On Becoming a Full Service Studio

Captured is turning one today, and I can't believe it. One year ago I was gearing up for my first ever gig--the birth of my friends' second baby. I was figuring out how to deliver images to people, whether USB or online gallery was best, what lenses did I like most and need, should I buy flash gear yet, how to I make it legal, and a million other questions. I was overwhelmed, and the simplest thing seemed like an online gallery for digital downloads.

As I've gone through the last year, I've answered all those questions for myself and then some. I incorporated as an LLC and registered federally. I invested in thousands of dollars of gear to be able to provide the best images I could for my clients. I took classes on lighting and spent hours and hours and hours practicing to get it right. And I kept delivering things via digital download while making print purchasing an option.

Over the last several months, I began to notice things. Those downloads were sitting in hard drives...hard drives that I know can crash at any time. Clients were receiving prints they ordered through consumer labs that weren't accurate colors because the consumer labs just aren't calibrated. Their prints were cheaply produced and therefore won't last for years to come. Their images would be posted on social media and get likes on likes, but social media is an ever changing cycle and you never know which one is going to die next.

I don't want that for you. I don't want your photos lost on a hard drive that crashed when you accidentally spilled coffee on it. I don't want your wedding album to be faded and losing pages in five years because it wasn't made with the careful attention to detail something so precious SHOULD be handled with. I don't want your family portrait, the one with everyone in it for the first time in ten years, to come back from a poor quality lab that made everyone's faces look blue. 

There is no value in a JPEG sitting somewhere in your computer. The images posted on social media are ultimately so temporary. Cheap prints will be destroyed within just a few years. How could I continue to work the same way I had been knowing that I wasn't giving my clients the absolute best I possibly could?

The photographs I cherish most are my wedding photos blown up on canvas, hanging in my bedroom, framed and on my desk or dining room walls, and in albums my children and grandchildren will be able to pull off the shelf all the time over the years as they ask me to tell them about how I fell in love with my husband. They're the prints I see when I go to my grandparents' house, reminders of all the members of our family and the memories shared. They're in scrapbooks my mom kept early in her marriage and in my first years of life.

Not one of my most treasured images sits in technology waiting to become obsolete.
When you live in an apartment next door to young single dudes, it's actually impossible to keep photos on adjoining walls straight.

When you live in an apartment next door to young single dudes, it's actually impossible to keep photos on adjoining walls straight.

As these realizations hit me, I came to a crossroads in my business. Do I continue in a direction I don't truly believe in, or do I follow my gut and my passion and change the way I do business entirely?

My clients are ALWAYS my number one priority in this business. I love nothing more than being part of the most treasured moments in your lives and being able to preserve them forever. Continuing to provide only digital files for their photos was only doing you a disservice, as a digital file is truly temporary and just waiting to become obsolete. 

As of today, as I celebrate one year of being officially open for business, every last package from weddings to births to portraits is focused on truly preserving your memories for years to come. I have spent the last two months getting samples from labs, narrowing it down until I found the perfect ones, restructuring the legal elements of business ownership to reflect these changes, and building new packages that better provided for you.

The products you'll be receiving are rated to last literally hundreds of years and my computer system has been carefully calibrated to ensure that what you see when we meet to place your orders after your session is exactly what you'll see when your artwork is hanging on the walls of your home. Your albums will be hand designed by me to tell the story of your wedding day, the birth of your child, or the way your family loves well. Each and every item will come to my office first so that I can carefully examine them and make sure that what you receive is nothing but the best.

Because I know sharing on social media is still important, especially so that your loved ones who live far away and can't go through your album can still see these memories and share the joy with you, every image chosen in print will also be delivered to you in a digital file optimized for sharing on these sites. I want you to still have the fun of getting to share with all your friends and am excited to be able to provide you with digitals this way. Should you decide you don't want prints, your digital files will be available for purchase at your ordering session as well. I can't wait to help you find the exact perfect package and products to preserve these moments for generations to come.

Welcome to the new Captured. I am beyond thrilled to introduce this new and greatly improved experience to you.