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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Why hire a professional photographer?

You love photography, you invested in a "good" camera, you photograph your children almost daily so why would you spend money, a significant chunk of money on a professional photographer?

Let me tell you why.

  1. You are not in the photo.  You are the lover of photography so you are the one who is always on the other side of the lens.  It is important for you to be in the photos with them too, so you need some one else to be taking the photos for once.  Go read this article that inspired tens of thousands of mothers to get them selves in the photos more often. It is important because it is what our children will treasure when we are gone, the photos of us loving on them, the details of the moment in time that included you.  It is easy to delay the choice to get in the photo, hoping that next week we will be less tired, slimmer, wearing a cuter outfit, having children with less dirty fingernails.  Unfortunately that moment rarely just appears, you need to just stop procrastinating and book the session, the rest will fall into place. You may even be actively avoiding  the camera because of self consciousness but a professional photographer will help with that.  Leading me to reason number two.
  2. A professional will coach you.  My goal is to get photos that help you to look the very best you can.  This does not mean that I don't capture candid moments, because I always do.  It means I climb up ladders to shoot down at you.  (Quick tip to get more flattering photos of your self, sit down when some one aims a camera at you, keep them above you and only tilt you eyes to them not your chin.)  I am full of tips and tricks and I move my camera to catch your best angle.  I also set you into a flattering pose and then inspire magic to happen, telling your kid a joke that has you both in fits of giggles, you just so happen to be giggling in a slimming pose, that's all.  Even if you have the body of Kate Moss, I guarantee you will not accidentally fall into a modelling pose.  Flattering poses look amazing but never happen in nature, just like push up bras and stilettos.  I can snap you in a few high fashion poses and remind you that mama's still got game!  With the right photo coach you will have fun and get amazing photos, with lots of variety and different moods in one session.
  3. Friends don't let friends have muffin tops.  I am your very special photo fairy who removes all the distractions from an image and lets the emotions shine through.  You will still look like you, no one is going to look at your photo and see the fairy's work.  I am the most vain person you will ever meet.  It's not something I am really proud about, but it is the honest truth.  When I am polishing my clients photos, I think to my self would this stray hair, squinty eye, or bra strap take away from my enjoyment of this photo if that were me in the image?  If the answer is yes, then poof, gone.  I really feel that I am an artist and not just some one who takes photos because a lot of artistry goes on behind the scenes of your session.  Think of my work more like a painted portrait of your family, with an artists' vision layered on top of the image. 
While we are on the topic of post processing images (photoshop) let me demonstrate to you an few extreme examples. This first image was one I took of my self and my daughter.  I used a tripod and a remote. 
The results were not ideal, the pose is horrible since I had no coach or any idea what the camera was seeing.  At first glance that is all my eyes could see were the flaws, but I forced my self to take a harder look and this image jumped above the rest because it had captured great emotion, a beautiful moment I was sharing with my daughter.  I remember loving being in that moment and that is why I clicked the remote hoping to catch that feeling ... I also caught some completely unflattering chin.  Please know that this image would never happen to you, I would have been able to prevent every thing wrong with this photo if I were not the subject of it. 
After processing
I just want to show you that even with extensive retouching the final product still looks like me.  Nothing in the processed image screams EDITS WERE MADE.  The edits do allow this vain mama to see past her nit picking and simply remember the moment as I experienced it.

"So when all is said and done, if I can't do it for myself, I want to do it for my kids. I want to be in the picture, to give them that visual memory of me. I want them to see how much I am here, how my body looks wrapped around them in a hug, how loved they are." - Allison Tate

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