With today's technology and access to phones, point & shoot cameras, or even cheaper DSLRs, taking photos has become easier and more affordable than ever. With these types of tools, you will be sure to get some good quality shots and capture the images you want. Yet you end up missing some of the most important qualities of a great photo. All those photos are either missing a member of the family (usually the one who is taking the photo), you probably never print them out, and you have all the images stored somewhere on your PC or a CD. So what good is that?
Sure sharing photos on social media is fun and provides instant gratification, but where is the sentiment or value of those images. For those of us who used to work with Film, we understand how important photos are. Many of us may not have a ton of photos or our parents or grandparents because back then, we didn't have the access to cameras as we do now. And even if we did, touching and feeling a photograph is so much better than looking at a digital image.
3 years ago, my father died of liver cancer. The only images I have of him in the last 10 years are all digital, very few prints, none of the entire family, and not one professionally done. On my walls, I have several photos of him and I or him and my brother when we were kids, but as adults, those photos are non-existent. I lost a moment that I can never get back. I lost an opportunity to capture his life with his family before he died, and I will never get that back.
Of course, there are many other benefits to hiring a professional.
- Having the whole family in the picture
- Image retouching
- Quality images that make excellent prints
- Capturing moments most people miss when taking their own photos
- Commemorating a special time or moment in life
- Having something physical you can hold onto and pass down to your family for each generation.
Every time I do a photo session someone in the family is so grateful that they were in the pictures with their family and that I was able to capture each of them as they really are. Mostly this is the moms. Moms are always taking photos and never in them.
We already know why Weddings use professionals, so let's look at the other different sessions I provide and how having a professional helps you!
Family Sessions/Children Only/Maternity/Senior Portraits:
- Everyone gets a shot! For my family sessions I don't just shoot the family as a whole. I take various pictures of all members of the family together and alone. Many teenagers or even grandparents thank me, because until I met them, they never had a picture where they were all together.
- Many poses! Having you just do a couple of poses in one spot gets boring and looks bad. I like to mix up the background and position of my subjects to capture their best side. This also gives you different options to choose from instead of 100 images of the same photo over and over again with the same background. This is especially true for Maternity shots. One photo a you and your belly is not enough, my goal is to make you look gorgeous.
- You will look your best! I can make moms, teens, and grandparents look good. I do minimal but noticeable retouching; soften skin, remove blemishes, brighten eyes etc. I also understand that mom no matter what size she is, wants to look thinner, and with some posing techniques I can make you look younger and 10 lbs. lighter.
- You get to relax and have fun! I make the time fly and you have fun! When families try to do their own photos it becomes a hassle, kids get tired, grandparents get agitated, and parents become frustrated. No one is having fun and when they finally get the timer set and the right photo shot, everyone looks miserable.
- Sturdy prints and color correction! I provide top quality prints so that your photos last and maintain their color for years. Photographers have access to 100s of professional labs where they get their images printed at a better cost than you would get if you went by yourself. Sure you can go to Walgreens or any other photo-processing center, but typically their color correction and photo paper are lacking in detail and color.
- Photo Compression! When you take your own photos or hire a cheap photographer you will notice that the backgrounds are usually very clear. When taking portraits you want a compressed background because that ultimately makes you look better and stand out in the photo. When the background is too clear it becomes a distraction. It never fails when I show someone two photos one with and one without compression they end up always preferring the compressed background. Think about places like Sears where they use those dull backgrounds or blurred nature backgrounds. That is to give the impression of a compressed image. Yet it never seems to look right.
- Memories! Commemorating the most important times in your life should never be left up to an amateur, that could give your blurred pictures with misplaces composition and angles.
Day in the Life/Vacation/Family Reunion
Of course many of the reasons above apply to these types of sessions as well, but here are a couple of more you may not have thought about!
- You'll never miss a moment! Often times when you are on vacation, doing your daily routine, or even at a reunion or part of some sort, you are busy doing whatever it is your are doing and cannot possibly capture every treasured moment. My goal is to help people capture the moments of their lives together and seize the moments they miss because life is busy. This is so true for Vacation and Day in the Life. Too often we get distracted with other things and can't spend all day taking photos of our lives. But I can, and trust me you will love them!
- The Everyday is Special! This is so true with aging parents and children. There are many times when the kids have grown or the parents have passed that people think back to the little things they missed. They way someone looked with the laughed, they way a son used to mimic his father. the way a grandmother held her grandchild, they way mom used to look when cooking dinner; all of these moments people forget to capture and by offering a Day in the life or even the Vacation session I give you the opportunity to freeze those moments in time! Again I wish I had one photo of my dad laughing or being goofy. Every picture we took was just us standing next to each other smiling.
So why not hire a professional!? It doesn't have to me, it can be anyone. Just make sure they know the reasons why they are doing their jobs. Sure we take pretty pictures but we also should be doing it to help families and people hold on to those cherished memories that are gone too fast!