Oh and by the way, did you realize thats my work?
I was browsing on one of my photography forums and a lady had brought up how her parents want her to take her child to a “professional” (AKA Walmart) photographer. That they didnt think her work was good enough. I was wow. That one hits close to home. My mom is bugging me every couple of months to take hte boys to walmart for their portraits. She knows, acknowlages, and understands that I take photos of other peoples families. That those families like my work, and hang it on their walls. She knows that I constantly take photos of the boys, many are the posed portraits that are taken to put on the walls. And yet, i need to take the kids to a “professional”
So lets talk Walmart Professional. Walmart portraits are owned by a company called CPI, who also owns Sears portraits. I worked for Sears portraits. So here is the breakdown. You get 1/2 a day where you learn to understand the camera, terms and company policy. The second half of the day you practice on your fellow coworkers then do something called a star search. You go around to exsisting customers in the store and ask them if they would like a free 8×10. In exchange you do your first session. Only the customer dosent always know that. 3 years ago, I was shopping with my mom in Sears and was asked for the free portrait. B was only 10 months old. We got the free portrait, and my mom spent $80 on other pictures they took. They made money, and we spent a ton because we bought him an outfit. But im rambling off again. So that is your first day. Your next day you are a shadow with an expierenced photographer. You help them, learn about posing and if you are lucky you get to take some portraits on their session. You learn how to sell at this point. For the rest of the week you shadow, only sometimes you take the session on your own with your shadow behind you. And then you are set free. You dont have much understanding of lighting, or even posing. YOu are kinda left up to your own devices.
Now lets talk me as a private photographer. I have spent the last 4 yeras reading books, taking thousands of photographs, i can easily take 500 in a day if i feel like it and often do. I have spent countless hours online learning posing, techniques to work with shy kids, outgoing kids, kids who are afraid of you, working with couples, learning about weddings, doing checklists. Borrowing my neighbors kids in order to learn how to do better.
In the end, ill spend 200 dollars at walmart for pictures, or my mom will. And ill still go home, and print off of my cheap walmart printer that does fantastic prints and hang those on the walls. Because Im better then them and its as simple as that. If my mom wants to spend her couple hundred on photos, she can. But me? Ill stick with my own. And ill show you why.
And a few others.
And now im curious. Why go to walmart. Those are my kids up there. Doing what they do. Those are my friends kids, My neighbors kids, My neighbors and their friends. Those are family, my sister, my cousins kids…. And those are from this summer. From July to now anyway…. So tell me again. WHY walmart when im better?