When you've been doing something for a long, long time (photography, let’s just say), it sometimes becomes easy to forget the origins of your affection.
I fell in love with photography the minute I went into a darkroom and saw an image appear in a tray of liquid. But that was in the late 1970’s and for the most part images don’t appear in trays of liquid anymore. They come out of computers, and Epson printers, iPhones, and Facebook pages. Photography is undergoing a sea change, a fundamental shift so great that it brings to mind the transition from horse to Model-T.
But some things never change. The way we take pictures is different than from when I was a kid, but if anything, we’ve become a more photographically-obsessed culture. Pictures are everywhere now, popping up in text messages and e-mails faster than I can type this sentence. And while that’s great—especially if you’re in the picture business—I have one major concern:
Where will all these pictures end up?
Many years from now, when your grandchildren go into the attic, what will they find? A CD with the words “Outer Banks, 2010” written on it? A small hard drive, or, even worse, a thumb drive? Will they find your iPhone and know your password? And will your digital media survive the next two years, let alone sixty?
At Matt Mendelsohn Photography we stick with the basics. Back to focusing on photographs that matter, back to prints that will last, and back to looking at photography as a legacy we leave to our children.
Here's how our portrait sessions work:
Let's ensure your portraits have some authenticity to them. I usually start at your home and then we move on to a park somewhere. Any park? Nope. Somewhere that I know will yield beautiful light and soft backgrounds. No cars, no fences, no hordes of people ruining the picture.
As for what to wear? In my experience, kids should be kids. They should look like themselves. Leave the blazers and bow ties at home. If it's fall, think casual Sunday in the park--jeans, sweaters, boots. The dressier you (or your children) are, the less authentic the portrait will feel.
Portrait sessions are $600. That's my creative fee. It does not include prints. Clients come to our Old Town Alexandria studio a week or two later and we go over the prints together. And why do we insist on doing it in person? Because I don't want you to be picking pictures on a laptop in your kitchen by yourself. Photography is what I've done for thirty-five years. I believe strongly that the shoot doesn't end when we leave a park. I want to use my expertise to help you pick the right images. A friend once told me "a confused mind shuts down," and I don't want this to happen to any of my clients. When you select me to be your photographer, you get, well, me--not some "insert photographer here." It's important that our relationship is grounded in the human experience rather than online gallery picking.
We offer all kinds of prints, albums and portfolio boxes. Our gift prints, cropped 5x7 and 8x10 prints, start at $62. This prints are meant to go into a store-bought frame. Our Mprints are where it's really at. These are fiber prints, signed and dated, and meant to be framed by a custom framer. They are museum quality and will become a legacy that you will someday leave to your children. Mprints are sized from 8.5x11 and up. Our most popular Mprint size is 13x19 and costs $350.