Reason #1 – Let me preface this by admitting what most of you already know: I was a mom with a camera (MWAC), too. Well, technically, I still am 🙂 DSLR’s have become more affordable and so more people are buying more professional type cameras. The capabilities of these cameras completely blow your regular point and shoot (P&S) cameras out of the water. Consumer DSLR’s also give people a false sense of confidence. A lot of people think that because they have a “nice camera”, they don’t need the services of an “expensive” professional photographer anymore. I’m here to tell you otherwise (imagine that, right??).
I was that person for a year. My Christmas present in 2010 was a shiny new Canon DSLR. I was unhappy with the quality and speed of the P&S camera I had at the time. I wanted to be able to capture all of those oh so cute and quick smiles that my 4 month old daughter rewarded me with. My husband, on the other hand, wanted me to have a nice camera so that we didn’t have to spend all of his (ahem, OUR) money on “expensive” professional photographers.
So, off I went, snapping happily at anything and everything my daughter did. Heck, I even signed up for TWO 365 picture projects! Needless to say, I went a little overboard. Several months into it, I had some great (accidental) shots and some (fine, a lot) not so great shots. I had my shiny new camera with the kit lens it came with, but I still wasn’t getting the results I wanted. What in the world was I doing wrong? I mean, for pictures of people, I was putting the camera in “P” mode. For landscape pictures, there’s a little mountain icon for that one. If I needed action shots, I put it on the running man, and if I wasn’t sure, I put it on auto (green rectangle). Not only that, but I even made sure that I had the little focus rectangle on the screen (viewfinder? What’s that??) on the subject I was photographing.
Then comes the Tuesday after Thanksgiving 2011. I was put on bed rest at 25 weeks of pregnancy and forced to do something to occupy myself for the remaining 15 weeks. I spent nearly every second of the next 14 weeks living and breathing everything photography related. I took a 12 week course in 3 days. I bought books and studied the exposure triangle. I watched Youtube videos. I became obsessed with chat forums and started getting deeper and deeper into the photography world. I stayed up late and got up early. To say I became obsessed is an understatement. After all, with all of the complications going on with my pregnancy, I had to have at least ONE thing I could have control over. Plus, I’ve never been a fan of daytime TV 😉
You see, a true professional photographer doesn’t just have some fancy schmancy camera that can take amazing photographs on it’s own. Is the food Wolfgang Puck to die for, because he has fancy pans? No! If you bring your signature dish to a potluck and everyone oohs and aahhs over it, are you going to be offended if they say, “Wow! This tastes amazing! Your cookware/oven must be really nice!!” You put your heart and soul into making that dish. You knew all of the right ingredients to put in it. You knew exactly what type of pan/dish you needed, the correct temperature and the right amount of time it needed to bake. Your signature dish is amazing, because YOU had the right tools and knowledge.
The same goes for photography. Any Joe Schmo can go out and take a picture. But a professional photographer knows all of the right ingredients needed.
Reason #2 – The process isn’t over after the pictures have been taken. Once the professional photographer uploads pictures after a session, the grunt work begins. It’s the process of picking out the best and getting rid of the worst. After the best images have been chosen, there are minor tweaks that need to be done. Sometimes, it’s brightening up the picture. Other times, it’s making the color pop or converting it into a custom black and white image. Regardless, a professional has the knowledge and the tools to take your portrait from great to WOW.
Reason #3 – Photographers have access to high quality products that every day consumers don’t have. Durable prints with perfect color, gorgeous albums, fine art gallery canvas wraps, all heirloom items that will stand the test of time. Professional printing labs print their products using higher quality processes and goods than places like Walmart. Choosing to have your beautiful family portraits printed from a professional will allow you to have cherished memories passed on to future generations.
Reason #4 – It gets YOU in the photo! Are you like me and always BEHIND the camera? Hiring a professional photographer to construct family portraits allows you the chance to be photographed along with everyone else. Your kids want pictures of YOU.
So, what are you waiting for? Make sure you invest in professional portraits of your family, pregnant belly, kids, wedding, or whatever else is important to you. You won’t be pregnant forever, your kids are growing up way too fast, and your wedding day is one of the most special days of your life. Even if you don’t think it’s important, your kids will. Make sure you give them photographic memories that they can cherish forever 🙂