Why choose Maggie Takes Pix

May 10, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

I've been thinking a lot lately about what makes me different as a photographer from others in the area. Honestly, what I do is a luxury service experience and product, not a commodity. There are quite a few commodity photographers out there, referred to in the industry as “shoot and burn” that provide lots of photos for relatively inexpensive pricing.

I am not a commodity photographer.

I want to get to know you and your vision for your photographs. I want these images to be a worthwhile investment: something you are happy to hang on the wall or place on the mantle or shelf and share with family and friends. I want these to be the pictures you not only want to pass down but that will be of the quality you that you can.

So, you know you want photos. Why invest in a portrait experience with Maggie Takes Pix instead of someone else?

  1. Discovery Call. I really want to meet with you ahead of booking your photoshoot. I want to find out what ideas you have for your photographs. Is it a special occasion? Is it time to update your headshots? Is there a special birthday you want to celebrate? Did you move to a new home and want to fill a wall with a gallery of portraits celebrating your new space? Or capture memories in your old space before you go? Perhaps you want to make an album for your coffee table or bookshelf. Are these photos a gift for someone else? Or a gift for you? Do they involve other people? What vision do you have for your portraits? Indoors in my studio, at your home, or somewhere else? Outdoors at a local park, my studio backyard, or someplace special you like to go? Do you want them to be more relaxed / casual, formal / traditional, glamorous, or creative? Do you want hairstyling and makeup services?  All of these thoughts – and more – go into creating an experience you’ll enjoy and the photographs you’ll love.
  2. Consultation. The consultation is where we design your photo shoot. Sometimes it's simple and can be done over e-mail, and sometimes happens after you arrive at the studio. But ideally I will meet you at your home ahead of time, since this is where your photos are going to live, to find out more about your particular aesthetic. This will allow me to better guide you when it comes to specifics for preparation and will inform the product choices I offer. Your photographs will ideally coordinate with your home decor, so what you wear in the images and the frames you choose to surround them, the size(s) of the finished pieces, et cetera, will all be taken into account. And, since I'm there, I can help you shop your closet for shoot day outfits. If we can’t find anything you’re thrilled with, I do have several pieces in my studio wardrobe we can use. I am also willing to go shopping for the perfect outfit with you.
  3. Styling Assistance. You will receive my Client Preparation Guide ahead of time, filled with tips on how to prepare for your photoshoot. Included are tips for choosing what to wear, from fit to color, to final little details that can enhance your look. As mentioned earlier, I’m happy to help with clothing selection, and to coordinate hair and/or makeup services from trained professionals to help pamper you for the day. My hair and makeup artists can help you relax and know you will look great: not overdone but enhanced. Should you choose to do your own hair and makeup, there are tips in the Guide for makeup application for the camera.
  4. Lighting and Set Considerations. Regardless of your set choice, I will make sure that you are lit in a complimentary manner. I tend to use what's called “flat” lighting – even, with few shadows – as most of the people I photograph are a little more… let’s say… experienced. I find that this lighting style fills in shadows caused by smile lines, so the finished picture is a little nicer. If you want something dramatic in lighting, I am happy to do that for you, as well. If we are outdoors, I will also make sure that the light is even. I will use a diffuser or find a shady spot to make sure you do not have dapples of light and shadow on your face, which can be distracting. I will be watching for things like trees poking out of the top of your head, horizon lines cutting you off at the neck, and other distractions in the background.
  5. Posing Guidance. Most people do not know how to pose for the camera… and that’s okay! I'm here to help! I will guide you with poses that flatter and prompts that provide movement. I have learned more than a few tricks over the years to help translate your three-dimensional body into a good two-dimensional image – no matter your size or shape. From your toes to your nose... and what to do with your hands... we'll make sure you look great. Take the tips you learn from our photo session together and use them the next time someone points a cell phone camera in your direction.
  6. Session Length. Generally, we will take as long at a session as we need for you to feel confident that we have captured what you want to see in your pictures. For a simple headshot, that may be 20-30 minutes. For a high school senior session, that may be several hours. Multiple sets, multiple outfits, whatever you would like... but I will tell you that both of us will be exhausted if you go more than three hours.
  7. Image Choice. No, I’m not going to throw a filter on your pictures and send you the whole batch online. You’ll end up with a bunch of photos you don’t really like, cluttering up digital space, and there’s a good chance you’ll add “go through photos” to your To Do list, become overwhelmed with the thought, and never actually get around to printing any of them, and regretting the whole process. What I am going to do is go through all of them, choose the 10-15 (or so) best images from each set, make sure they are properly exposed / color corrected / cropped / in focus, and then meet with you in person. We’ll go through your proofs together so you can choose the images you love. Sometimes that decision can be difficult, so I am there to provide my expert opinion on which I think are better, depending on your planned use. You only buy the ones you want; there is no minimum purchase required.
  8. Retouching. Once you’ve selected and purchased your favorite images, I will give them what is called a master retouch. Blemishes and lint will be removed, fly away hairs will be smoothed, backgrounds will be fixed.... Basically I will be going over every inch of every image to make sure it looks fantastic. You'll be able to put it up on a billboard and no one will know that you had a rogue hair. More importantly, you’ll be able to walk by the enlargement on your wall without regretting the nail polish chip you got on the way to the studio.
  9. Quality Products. Yes, you can get digitals, but I strongly encourage you to get professional prints in some form. Local camera shops are disappearing, and discount stores have terrible quality (both in look and longevity). Technology will change again, and we will no longer be able to retrieve those files off a floppy disk  compact disc USB drive… and online access is not always available. You’ve invested in the portrait session experience; you should invest in a physical souvenir of it! The photographic prints and products that I provide are archival quality and made to last. I have a product pricing guide that goes into great detail about the items I've chosen to offer, from gift prints to albums to wall art, covering their features and benefits. Once your selected items have arrived, I’ll do a quality control check and deliver your products to you… and even hang those photos on the wall for you.
  10. Experience. Service. Heart. I've been doing this professionally since May 2010 and I have learned where many of the bumps in the road are. I want to take care of as much of the work involved in having a photo session as possible. I want to make it easy for you to say, “Yes!” I want to remove any burdens or hassles, whether that's choosing what to wear or choosing the images to print or finding the time/nails/hammer to actually hang the pictures. I want you to feel relaxed and confident in the whole process.

My goal is to help you see yourself in images that reflect you at your very best. A custom portrait session can – and should – create an enjoyable experience that leads to having photographs you are proud of and want to share, that remind you of the beautiful person you are at this very moment. This is what I strive for.  And this is how I do it. This is what makes me different.

I want this for you.

I want there to be photographic evidence of your incredible shine, the way you want to be seen.

Let’s create it together.


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