life . Portrait . street

Madison, WI


Fontana Giusti

THREE REASONS TO hire a local photographer for picture day

Full disclosure, as a local independent Madison, WI preschool portraits photographer, I am in fact advertizing my own services with this blog entry, but please bear with me. Whether or not you chose to trust me with your school’s picture day needs, there are actual reasons, excellent reasons, you should pick a local photographer rather than go with the big company dominating the market.

Indeed, while big photography companies may seem like an obvious choice, hiring a local photographer for picture day will result in a better and more meaningful experience for you and for the families you serve, and you likely won’t regret it.

1. Better product

I call it boutique (pre)school photography, but that’s just me, other photographers call it fine art school portraits. The idea is the same. When we decide to go into the (pre)school photography field we each come with a photographic style an art direction that took much of ourselves and long years to develop and hone, and it shows in the mastery of our craft.

I’d also like to point out that school portraiture is unlikely to be the first thing most of us ever photographed, and our previous experiences as photographers (often also as parents), fed our artistic vision in ways a corporate colossus and their standard offering will never be able to emulate. It breathes soul into our images, and the final product is much more appealing and desirable.

In my case, I am also a street photographer, and I carry a documentary approach as well as my current sensitivities – an interest in hand gestures for instance – with my camera wherever I go. I am also someone who’s used to shooting with film and aims to get it as close as possible to right in camera. I am a mother of two very spirited and often uncooperative boys, who’s documented my children’s every move from the moment they were born. I am French and Italian, and I grew up influenced by classical portraiture and fancy paintings. As a matter of fact, I am known to pick up a paintbrush myself every once in a while…

I spend significant time and care crafting setups that will look good, that are original and feel distinctly mine. That authorship is important not just for matters of the ego, but because these setups express my artistic sensitivity, my influences, my lived experiences, etc. They are, in fact, an extension of who I am.

It’s the work of a creative, something valuable and precious that takes hard work to make, and that also takes courage to show other people. Established corporations don’t do that, they hire fast and deal with high turnover and it doesn’t matter that much because their goal is to deliver a mass product designed to be bland and sort of appeal to most people all around the country and beyond.

In addition to making a product that’s more artistic than commercial, I will also point out that most local photographers (or at least the ones I personally know) have more affordable pricing than the big corporations.

And to finish off this section, I want to make an important point that’s often missed: all the images that make your local photographer portfolio’s, the photographer took. It’s their actual work. On the other hand, the marketing material presented by the major players is sourced from photographers all around the country and selected through internal competitions, and the photographer you’ll get on picture day certainly didn’t take those images. As a matter of fact, they may, but they also may not be up to the standard presented by the company. When you hire a local photographer, what you see is what you get, and I think it’s important you know the difference.

A better product is a better service to the families who put their trust in you, and the portraits you’re offering them will contribute to the quality of the service you provide. If you’re striving to serve your families in the best possible way, you shouldn’t settle for the same-old, kind of obvious choice.

2. Personalized service

I’ll keep this section short, because I feel like it’s sort of an obvious pitch, but yes, when you decide to let a local photographer take your picture day portraits, we offer flexible scheduling, we adapt to your space requirements, to your style if you have a strong vision, and incorporate your special requests with ease. There’s nothing that can’t be adjusted, no obstacle that can’t be worked around, because we’re here to serve and to make picture day a smooth and beautiful and easy experience, and we want to be back next season if only to see the kids you’re caring for grow year after year.

Plus, dealing with your photographer makes the customer service really easy, just reach out and most things can get sorted out with no fuss!

3. Community building

And finally, last but not least, let me state that local photographers are entrepreneurs, and we’re also often women. and this means several things.

Trust me when I tell you that when we get business, register a sale, or finally break through something – anything, we dance around our house in gratitude. Every order that goes through, we see, we feel, and we love. 

When you open your doors to a local photographer, you give us the opportunity to serve, to connect with families that may be looking for a photographer, and ultimately to build a business aimed at sustaining ourselves and our families in a very direct way.

When you give us a shot, it gives us the opportunity to thrive, and that spills over, because we take part in the local economy. I personally shop local as much as I can, I support other small businesses and I believe this contributes to build healthy communities that have strong roots. Corporate giants don’t need your business, but we do, and we’re so grateful when you give us a shot!


Are you looking for a pre-school photographer in Madison, WI? Let’s get in touch!

I love photographing children and capturing their sweet personalities in a gentle and playful way, I am fully insured and I speak four languages, three with native fluency, and one with a few influences of my own…

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