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Digital Photography and the Portrait Studio

If you have had any experience in the past with a portrait studio, you know how long the process used to be. Once you went to the studio, it took about a week or so before the proofs were ready for you to view. You had to make a second trip to the studio to view those proofs and choose the ones you wanted to include in your package. From there it was another one to two weeks before you would have the portraits in your hand—if you were having holiday pictures done, it could be as long as a month to six weeks from the time you had the portraits taken to the time they were in your hands.

The introduction of digital photography made obtaining portraits quicker and easier. Instead of having to wait for proofs to arrive before a customer could choose the package they wanted, it was just a matter of minutes. In some studios the photographer took the picture and someone else uploaded the pictures to the computer where the customer could choose the package they wanted at the same time the portraits were taken.

 Instead of taking one to two weeks for your package to arrive, in some cases it would only take a week since the only processing was to print the pictures the customer wanted right from the computer. Certainly, they would need sorting and placed on the photo paper correctly. However, this process is much quicker than having to process them using the darkroom and chemical solutions that were part of film processing.

Don’t expect because it takes less time to process your order for portraits that any cost savings will be included with the package. In fact, digital photography has had no affect on the cost of portrait packages—the costs have increased just as much as they did during the time when professional photography included more expensive equipment and more processing time. In fact this has been the case in all areas of photography and not just the professional portrait studio.

One only needs to look at how much school pictures have gone up in price to understand how little impact digital photography has had on prices. After all, in spite of the lower cost of digital photograph processing, there have been substantial increases in overhead costs for the professional portrait studio.

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