Monday, August 13, 2012

What's the Difference? Chapter 1

There are a few questions that I get asked on a fairly regular basis - so I thought it might be helpful to do a series of posts answering those questions.  This first 'chapter' is going to cover prints, and the differences between the various products being offered out there.

So something like this is the usual question:  "What's the difference between what you offer and what I can go get for less at 'XYZ' pharmacy/store?"   I'm sure there's a lot more people out there wondering this exact same thing but just haven't asked.  I don't blame you, when I got started in photography and began printing, I asked the exact same question.  I ordered prints of the same image from various places and at first glance, most of them were alright, I thought.  Then I did a side-by-side comparison of the prints that I currently offer... and wow, what a difference - I couldn't believe what I had been missing.  Anyway... here's a brief explanation :)

So - what's different about my prints, you ask?  There's a few things.  First - the image itself. One of the major differences is that my prints are actual photographic prints - not inkjet copies of the image.  Whenever you go to a one-hour stop or kiosk, and most of the places online offering discount prints, you're getting a copy printed on inkjet paper.   With my prints, your image is exposed on light-sensitive paper which is processed similar to film - so it is an actual photo - not a copied image.  Not only do these prints have deeper, truer colors....  they also stand up to the test of time - and look beautiful much longer than an inkjet copy. 

Another difference is color correction.  I tweak the colors, contrast and sharpness exactly how I want it, how it will look best.  When I print the image, I know it's going to come out exactly as it should.  And if for some reason it doesn't, I send it back and will continue to do so until it's right.  The problem with taking it to an outside lab is that each place will color correct differently, and will print differently depending on the type of paper and machine they use, as well as the technician who calibrated it.  I printed a copy of an image at a drugstore a couple weeks ago.. and it came out so washed out, it was almost grey.  I couldn't believe it.  I understand that this isn't always what happens... but it's a prime example of how you don't really know what you're getting at these places - it's a guessing game.  When friends and family see your images, I want them to see it at it's best - I want you to look as amazing as you do in the original image... and when it's printed on mediocre paper with mediocre ink, it isn't being displayed at it's best.  It does both you and the image a great disservice.

Another difference is coating.  All of my prints are UV coated to ensure that they don't fade over time, and also so that they are more protected from damage (like scratches, dirt, etc) than a print without protective coating.  Most (if not all) of the quickie labs do not offer coating of any kind.

Then there's enlargements (8x10 and larger).  Those are even trickier.  Whenever I receive an order for a large print - I do some extra processing on the image according to exactly the size you want.  I ensure it's not going to be awkwardly cropped.  I ensure the resolution remains high so the image is not pixellated.  Probably the biggest issue with printing enlargements that haven't been specially processed as such is that they can come out grainy and/or pixellated... which I think we can all agree, is not ideal - and not something you'd really want to pay for with your hard-earned money.

Having a custom photography session is an investment.  Not only an investment of your money, but also your time.  I want it to be worth your while.  I want you to get high quality images that you love, with the highest quality prints and wall displays possible.  I don't want you to have a generic, everybody-has-this-exact-same-bland-studio-photo experience. You work hard for your money, and with our culture, we're getting busier by the minute and free time is becoming scarce - so you deserve something special, something you know you'll value and cherish for years.  Cost is one thing, but what it's actually worth in the end is so much more.

I hope this sheds some light on the subject, and I freely welcome further comments or questions!  I also hope you all have a wonderful week and are enjoying your summer as much as I am!

Monday, July 16, 2012

NEW unique gifts available!

I love unique things.  I take pride in having something different, something with personality.  It seems like everywhere you turn, canvas is being advertised.  I love canvas, it displays beautifully.. but its no longer unique, like it used to be. 

So, what is unique? Image blocks! What is an image block, you say? Well I'm glad you asked! :)

Image blocks add depth and visual appeal to a wall display. Lustre or Metallic prints are laminated and wrapped around a 1-inch thick block. Each block is then secured to a 1-inch thick photographic print base -- they are designed to appear that they are floating off the base block.  You can choose one image, or multiple images. Image Blocks are perfect for highlighting the details of an important life event; Add optional important text like a wedding date and location, or a baby's name and birth date to create a timeless, unique memento you will treasure forever.

Image blocks come with a built-in hanging system and are available in many different sizes and configurations.

The lab I work with is absolutely amazing, and I was ecstatic when they began offering these unique displays - so of course I ordered one right away!  Feel free to come see, feel, touch my sample image block - all you have to do is ask! :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Since I began this amazing journey, diving head and heart-first into my dream of being a photographer, I decided in the beginning that I was “Kristin Robertson Photography - Capturing Life's Moments.” Now here I am, a couple years later, and I feel like I have grown so much, and come so far - thanks in large part to all the wonderful couples, families, seniors and parents that have invited me into their lives and allowed me to help create their memories. As I have grown, I feel like my motto has grown as well. In the spirit of growth and change, my new motto and goal is “Creating lifelong memories from your treasured moments” - because that's exactly what I strive to do - not just give you photos of those moments, but to give you fine art memories that you and future generations can treasure for a lifetime and beyond.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

'Getting to Know You, Getting to Know All About You.....'

