The explosion of digital photography, online sharing, home printing, and social media over the last decade makes it easier than ever to capture those everyday (and special) moments. I am thrilled that the art of photography has become more accessible to the hobbyist. Often times my clients have top of the line gear, similar to mine, and are well versed in how to use it. But even with all of the tools and resources so widely available, and the ability to capture the every day, nothing beats the work of an accomplished professional photographer to document your family, in its entirety. Yes, you’ll be in some of the images at your cousin’s wedding… and of course there are all your own family milestones… but the return on the investment of capturing who you are, today, is enormous. There is so much to gain from a custom, professional photography session, one that is created specifically for you, solely for that purpose.
“Yeah, I know… but really, why… why do I need to hire a professional to do that?”
Some portion of the answer is intangible (and emotional). Never have I heard from a client “I wish I didn’t professionally photograph my family.” Rather, many times I have heard “I didn’t realize how important it was until after I saw the images.“ And occasionally even heard “I didn’t want to do it until I saw a friend’s images, then I realized I wanted the same for my family!”
The remainder of the answer is related to quality and end result:
• Having a professional document what they see creates a story that is extremely different than one created by handing over your camera to your uncle or an aspiring photographer friend.
• Being able to relax and unwind, and pose yourself naturally, with a bit of professional guidance is far superior to striking your one go-to pose with your “camera ready smile” and hoping it works.
• Having an entire series of images, rather than just one good one, allows you to create wall galleries, or even albums, that pause and capture an exact point in time with your family.
• Having an entire series of technically correct images, rather than ones that are too bright or too dark, unfocused or incorrectly lit, will enable you to proudly share and display the end result without needing to rely on those infamous disclaimers (“I know it’s not in focus, but I love it anyway!”)
That being said, high quality professional photography can be expensive – and that is because custom art commands value. Unless you have a bit of disposable income, you need to consider it as an investment the same way you would consider any other purchase for your home. You certainly don’t want to have to do it over (and pay twice!), or get less than what you expected. You should select your photographer based on their style, area of expertise, quality, reputation, brand, and your expectations for an end result.