What is a Boutique Photographer?

Published by Andrea on

What is a Boutique Photographer?

The word boutique is defined as 

“A business or establishment that is small and sophisticated or fashionable.”

A boutique photographer serves a small number of clients so they can give them customer service that goes above and beyond. They rarely sell digital files alone because they want their clients to get the maximum enjoyment out of their pictures.

So, why should you care?

It’s important to know how your photographer operates so you know exactly what to expect. You’re investing a good amount of money into your pictures, and you should know where your money is going.

So how is working with a boutique photographer different from working with a shoot and burn photographer? Typically, before you spend a dime with the photographer, they set up a short phone call or meeting to answer any questions you have about the process. This is the time when you can get a feeling for the photographer’s personality and see if this is someone you would enjoy working with. You don’t have to be best friends with them, but you should know that the person that you are working with is helpful, respectful, and knowledgeable. If you are uncomfortable, it will come across in your pictures.

After the initial meeting, they should send you a questionnaire. This is a way for you to get down, in writing, what exactly you’re looking for. Do you want anniversary pictures at the location you were proposed to? Would you like to recreate a special picnic you had? Is it important that you have your grandmother’s quilt in the pictures? There are so many little details that can go into it to make your experience really special. 

Your photographer should have another meeting with you after reviewing your answers so you can discuss your ideas further. They can help you pick out what to wear, and help you brainstorm ideas about themes and locations. This makes the process collaborative and assures you get exactly what you want.

Another difference between the shoot and burn photographer and the boutique photographer is the amount of time they spend with you on photoshoot days. Most shoot and burn photographers have several clients lined up for one day, sometimes within 15 minutes of each other. What happens if there is traffic, or a wardrobe malfunction? Boutique photographers usually book 1 to 2 clients at a time. This way there is room for unexpected things to happen. Baby is cranky and you’re not getting a good picture? Take your time and feed them. Dad split his pants, there is time for him to go change into his backup outfit. You don’t have to spend all day with your photographer, but if you need to, you have that option.

After your pictures have been edited, you will have an ordering or reveal session with your photographer (See why it’s important to make sure you get along?). This is when you will see your pictures for the first time, and choose which ones you’d like to purchase. They will help you choose the correct sized artwork for your space. If you don’t want to hang anything on your walls, they will help you find alternative options like photo albums, or photo cubes.

Remember earlier when I said that boutique photographers rarely sell digital files alone? Its because most have a deep belief that you need to physically have your artwork out and displayed to get the full enjoyment out of it. Devices and social media are where pictures go to die. We look at them when we post them, and once a year when they pop up in our memories, but is that enough?

It has been proven that seeing yourself, in pictures, on a regular basis helps to improve your self esteem. When we need that boost, are we going to go look for pictures of ourselves? Probably not. On the other hand, it’s kind of hard to ignore how fabulous you looked and felt the day your pictures were taken when you walk by that huge canvas of you and your family hanging on your wall.

The boutique photography experience is just that, an experience. It’s tailored precisely to you. Artful Elegance Photography is a boutique photography business. If you’re in the Greater Richmond or Hampton Roads areas of Virginia, and want to speak to a photographer about the scheduling a boutique photography experience, sign up for our free 15 minute discovery call.