Life is made up of memories, and many of these are so momentous that they deserve to be recorded visually. Yet many people lose the opportunity to have a pictorial reference of those milestone moments because they see - or perceive - barriers to engaging a professional photographer. I asked myself what those barriers were, and made The Forever Moment as barrier-free as I could make it.
There is a widely held view that professional photography is expensive, and offers poor value for money when compared to competing uses for the available budget. I understand that point of view. So I structured my pricelist to fit any budget.
I don't charge a session fee.
You only pay for the products you want to buy.
The prices of the products? They start at £12, for a 7" x 5" mounted print.
I've tried to offer something for everyone, whilst maintaining a consistent value for money. And. yes, I do sell images on a disc, if that's what you want.
Hopefully, I've done all that I can to remove the affordability barrier - but that comes at a price; you'll understand that I have to keep my costs to a minimum, without compromising the quality of the products I offer. The most obvious area for saving money, as I saw it, was to operate without a studio. This is a big decision, and one not taken lightly - but studio premises go hand-in-hand with high overheads. That cost has to be recovered somewhere - inevitably through pricing, and an immediate conflict with my underlying views on affordability....so, no studio premises (and no sleepless nights worrying about the long term commitment to those costs, either).
Instead, all of my photography is done at clients' homes, or in a favourite outdoor location. This has a number of advantages for my clients: firstly, if you're a parent of a newborn baby for example, you've got enough to cope with, without having to remember all the bits and pieces your baby might need for a trip across town - let alone trying to find a pushchair-friendly parking space on arrival. Added to that, whether it's you or your child in front of the camera, the familiar surroundings of your home make for a more relaxed atmosphere, and, as a result, better photographs.
My studio-to-go doesn't take as much room as you might think - about six feet wide by eight feet deep has been big enough on numerous occasions - and all of my kit has been put together with portability and safety in mind. I carry a hefty public liability insurance and I don't even use your electricity!
Let's start a conversation....
Hopefully, I've done enough to remove your barriers to getting in touch to book your portrait experience with The Forever Moment. So it may come as something of a surprise to learn that I'd rather not take that booking - not yet, anyway. I prefer to start our relationship with a conversation, not a camera. After all, not everyone is at their most relaxed in front of a camera, the more so when they've only met the photographer ten minutes previously.
So let's start the relationship with a friendly face-to-face chat, so that you can get to know me, I can get to learn what you're looking for in your photographs, I can answer any questions you might have, clarify my pricelist - and, if you're happy that you've made the right choice, THEN we can book your session. And when I turn up, camera in hand, I'm not a stranger - we'll be a couple of acquaintances, resuming our conversation.
I understand that this approach may not work for everyone, and that there may be obstacles to us getting together - so it's not a compulsory part of the process, and if you want to book a session without having a chat first, then that's what we'll do. The offer's there, though, so please give it some serious thought before deciding against it.
Honesty, Transparency, Clarity....
I don't like the thought of building any relationship where I'm not completely open and honest with my prospective clients, so there are a few things I've mentioned on this page that I'll just flesh out a bit - I've referred to them elsewhere on the site, but it's best that I explain them before you leave this page:
I don't charge a session fee
- not for photography carried out in the postcodes RG21 - RG29. For sessions outside the greater Basingstoke area, I reserve the right to charge for my travelling time and expenses. In those cases, I'll quote you a firm price which will be payable at the time of booking.
I do charge a deposit at the time of booking
- which is £15, payable at the time of booking and refunded in full on completion of the portrait session. I should explain this. It's to deter time-wasters, who book a free session (thus taking available time out of my diary) and subsequently cancel (or, even worse, forget to cancel, and just don't answer the door) leaving me with unfilled time. The deposit is a token of commitment to the session going ahead; those who honour that commitment get their money back; those who don't end up out of pocket.
I'm enough of a realist to recognise that real life can play havoc with one's plans, and that it may be necessary to re-arrange a session. I'm happy to do that - up to a maximum of three postponements, but beyond that, I'm afraid, I treat the session as cancelled, and the deposit is forfeited.
I supply images on disc if that's what my clients want
- not all photographers do this, but I live in the 21st century, where people want digital files to email to family, post on social media, etc. So I supply them.
BUT: I distinguish between images which are to be used for screen display only and those which are print-ready. The former are small, low-resolution files which are quick to upload, take up little disc space and are totally unsuitable for printing. Moreover, they are protected by copyright, and the purchaser has no right to print those files - to do so is an act of copyright theft.
Discs of low-resolution files are available at a price of £75 for all the images in the customer's gallery (The Moments Edition).
Higher resolution, print-ready files are also available (in the "Moments & More" and "Forever" collections). These are supplied with a perpetual licence to produce unlimited prints, so, although copyright remains with the photographer, printing does not represent breach of that copyright.
I hope that this page helps you to understand my way of working and gives you some insight into the way I've chosen to build The Forever Moment. If you have any unresolved questions, or need further information, then don't hesitate - use the "Contact" page
to get in touch.