While the cost of digital cameras keeps going down and the quality keeps going up, photography is becoming more attainable by the masses every day. With all of this improvement, why would anyone hire a professional photographer? That’s a great question and there are many reasons to hire a professional…and exactly why it might save your sanity.
1.) You are hiring a lighting expert.
The most important thing to know about photography is that lighting is EVERYTHING!!!! Knowing where and when to shoot from makes a gigantic difference in your image. Backlighting is my absolute favorite thing to add to an image, it is like adding a piece of jewelry to an outfit.
Knowing how to use all sources of light when light is limited is also key. Birthday candles make for great mood lighting and can really showcase the special relationships between loved ones. Plus everyone looks amazing in candle lighting.
Of course there is flash photography and artificial lighting to contend with.
2.) They make the most out of any location.
Many people think that you need to go to an exotic location to get beautiful images outdoors. However, a skilled photographer knows how to make the most out of the most mundane location through choice of lighting, color, texture, and content.
The picture below was taken on the street in front of our house. Even though the neighbor across the street typically leaves their trash cans outside and has a large basketball net, I was able to use the setting sun to capture this adorable moment between my daughter and brother in law (again).
This client moved just before their baby was born and didn’t have time to set up the nursery. Thankfully the room had beautiful lighting and was completely empty so the addition of an aero bed and some bedding easily transformed the room. This allowed for me to focus purely on this itty bitty baby and their parents.
3.) You can eliminate a lot of exhaustion and frustration PLUS have your entire family in the picture.
Have you ever tried to take your own family picture? It is frustrating and disappointing to say the least. Putting your camera on a tripod, running back and forth while your children are having a complete meltdown is downright exhausting. Even an experienced photographer shudders at the thought. All for less than desirable results.
My favorite family photos are taken by some of my highly talented photographer friends. The fact that I don’t have to go home and spend hours culling and editing the pictures is icing on the cake. Having all four of us in the picture is priceless to me.
4.) Your photos will last for generations.
Using a professional photo lab means that your images will be printed with an archival quality that ensures that your pictures will last for generations. Plus, my computer is calibrated to my lab’s printers, which means that things like skin tones won’t look like you have the flu. Professionally printed products not only look better but are way more durable.
5.) No need to cull and edit your images.
During a typical family session, I take approximately 400 images. It is my job to sift through those hundreds of images to the best and brightest. The ones that will create an emotional reaction and become a childhood classic. Those hundreds of images will now be paired down to a much more manageable gallery of cherished images for you. Most people tend to not cull their images, leaving them with an overwhelming amount of images filled with blinks, fingers over the lens, and blurry thing a ma bobs, which is completely exhausting just to think about so it never happens.
Some of the magic happens outside of the camera. Enhancing images is not new to photography and has been highly done since the early days of film. It is also another way for a photographer to put their artistic touch on an image. In combination with culling your images, not having to edit your images is another huge time and sanity saver.
Here is what an image looks like straight out of the camera (shot in camera raw format, which results in a very flat image, because it gathers more data than a jpeg, so some adjustments typically need to be made.)
Here is what the same image looks like after some image enhancements. Some images just need a small tweak and others need quite a bit of work, while others need a bit more enhancing to create a more dramatic look.
Let’s not forget about the constant scrapes, bruises, and cuts that are a major part of childhood. There have been so many sessions where a child has come to the session with a cut on their face or a bruise over their eye. For all images that are purchased as prints or digitals, I edit out those little boo boos.
Here is an example of a little girl from a recent session that, of course, got a bruise on her forehead right before my visit. We didn’t want that bruise to ruin a picture of her hugging her baby brother.
So I photoshopped it out. 🙂 It is a small thing but makes a big difference, esp when it is edited out of multiple images in their gallery.
So let’s be honest with ourselves here, we live in a world where everyone is walking around with a camera in their back pocket. You probably have thousands of family photos on your phone at this very moment. You take these photos because they are important to you. Your child’s first smile/food/step…all major life moments. However, once they are taken, they are lost in digital noise and not treasured the way they are in your heart. When was the last time you printed those pictures? How many times have you lost these digital files because of a computer crash or a lost phone? I hope that everyone is backing up their digital files in the cloud but I know so many that don’t. Something happens to their devices and they lose so many memories. It is my job to weed through this digital excess and narrow things down to a cherished gallery that is printed and backed up. So you don’t have to worry about bruises on your child’s face or fingers over the lens. I will take care of all of that for you.