The Story Behind Prints and Products | Quad Cities Custom Photographer

This is the story behind why I offer prints and products rather than a disc of images.  Yes, you read that right.  This post is about why prints and products will mean so much more to you than a CD full of images, and why as a Quad Cities Custom Photographer, I whole heartedly believe in them.  Let me give you a little background story…

Once upon a time, there was a new photographer in the Quad Cities…ok, yes, that’s me.  I began my photography journey as a mom with a camera.  When I started Amanda Oakes Photography, I sold digital files as the only option.  It was convenient and simple.  I took the photos, edited them, and gave my clients what seemed like a million images as I thought that’s what clients wanted.

Another fellow photographer here in the Quad Cities who I admire in so many ways, based her business around selling quality prints and products and guiding her clients through an experience.  One day we got together and chatted about all the business aspects of what I was doing and what I provided, and she helped to shed some light on a few things I had never considered.  The lightbulb went off, and I realized very early in the conversation that what I thought my clients wanted was actually a huge disservice to them, and to me, and my brand of photography.

Skipping ahead to 6 months after I opened Amanda Oakes Photography, I knew I had to offer my clients something better.  Better service, better quality, better experience.  That’s when I switched my entire business model around so that I’m serving my clients, offering a truly custom experience, sourcing from the absolute best quality labs in the market, and producing artwork for my clients to proudly display and pass down to generations for years to come.

Fast forward to now.  It’s been almost 3 years of this particular business model, and my clients and I couldn’t be happier.  It’s an incredible feeling to sit in my client’s homes, share laughs and stories, and design wall space to decorate the walls of their homes.  These families walk by their portraits hanging on their walls and see a united family filled with love and see how much the kids have grown and changed.  It fills my heart with so much joy to walk around and see my babies when they were little and the special moments we’ve created right there on my walls in front of me.  I’m surrounded by these joyful memories all day, every day as I simply walk around my home.  It makes me so happy to know my clients are doing the exact same thing each day.  It’s very humbling to offer these options to my clients and help them and assist them through every step of the way.

Here are just a few more reasons why I am so passionate and a firm believer in prints and products:

1.)  Technology – Technology either fails or is ever changing constantly.  Remember when we had the floppy disk, or what about a CD, then it was a USB, and now computers don’t even have USB’s on them any longer and a disk drive is even harder to come by.  Oh, and do you remember your password to your Cloud storage where your precious memories are?  Did your external hard drive crash?  There’s a million things that go hand in hand with technology failure, so why in the world would we want to put our trust and faith with our priceless memories into such a thing.  Technology is great for mass storage of data, but pictures are not just data, they are part of our heirlooms we want to pass down for many generations and preserve these precious memories.

2.)  Quality of Prints and Products – I get it.  I really do.  Some people think photographers mark up a print in a ridiculous way because they can get it from a big box store for less than a dollar.  I ask you though, when you touch your print, do you see your own fingerprints on them?  If you hang it on a wall near a window, has the sun faded it?  Do you think that print will last 100 years to pass down from generation to generation?  My prints and products are finger print resistant, archival for 100 years, and are UV coated to elimate the risk of fading.  They are amazing!  I’ve had some people mention that the prints look as though they are in HD as the clarity is outstanding.  And yes my friend, once you hold your portraits in your hand, you will never look back.

3.)  Memories – One of my best memories and something I still love to do is sit with my grandparents and look at photo albums and boxes containing loose prints.  I don’t know of a time I jumped on my computer and asked everyone to come over and look at the screen.  Rather we sit at the kitchen table or in the living room and pass around photos and share all kinds of laughs and stories.  It’s such a great time and something I always look forward to doing!

4.)  Procrastination – Yes, this is my middle name from time to time.  How many times did you receive your disk of images and then let it sit in a drawer waiting for that right time to actually order?  We spend all the money on outfits and coordination of the session.  We’re so excited to get the images.  You look through them and love them.  Then, you put it off to the side and wait for the right time to order and figure out that process.  Guess what, months go by and still no portraits on your wall.  When you finally get around to thinking of ordering those prints, your session needs to be updated once again as everyone has grown and changed so much!  That’s the reason I love to meet with my clients approximately two weeeks after their session to review their images, select their favorites, and then I order all their gorgeous prints and deliver them so that there is no procrastination.  I take all the guess work out of selecting a great lab and what sizes everyone needs.  We walk through everything together and I personally deliver everything to the client!  It’s that easy, and it’s all taken care of for you so that you have the most amazing quality portraits!

So my friends, these are just some of the reasons and stories about why I’m so passionate about providing my clients a full service experience that ends with my final product being artwork rather than a disk.  Please take a look at the images below of the prints, wood prints, canvas gallery wraps, albums, mini albums, storyboards, etc. that I’m very proud to offer my clients.  Feel free to comment below with your experiences and thoughts.  I’d love to hear from you!

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Amanda Oakes Photography is a full service portrait photography studio offering quality service and experiences paired with fine art prints, canvas gallery wraps, luxury albums, and many other heirloom items.

Amanda Oakes Photography is a Quad Cities newborn photographer who also specializes in family and children photography, engagement and wedding photography, and maternity photography.  This includes photography services in the Moline, IL, Rock Island, IL, Davenport, IA, Bettendorf, IA, Muscatine, IA and the greater Quad Cities area.

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