Is Professional Photography Really “Worth It”?

March 8th, 2017
Being in the photography business for years has been an amazing journey and a great accomplishment for me. I believe that the people I meet are the best clients anyone could wish for. For the most part, my clients book an appointment, look at the images and then make a purchase according to the price list I provide and they go home a happy camper! Once in a while, though, a new client will express concerns about what they perceive to be the high cost of professional photography in general, and they wonder aloud if it is really worth it. And that is when I say to them, maybe I can help you to better understand why professional photography really is “worth it”.
Now, I don’t launch into a list of expenses that pro photographers have to cover just to stay in business. I don’t mention things like rent, insurance, licensing fees, business taxes, equipment cost, software upgrades, photo lab costs, assistants, shipping fees, travel costs, equipment upgrades, editing and retouching fees, ongoing education, and advertising costs . NO, I don’t mention any of these things; I wouldn’t resort to that!  ;)  But I do tell them about Sunday, October 28, 2012.
Yes, October 28, 2012, the day that President Obama issued a declaration of emergency for New York State. Schools, bridges, and airports were closed. Here in my home town on Long Island, the orders were given to evacuate immediately! A “super” storm named Sandy was headed directly at our island as if guided by some hi technological laser gun.
Hurricane Sandy came to New York the next day and for those of us that survived, our lives were changed forever. A lot was going on in the hours of that Sunday afternoon before the storm was due to land. The neighborhood was alive with commotion, yet there was a sort of calm panic. As if by coincidence (or something else) as I packed my vehicle, I looked around and noticed all my neighbors were doing the same thing at the same time. It was eerie, almost as if we had rehearsed this like the synchronized swimmers in the Olympics, or the newest young and bold dance team on America’s Got Talent, but we hadn’t.
As my neighbors brought their valuables out of their homes and into their vehicles, not knowing if there would still be a house when we were allowed back, I saw something I will never forget; we all brought the same thing out of our homes!
I didn’t see any Xbox console, or stereo system, I did not see any plasma screen 90 inch Super Hi Def TV, I didn’t see any air conditioners nor did I see any comfy sectional sofas or fancy bathroom sinks, I didn’t see any kid’s bunk beds. No desktop computers or pretty Tiffany lamps.
What I DID see was that EVERYONE was loading their cars and mini vans with the family photos that they took off the walls, frame and all. They had their wedding albums and wall portraits. They had their kid’s photo albums filled with years of school pictures and Halloween costumes, taking their first steps and posing proudly on their first bicycle. And there were shoe boxes full of photos from years of assorted family occasions, even that last picture of Grandma before she passed ,and I understood. I understood. I really understood.
We know that at the end of the day, of all our “possessions”, it is our memories that we treasure most and place the highest value on. Pictures represent our memories. Our memories cannot be replaced with any amount of money or any material goods – it really is the most valuable thing we have!
I tell these “wondering” clients to keep in mind that when a photographer hands over custom prints with the images of your loved ones, these are now your “priceless” treasures forevermore. These are now the most valuable thing you own! And as they get misty eyed and give a quick sniffle thinking about what they would have done, they get it. They get it.
They really get it.
©2015 Richie Schwartz
Thanks for reading!

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Celebrity Pet Photographer Richie Schwartz at Petco Grand Opening

May 31st, 2013

Pet Photographer Richie Schwartz, America’s Most Experienced Pet Photographer will be taking pet pictures at the Grand Opening of the new state of the art  Petco store in Huntington, NY,,, this  Friday thru Sunday May 31 – June 2nd

Pet Photographer Richie Schwartz
Named in “Top 25 Pet People of 2010″ (NBC/Universal)
Voted Best Pet Photographer 2013 (Long Island Press)

Free 5×7 photos for Facebook and Twitter fans


Chicago Sun-Times Lays Off Its Entire Photo Staff

May 31st, 2013

The Chicago Sun-Times has laid off its entire photography staff, and plans to use freelance photographers and reporters to shoot photos and video going forward, the newspaper said.


Top Ten Tips for Great Holiday Pet Photos
From Pet Photographer Richie Schwartz

December 22nd, 2012

Top Ten Tips for Great Holiday Pet Photos From Pet Photographer Richie Schwartz 

1 – If your pup is going to wear an outfit or even just a Santa hat, put it on a couple days before to make sure it fits, but more importantly, to see how your pup likes it and to let him/her get used to it.

2 – Try to bring your pup to the store/location where the pictures will be taken in advance to let him/her get used to the smells, noise, and hustle and bustle of the store.

