Prestige Portraits signed on as new AMS grad photographers

Contract ends 20-year relationship with Taylor Studios

The decision ends a 20-year relationship with Taylor Studios.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo

Following a 20-year relationship with grad photographers Taylor Studios, Studio Q has opted for a new vendor—a decision the former’s owner, Robert Taylor, says could lead to the business’s bankruptcy.  

Taylor Studios has been the AMS’s graduate photographer for 20 years, according to a statement submitted to The Journal by Studio Q. But after the service’s yearly annual assessment, the Society has chosen Prestige Portraits moving forward.

“We had been working with solely Taylor Studios for 20 years, it was due time we evaluated other options as well,” the statement said. “The entire process was overseen by Lyn Parry, our general manager, to ensure that our decision was unbiased and well-thought through.”

Studio Q evaluated their options based on several criteria, including willingness to photograph on campus, photo quality, prices, and policy. To aid in their selection, they allowed finalists in the selection process to give presentations. 

The Request for Proposal process, a practice all AMS vendors seeking services undertake, occurred from August to September of 2018, during which time vendors in the area were encouraged to participate—including Taylor Studios.

“The contract is sought after because of the amount of students that will choose to get pictures taken with the chosen vendor,” Studio Q’s statement said.   

Prior to their contract, Taylor Studios operated on a smaller scale and survived the AMS dropping its services in 1996, according to its owner Taylor.  

In 2005, after a near nine-year standstill, Taylor said the AMS began to work with Taylor Studios again. The company has since built its studio around graduate portraits for Queen’s students, according to Taylor Studios’ student ambassador Emily Carter. 

“Rather than expanding the business how another photographer would, [Robert Taylor’s] relationship with the AMS led him to put money towards grad portraits exclusively,” Carter said in an interview with The Journal.

Sensing that their contract might be in jeopardy for the coming year, Carter stated that the business lowered their prices and prepared new options for reassessment 

“[The] relationship was an extremely easy one to maintain with the Kingston community as it costs the AMS no money,” she said.  

Robert Taylor told The Journal in a phone interview, “[The studio] will become bankrupt later this year: It’s devastating.”

Taylor Studios will continue to photograph the faculty of nursing and law graduates, but not arts and science graduates, who will now work with Prestige Portraits.

“My entire team took the selection process seriously,” a Studio Q representative told The Journal. “[We] chose Prestige Portraits because of their customer service, prices for students, retake/refund policy, and willingness to photograph on campus.” 

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