Children are our greatest blessing, and can make us smile, laugh, cry, hurt and rejoice, sometimes all at the same time! They bring joy, frustration, pride and elation, disappointment, and so much more. Children are often our purpose and always our worry, and we spend our lives building for their future. Children evoke emotion, and portraiture embodies that emotion as it personifies the soul of the child, archives participation and achievement, documents physical maturation and chronological change, and captures the rite of passage every child endures and encounters. Portraiture carries an emotional attachment to the milestone moments and the times we want to freeze, stop, and hold onto forever. As an ad campaign in Latin America once ran, the picture of a tearful mom hugging her young adult son as he headed off to college or the military – school portraits in hand, clinging to the moments and memories that time had taken, and the tagline “hold onto him even when he’s too big to hold onto”.
Yes, portraits capture those precious moments, those lifetime mile markers, the times we long for once again. They trigger memories and remembrances, preserve in print what has faded within the mind, and ensure yesterday’s moment is available for tomorrow’s reflection. Done with artistry and style, pose and composition, lighting and focus, school and sports portraiture elevate the moment and the milestone beyond “iPhoneography” to capture and personify for mom more than she can do for herself. Volume photography serves a unique need to ensure the special times are captured and done with a skill and capability that set it apart from personal photography and position it as a premium service. While every consumer with a smartphone believes they are as good as a professional, the reality is they aren’t. Yes the smartphone technology takes good pictures but the understanding of pose and composition, lighting and style, and many other facets of a professional’s capabilities are not delivered with an iPhone! Sports and school photographers capture a much better image and deliver much higher quality prints and output than mom is getting through Shutterfly, Walgreens and other consumer photo channels.
But volume photography is so much more than a higher level of capture and print quality – it’s also about the convenience and choice availed to mom. The environment is perfectly suited to make life easy for mom, and it gets even better with the PhotoDay tool set. Apart from getting the child to the school or field, selecting a package and pose and submitting an order, mom has no stress and can focus on other things while the photographer and technology make it all happen. And true to her millennial expectations, choices abound. From poses, products and design options mom is given a wide variety of alternatives to choose from, something she expects, values and often demands. It’s also the assurance and dependability that professional photographers deliver. In total the experience is gratifying and satisfying and the process for photographers to engage their customers is greatly enhanced.
Furthermore, volume photography is more than the milestone moments and the memories of childhood participation and achievement. It’s an opportunity through fundraising to support the local community and give back to the schools and leagues that serve their families. With proceeds from each purchase going towards the necessary needs of the organization, mom is not only commemorating the rites of passage but contributing to the well being of the community she lives in. Whether to purchase uniforms, fund special projects, equip classrooms, expand resources, or otherwise provide much needed funds to the schools and leagues, the fact is volume photography provides not only for mom through the packages and prints she orders, it provides much needed support to the social structure that she’s so much a part of and cares about.
It is this context that volume photographers must tout and sell as they price and position their offer to mom. Combining the emotional value that portraits hold with the benefits that fundraising offer give mom a unique opportunity to be served and to serve. Let’s face it, the images of her child that the volume photographer provides tug on her heartstrings and pull at her emotions, in themselves enough to command a premium price (who can forget that wonderful MasterCard commercial where the things that meet our functional needs are all tied to a price – but that one thing that stirs our emotions is priceless!). But coupled with the fact that this also serves to support her community, well that’s a winner and for sure is seen as worthy of a premium! It is this context that photographers must understand and use when selling their products.
And that’s the value that PhotoDay brings to the volume market, delivering on context. PhotoDay allows photographers to provide more options, provides more flexibility, gives consumers the chance to preview their purchases and customize their products – all the things the new millennial customer is seeking. PhotoDay gives customers access to digital images on their smartphones in real time and provides online tools for easy ordering. PhotoDay greatly streamlines and simplifies the process through automation and enables consumers to ship orders to multiple destinations, making it fast and convenient to share and gift with family and friends. The PhotoDay platform plans to support fundraising as well, allowing for the consumer to see and appreciate how their purchase is contributing to the overall organizational goal.
Context, the perspective of how and why volume photography deserves and earns the premium price you set. You do for mom something uniquely special that she can’t do for herself, capturing milestone moments while providing support to the real needs of the local community. The value you deliver begins with preserving for tomorrow the precious moments we live today, and continues as funds are generated to be used by the organizations that are such an integral part of mom and her families life. Remember, portraiture is an emotional purchase, and emotions are priceless!