I am a scrapbooker. Photographs are so important to me. They are memories that can’t be forgotten. You can see them even when your brain is too full to call the moment. They are a story that preserves right now this minute. I take photos everyday and I am so grateful that digitial technology allows me to do that. That being said, I like to think I am a pretty good photographer. I have a fancy “BIG” camera with a number of lenses too. I have done a few basic courses and I own a computer. Anything is possible right? I’m half way to being a Professional. Let me tell you I am far from it. I can take a nice picture…sometimes.
To be honest, I don’t know how to use all the functions on my camera, I don’t have any expensive photo editing software on my computer and most of all I don’t have time. Time to sit, sort, filter and edit uninterrupted. Plus, I am never in any of the photos I take. I hand my camera over every now and then to someone else to take a photo for me and 85% of the time they are all blurry. You can’t fix blurry. This is why I like professional photos. I get the chance to have nice photos (with me in them too) and all the editing is done for me.
As a new mother, so many people made the comment, ”you take such great photos you should so it professionally.” Are you kidding? Every second new mum, that has too much time on her hands when she has her first child thinks “maybe, I can become a photographer.” I will be able to work part time and continue to stay at home. I’ll admit it, I thought it for a split second but that is all it was just a thought. I don’t have any training nor do/did I have the time to go back and learn. I have read a number of comments from new mums saying that they believe the photo they took of their baby is better that the professional one they paid for. Really?! The questions that sprung to mind when I read that was…”Were they a “cheap” photographer? What experience did they have/not have? Did you not look at other photos they have taken? Were they not your style? I just don’t understand how that could be?” You are not a professional – they are!
My husband is one of those people. Well, used to be. I think his mind has changed but it has been a long process. Here’s how it all started. We scrimped on my choice of wedding photographer because he (the Mister) felt “anyone” can take photos and he could edit them on our computer. He chose a photographer that took a lot of photos (all unedited) and gave us the copyright to all of them for less than half the cost of my photographer of choice. There is actually one photo from all those that I love. But let me tell you something, the Mister has never sat down and edited any of these photos. Not a single one. To this day, I am still disappointed that I gave in and didn’t have “my” photographer capture the most dreamt of, fun day of my life (up to that point anyways).
This changed when I found out I was pregnant. I remember showing him the link to “my” photographers Facebook page and stating we are doing this – A Baby Plan. A Baby Plan is a series of photo shoots periodically carried out throughout the babys first year and then compiled into a book. The Mister’s words were, “that’s a lot of money, we could take them ourselves. Plus if you do it for one you have to do it for all.” My response was, I don’t care, I will do it for all but they may only be one and I am not missing out. WE ARE DOING IT.”
Here is some behind the scenes shots I took at my daughters first Photoshoot
And here is the finished product…
The day we picked up the finished photo book for our daughters first year my husband looked through that book, turned to me and said “It’s so worth it isn’t it!?” Two more years on and we have just finished with our third child’s last photo shoot. We both can’t wait to see the finished product. In the past three years, I have also heard these words come out of my Misters mouth to other expecting parent… “If I can give you one piece of advice, go and get regular professional photos done to document the pregnancy and the babys first year. It’s so worth every penny.” (I almost died hearing that) His mate and his missus did take the Misters advice but went and found a cheap voucher online deal rather than going with any recommendations or research. When they got their photos there was a lot of disappointment. They were nice photos but they had expected them to look a similar style to ours. They didn’t research the photographer just the price. You get what you pay for.
A photographer, a good one any ways, will have a formal qualification of some kind in the arts. I believe that the best photographers are proper “creatives”. They have investing time and money to learn their craft. They know how to use the light and shadows, how to be candid and how to give direction. Most of all, that person will take time to get to know you and what you want and capture that in a photo.
Take a minute to have a look at all the wannabe photographers on Facebook and Instagram, drapping unironed sheets over the lounge or plonking a baby on the backyard grass in front of an old wood fence. (I am one of those people but I am not charging anyone for photos nor do I ever intend to). There is usually no editing or just instagram filters applied. Actually, there is another technique that I particularly cringe at – the basic change everything to black and white then make the eyes a piercing blue. These photos are ordinary. They are not professional and if you pay for that you are getting ripped off. (Sorry but that is my opinion)
If you gave the same situation to a professional this situation can be made to look amazing but you know what? That’s what you are paying for…the formal training. They know how to take the photo and then make it amazing. They will spend the time after you go home edit, removing things that shouldn’t be in the photo, straightening, blurring the edges, adjusting the contrast and colour and not in Instagram.
Don’t get me wrong, everyone has to start somewhere. So, if you do employ someone starting off, don’t pay a lot for the experience. I trialled one of these when our daughter was three months old. (Between the newborn and six month photo shoots with “my” photographer.) She was a mum with a new camera and some pretty props. I really couldn’t afford another shoot with “my” photographer and I wanted a professional to do a better job than me. All she charged me for was the USB she put 5 photos on. These photos are ok but really the best one looks like a black and white Instagram filter has been applied and that’s it. I am not sharing any of these photos as this photographer was learning and to be honest, I don’t even know if she is still taking photos.
It’s not always just about documenting the kids either. In addition to our hree Baby Plan albums, we have had two other photoshoots in the past three years. One documenting 4 Generations of living Girls and the other documenting a change in the journey and My Nans battle with breast cancer.
Professionals aren’t cheap. You are paying for their time and their creative ability. It only takes half an hour to take 100 photos but it takes hours to trawl through them, choose the best ones, fix the light and edit them to make something pretty special. Do your research. Make sure they are your style. If you haven’t had your photo taken by a professional before I encourage you to give it a go. If you haven’t had a family portrait taken do it. Memories fade but Photographs don’t. You won’t regret a beautiful photo especially if you are usually behind the camera. Don’t miss out on including YOU in the story. You won’t regret it. I promise.
Please note: This is not a sponsored post. All information in this post is my opinion. All photos are shared with permission. To check out “my” photographers work click the link here.
Professionals can also capture the crazy that is three kids under 4 and show the patience of a Great Nana