3 – Buy a holiday toy that would look nice in the holiday picture and give it to the dog to play with a day or two before picture day. Bring it with you when you go for the pictures, it may help your dog feel more comfortable.

4 – Bring some of Fido’s favorite treats in case “bribery” is required.

5 – The photographers will most likely be using a camera with a flash, so I suggest that you practice taking pictures with a flash at home. Take a picture and quickly give the dog a treat. Let him make the connection that a flash will lead to a treat. This technique may help your dog sit calmly through a few shots if needed.

6 – Holiday picture days are typically very popular and there can be long lines to wait on. To avoid standing in long lines, arrive early in the day. You might even call the photographer at the store and ask what time would be least crowded.

7 – If you are using a professional photographer in a private photo studio, most likely you will be making an appointment. Make the appointment for a time when your dog has already eaten and has taken care of “business”.

8 – Try not to make any changes to the dog’s regular routine. Feed, use the bathroom, and exercise as usual if possible.

9 – It usually helps to take your dog for a long walk or run before the photo session, especially if you have one of the more active breeds or mixed breeds.

10 – Even after taking some or all of these steps, some dogs may not sit for a photo for one reason or another. Don’t get frustrated, give your pup an extra hug and remember it is all about having fun.

Richie Schwartz - America’s Most Experienced Pet Photographer
Pets Photography Studio - Over 75,000 Pets Photographed
Named to Top 25 Pet People of 2010 (NBC Universal)
On the web:
Twitter / YouTube / Facebook / Website


Celebrity Dog meets Celebrity Pet Photographer Richie Schwartz

April 6th, 2011

Buster Boxer ©, an internet dog celebrity with thousands of fans and followers on Facebook, visited Celebrity Pet Photographer Richie Schwartz in his New York photo studio. Richie, owner of Pets Photography Studios was recently contacted by Buster’s manager to handle the photography for his 2012 calendar, his upcoming coffee table book and a couple other projects. Attesting to the power of social media, Richie and Buster actually met through a  Facebook mutual “friend” who created the connection for them.  After the fun filled two hour photo session, Richie remarked “I rarely meet a dog who loves to pose as much as Buster does”. You can see how Richie captures Buster’s personality as Buster changes poses from whimsical to regal to serious to fun. As you can imagine from these images, a ton of fun was had by all. We are saving the best images for the calendar and books, but  we are sharing a few out-takes from the session due to popular demand from both Richie’s and Buster’s fans.

Richie Schwartz Pet Photography Buster Boxer  (3)
Buster Boxer Photographed by Celebrity Pet Photographer Richie Schwartz
Buster Boxer Photographed by Pet Photographer Richie Schwartz

Buster Boxer Photographed by Pet Photographer Richie Schwartz

Buster Boxer Photographed by Pet Photographer Richie Schwartz

Buster Boxer Photographed by Pet Photographer Richie Schwartz

Richie Schwartz Pet Photography on Buster Boxer's Birthday

Pet Photographer Richie Schwartz on Buster Boxer's Birthday

Dog Sings and Plays Piano Perfectly

March 29th, 2011

This musical dog is Tucker, a two year old Schnoodle, who “plays the piano and sings along at least 3 or 4 times every day. In spite of all of his practicing, he really isn’t getting any better at it.” Tucker was born May 22nd and has been seen on The Ellen Show.

Dog plays piano and sings perfectly – posted by pet photographer richie schwartz

Rescued Michael Vick Pitbull Becomes Therapy Dog After Much Love

March 27th, 2011

Pets Photography Studio TV – Dog Channel

March 27th, 2011

Beagles and Beiber = New Hairstyle for Dogs

March 17th, 2011

Pet Photographer Richie Schwartz photographed a couple of Beagles and added on a Justin Beiber hairstyle with Photoshop.

Beagle with Beiber hairstyle

Bobby Beagle shows of Beiber hairstyle


Beagle with Beiber Hairdo

Barney Beagle shows off Justin Beiber Hairdo

Pet Photographer Richie Schwartz Video wins Best DOGumentary Award

February 28th, 2011

This profile of Pet Photographer Richie Schwartz won the Doscar for Best DOGumentary for a behind the scenes look at America’s most experienced Pet Photographer.

Filmed and edited by nationally acclaimed Videographer Brian Potts, this  seven minute DOGumentary takes a look at how Schwartz actually gets the animals to pose, why he chose to specialize in Pet Photography and other fascinating and fun scenes.
Watch the video here: DOGumentary 
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