No Self-Checkout for This Girl | Full-Service Photographer in Great Falls, Montana
Have you been to Wal Mart lately? I know...not my favorite shopping trips, either. Actually, I wouldn't say I'm ever too excited about shopping (because I feel the pressure to wear something other than sweatpants...even at Wal Mart!), but my every-other week grocery shopping at Wal Mart is my least favorite. And I'm sad to say it's not getting better, guys. Why is that? SELF CHECKOUT.... Yeah, you know what I'm talking about ;) Instead of a handful of self-checkout lanes, they are taking over the store. And dramatics aside, it's a bit of a bummer. And I should mention that when we go grocery shopping, we do it for the whole week. This isn't an in-and-out trip...it's a "full cart" kind of trip.
Okay, so I am a DIY-er. I love figuring out how to do stuff myself, I LOVE to be creative, and I love going at my own pace. So naturally, when Wal Mart first introduced the self-checkout lanes, I thought: "Sweet! Now I can breeze through the lines, it's gonna be faster, I don't have to small talk with anyone when I'm in my sweats (I still wear them, despite the pressure), and no one will judge me on my Family Size Lucky Charms!" Match made in heaven...me and self-checkout.
What it really looks like? A lot more work (okay, maybe not "a lot", but it feels like it). I never realized how much I enjoy staring at US magazine covers, scrolling through my phone, casually putting groceries on the conveyor belt, working as a team with the Wal-Mart checker while they're bagging and I'm putting bags in my cart...aaaahhh...magical, right?
Nowadays I'm throwing groceries on the belt, throwing them back in the cart, shoving eggs in with canned food, fumbling around for my credit card, playing hide-and-seek with that little bar code on each of my groceries...seriously, the struggle is real.
My most recent Wal Mart saga led me to thinking more about my business and the customer service I want to offer...and self-checkout is not in the cards, people! The "self-checkout" of photography is...get ready...digitals! Gasp! I know...but it's true. Keep reading and I'll tell ya why ;)
Last night I had a Reveal and Ordering session with one of my recent clients, and as we were designing a gallery for her wall (that is going to look AWESOME in her new house...seriously can't wait for her wall art to come in!), she commented that she still hasn't printed any photos from another photo session she had...2 YEARS AGO! She told me that she had been too busy, she got overwhelmed trying to figure out what to print and where to print it from, didn't want to go through the stress and work, and ultimately she just left those digitals on her computer.
As someone who believes so deeply in great customer service - I can't do that to my clients. My belief is when you invest in beautiful art of your family, you need something to show for that investment! Also, when you are paying me to capture consistently beautiful images, you are also paying for my expertise in design, color, decor...all things that will go into making your art look absolutely perfect in your space! Just like when I go to Wal-Mart, part of my experience is paying for the checker to help me out in the checkout line...or so it used to be ;)
I know there are cheaper options and photographers that offer a disc full of images for you to reproduce to your heart's desire! But, at least for my family photos (that will hang in my house for years and years), I'm not willing to bargain shop to only receive a disc and a to-do list (now that I have to find a sub-par, non-professional product from a local drugstore...that I promise will not last for years and years). I want my business to not only be beautiful images...I want my business to be an awesome service!
I will say, at least with Wal-Mart, you can compare apples to apples. When I buy a Family Size box of Lucky Charms at Wal-Mart, it's the exact same as the one I buy at Albertson's. That's definitely not the case with the products you will order with your digital images from a local print lab (or online print lab, for that matter). If you're interested in learning more about the difference between professional lab products and local and online labs, check out my lab comparison post! It's pretty amazing!
Okay, now that I've come across like a digital hater...I promise I'm not! I actually LOVE digital images, and I'd be lost without them, which is why they are part of every one of my collections! For archival purposes (if, God forbid, something were to happen to that beautiful album of yours), for sharing online with family and friends, for those small gift prints to give to grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles...digitals are awesome! But "just digitals", I have found for most of my clients, are a burden that turns into a really expensive social media image.
Alright...ready to see some of the absolutely GORGEOUS products you can choose from at your next Reveal and Ordering session? Go check out my print art reviews! Seriously...so pretty. You can also check out some examples of wall art galleries in my own clients' homes!