As a professional photographer I LOVE PHOTOS. It kind of goes without saying that I practise what I preach but I wasn’t always good with the camera.
Oh no! Far from it!! *shudder*
I didn’t even have a camera
Back in the days when my youngest was born, I didn’t even own a camera. If I had the money (I was a single Mum back then) I would buy a disposable camera and have it processed at the local pharmacy. I look back on those prints now with fondness but let’s face it, they’re hideous! The photos are badly focused, poorly lit and unsuccessfully composed.
The era of digitalism
It wasn’t until she was about a year old that I could afford to buy a digital camera and although the quality of the colour improved drastically, the photos were still badly focused and all over the place. I printed lots, they’re funny to look back on but I’d never, ever hang them on my wall.
Fast forward eight years, a husband, two more children, a move to Australia and a friend who ran her own photography business. I was HOOKED! I wanted her photos. They were the best thing I’d ever seen; beautifully lit, perfectly composed, full of colour and emotion and perfectly focused. I wanted that!
I learned the art of photography
This was six years ago and since then I’ve had the opportunity to invest in a good camera but more importantly, I’ve invested a huge amount of time in learning how to use it. I have spent hours on YouTube watching other people teach, I have practised until my fingers burn and my wrists click, I have downloaded countless tutorials and read them until my eyeballs sting!
There’s just one problem
The problem is, I hate being in family photos myself and there’s virtually no way I can not be behind the camera and set up a non-posed shot. We look back on photos (I have taken) and my kids ask
But Mum where are you? Why are you not there?
This is why we decided that roughly every two years we should hire a professional photographer and have some family shots taken.
Our last set of shots were taken in 2015 just before we left living in Australia and as we were going back to Australia this summer (2017) we decided that we’d like that moment captured. Australia was a special time to us and having the opportunity to go back was something we didn’t think would happen.
Ten reasons why should you invest in professional family photos
- You’ll be presented with quality photos that are perfectly executed that you can be proud to hang on your wall.
- Photos represent a moment in time that is captured forever. As we get older, we often forget memories so photos are a constant reminder of the good times.
- You’re also creating memories for your children, grand children and great grandchildren. Or maybe they’ll just laugh at how terrible fashion was ‘back then’. Either way, photos are fun.
- You can use the photos as cards and invites for special occasions as well as gift them to other family members.
- Things like weather and badly behaved kids don’t phase photographers (whereas I know my own patience with my kids runs out quickly). They can also predict when things are likely to go wrong and try to rectify them before it’s too late.
- Photographers are creative beings; they like to personalise your photos with a hint of glitz and glamour. They have an eye for detail and now how to bring photos to life.
- It’s really, really difficult to take good photos of yourself and you owe it to your kids to be in at least SOME family photos.
- Photographers know the best places to photograph.
- Even if something does go wrong on the shoot, they understand how to use editing software to make it disappear.
- Photographers make you do goofy things and generally laugh a lot. It’s another memory to add to your kids’ bank.
How to choose a family photographer
Marketers say that you have just FIFTEEN seconds to win over a client, so here’s what YOU can look for in those 15 short seconds:
- A professional looking website (not just a Facebook page or an Instagram page) that is easy to use.
- Gallery photos where you like at least 90% of them.
- A blog where you can see a range of work.
- Budget: Does that photographer list their prices? Do you need to contact them to ask?
- Is the photographer accredited? (It doesn’t always matter if they’re not).
I try to start with a list of about ten local photographers and then working down the criteria above, I short list about two to three and then contact my favourite.
If I haven’t heard back within twenty-four hours then I contact the next.
Who did we chose?
On this occasion we chose Ben from BlueSky Photography in Cairns. Here’s a small selection of the photos we chose. We love our family photos and every time we look back on them they make us feel warm and fuzzy inside. Just as the family photos we had taken two years ago in Port Macquarie do too.
You just cannot beat a perfect photo! But obviously I’m biased lol.
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