connections between you, rather than just make sure everyone’s smile is perfect.


And there, my friends, are only some of the reasons why I love custom portraiture.  And, really, who doesn’t want images that don’t just document a time in your life, but that take you back to the moment and take your breath away with the beauty of it all?


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Located near Nashville, Tennessee, Amy Law is a newborn, children and family photographer, who specializes in lifestyle photo/video fusion. Though she calls Tennessee home, she is available for travel.  Please consider using Felicity Photos for your next portrait session!

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