Chances are you’ve encountered a family member or friend who was trying to start a photography business at some point. They may have even asked you to model for their business in exchange for photos to add to their portfolio. Or they’ve offered you reduced-priced or free sessions due to their lack of experience. The offer can be tempting, but is it really worth it?
Photography is an art form like painting or sculpture, and to do it well, you need skill and knowledge. You likely don’t want an amateur taking photos of you and your family. You want someone who knows what they are doing and can give you images you’ll cherish for a long time. This is especially important if you want photos of a once-in-a-lifetime event like a wedding, graduation, birth, or newborn session. These moments cannot be recreated weeks later if the photos don’t measure up to your expectations, so it’s key to work with a true professional.
A professional photographer comes to your session with years of experience and sometimes even a college degree in photography. They know everything about their camera and how to use every setting to get the best images for you, regardless of the time of day, lighting conditions, or other challenges. They aren’t ‘practicing’ on you; they are highly experienced and confident they can create amazing images. Your friend or family member may have a professional camera, but if they don’t know how to use it properly, you probably won’t end up with the quality of photos you want.
Parents are often the ones taking the photos of their kids, so you might have a lot of pictures of your children but not many of you with them. When you hire a professional photographer, you can not only get good photos, but it enables you to actually be in the photos, interacting with your family. A good photographer who you trust will be able to capture the personalities of your family, and taking the responsibility of photography away from you lets you enjoy the moment more.
Anyone can take a picture, but professional photographers also know how to finesse the images after the sessions as well. They have the tools and skills to edit your photos and create portraits you’ll love. You definitely don’t want to trust your most precious memories to someone who has just begun learning Photoshop. It takes a professional eye and hand to know how to bring out the color, creatively adjust the lighting, and turn each shot into a masterpiece worthy of hanging on your wall.
Everyone’s phone has a camera, and if you’re like most people, you probably take pictures all the time. That’s wonderful! You should definitely use technology to record the memories that are most important to you. But if you want pictures to share with family and friends or to hang up in your home, you’ll definitely want to hire a professional photographer. Even though it’s important to capture everyday moments, it’s also important to have photos that you can look at years later and that your children – and maybe even grandchildren – can enjoy for decades to come.
If a friend or family member offers to take your photos, it’s because they want to add to their portfolio and get some practice. And there’s nothing wrong with that! But the goal is different from a professional session. A professional photographer comes in fully prepared and really cares about how happy you are with your photos. This is their full-time job, not something they do on the side. They have worked hard to build their business, and they put in the time and effort that their clients need to be happy. A professional photographer also knows how important it is to get the job done quickly and make sure you love the results.
Even if you’ve had your picture taken a lot, it can still make you nervous, especially if you have kids to keep in line. The patience of a pro can really help to ease some of the stress of making sure everyone is smiling and comfortable. A professional will also have lots of ways to get your kids to smile and will know how to help you pose and relax so that you look like your most natural, confident self.
Your friend may have a professional camera, but a professional photographer has a whole lot more, from lighting to backdrops to props to gowns. They have put a lot into their business, and they know how to use every part of it to make their photos look great. A professional photographer will have all the tools they need for your photos on hand and ready to use, guaranteeing you the images you want no matter the circumstances or conditions.
Some people don’t think it’s worth the money to hire a professional photographer. Maybe they haven’t had experience with a true pro before, so they don’t fully understand the value. But photos are one of the few real ways we can truly hold onto memories. Photography can help you remember the little details of what your spouse and children were like years or even decades ago. You deserve to remember the important moments of your life, and your kids deserve to have photographs of you when you’re gone. A good professional photographer will help you freeze time, creating a masterpiece out of your masterpiece – your family. And that’s something everyone deserves.