It's been some time since my last post and I have been doing a lot of thinking. The question I get asked more often than "what camera do you use?" is "Why should I Hire a Professional Photographer, my uncle takes pictures and I can print them at a big box store for less?"
I want to just make a few points about why spending a little or a lot money to invest in a portrait by a tried and true professional is important and worth it.
A professional photographer is NOT
*Someone who just got a hot new camera
*Someone who loves Photoshop
*Someone who gives away her/his work for next to nothing (you get what you pay for)
*Someone who has gotten some compliments from friends about pretty photos they have taken
*Someone who gives away files on a disc and leaves it up to the client to have their images produced
A portrait photographer takes pride in her work and spends money and time to study and learn all the old and new skills required of a great photographer.
Do you like to eat where a good chef cooks? Do you go to a good dentist and doctor to assure the best health? Do you spend money on great coffee every day for a tasty jolt?
Perhaps by any standard, hiring a portrait photographer is a bit of a luxury and an elective expense. However, down the road when your children and grandchildren look back, they will appreciate your taking the time and making an investment in them and their heritage.
I always chuckle when people complain about spending lots of money for wedding photographs, when they don't wince at what they spend for clothing, flowers and food. Everything disappears immediately after the wedding except the photographs and the memories.
How many times have you heard about someone getting a real deal and hating the results? In this profession it happens a lot and it is tragic. A professional photographer will not let you down. His reputation depends on it!
A portrait photographer worth their weight in gold will:
Be an artist in their own right
Be able to create a portrait that will hold its value and integrity through generations. You can't even BEGIN to do that unless you are ambidextrous and have a tripod and self-timer.
Have the kind of personality and psyche that will EVOKE comfort and natural expressions.
Allow you to remove yourself from the equation as a mom or dad who is always popping out a camera, thus eliciting surprising, natural and spontaneous expressions.
Know about dynamic composition
Know about SEEING THE LIGHT and make use of it
Make you look as good as you think you look or better without looking like a plastic rendition of yourself. That "disease" is spreading like wildfire.
Have a great relationship with their lab to insure the highest quality archival print.
Staying up with the times doesn't mean eliminating values from the past. Of course you want your photographer to stay current on trends and technology, but what is most important is their VISION and skill as an ARTIST.
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