Instead of just posting about sessions, weddings, and other events... I'd make this a little more personal.  Although it's a huge part of who I am and what I love, I'm a lot more than just a woman with a camera and a passion for capturing life. :)

Everyone has a story.  I love hearing life stories.... people are honestly just amazing.  Everyone has struggles, triumphs, losses, hills and valleys... all the things that makes us so unique.  This is a part of my story.

The most important parts of my life, hands down, are my relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and my husband - so I thought this is where I'll start to tell my story.

I married my best friend, soul mate and life partner Paul on June 20, 2008.  We've known each other since high school, but we're not exactly  what you'd call high school sweethearts.  I was 14, he was 15 when we dated for a whopping 2 months.. I switched schools, so we naturally ended up just going our separate ways.

Fast forward 7 years... MySpace was the big thing, and I was looking for friends from old schools and groups when I stumbled on Paul's page.  It said he was in a relationship, so I decided to respect that and not send him a message. I'd just wanted to be friends, but I knew him speaking to an old girlfriend wouldn't be right when he's dating someone else. Some time passed, and it came out that he was no longer in a relationship.. so I decided to take the plunge and send him a message and see how he was, what he'd been up to all this time. He responded quickly, and our messages back and forth got longer.. and longer... and longer, until we decided we should get together and catch up.  A lot happens in 7 years. :)

 We planned for him to come over, and decide from there if we should go to dinner or something.  We started talking.... and never stopped, never ended up going anywhere.  Just talked most of the night, and we were basically inseparable from that point on.  I'd never dreamed that he'd want to date me again, it hadn't even crossed my mind as a possibility until that night.... needless to say, I was thrilled. :)

Eight months later, he secretly went and spoke with my parents while I was at work, asking for permission to marry me.  He's a trooper.. because apparently my dad had a pretty long talk with him.  My mom came in near the end of the conversation, they all prayed together, and gave Paul their blessing.  I am so thankful to have parents that love and care for not only me and my life, but Paul and our life together as well.  I am also thankful that he has respect for my parents and included them in this major decision.

Shortly after their conversation, he proposed.  He's an amazing musician and songwriter... so I was ecstatic to see that he wrote me a song.  It was just him, me, and an acoustic guitar.  At the end of the song, he pulled out a ring, got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him.  Thinking about it still gives me goosebumps... it was one of the best moments of my entire life, and always will be.

We were married 11 months later, and now we're coming up on our 4th wedding anniversary.

 He's a very creative, artistic man.  As I said before, he's a very talented musician... so once I decided to pursue my dream of being a photographer, he has been an incredible asset.  With us both being artistic types, we're able to encourage each other and constantly be trying new things.  I've spent the last couple years training him as an assistant, teaching him almost everything I know and he has now become a second shooter.  I value his creativity, his drive, and his support in both life and business.

Paul, taking a photo of me as I take a photo of him.  :)

Well that's a bit about me and my trusty sidekick, Paul :)    Later on I'll share other parts of my life... Feel free to tell me about yourself, too.  I'd love to get to know you - leave me comments, questions, anything... I'm an open book. I look forward to it!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Keeping warm and cozy while still getting great images :)

I love using natural light on-location whenever possible, as I feel it produces the most natural, flattering, vibrant images possible.  However, we do live in Michigan... and the outdoors aren't always photo-friendly, especially in the winter! 

For those who don't know, I also do studio work.  I have a smaller studio set that I use to do in-home sessions to make getting your photos taken as painless as possible! I find this is especially useful with newborns... the last thing you want to think about after having a baby is packing everything up and heading out to a studio for who knows how long.  By having your photos done in your own home, you have everything you need at your fingertips... plus, we can use the nursery, pets, siblings and more to make your images truly unique to you.

Newborns aren't the only ones who can take advantage of the studio, either!  Whether you'd like just a few simple photos in a warm, welcoming environment or a full themed session complete with props and a variety of backgrounds, in-home studio sessions could be your answer!

Here's a few favorites from my last in-home studio session :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Old man winter has arrived, but that doesn't mean we stop shooting! :)

Yes, it's getting chilly here in the mitten... but that doesn't mean the camera gets put away!  I love winter pictures too - and if you're willing to brave the cold, I'll be right there with you!

Winter photos have such a cozy feel, with warm coats and fuzzy boots... I love them! Here's a super cute shot from a mini family session I did over the weekend.  This little girl, who is 2.5, was such a trooper braving the 38 degree weather!! She did wonderfully, and so did mom and dad - we even managed to have fun! :)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Photography Costs

I've been asked here and there about why custom photography seems to cost so much more than in-store studios like JCPenney, Sears, or Wal-Mart.

To address this question, I've come across a great article that I suggest anyone who's ever wondered about this issue to read.  It's a little on the lengthy side, but incredibly informative!

Why Does Custom Photography Cost More?

Overall my opinion is that the two just can't be compared as they offer so very different experiences.  While I understand that a personal, custom photo session may end up costing more than the in-store studios.... I promise, it's more than worth it! :)