Documenting what matters most
Most family photographs are taken on cell phones these days. We are fortunate to live at a time when we can carry a pocket-sized device that serves as a phone, calendar, and camera all in one. With the rapid advancement of cell phone camera technology, the photographs that are taken on cell phones are of surprisingly high quality.
Which is why many families may not see the value of hiring a family photographer. However, there are some distinct benefits that come with working with a professional that make the investment a worthwhile one. Here are a few reasons why hiring a professional for family photographs makes sense.
Who is missing?
The first question I always ask is, “Who is missing from this photograph?” It’s whoever is taking the photo! More often than not, that’s mom. Having a professional shoot the entire family together allows the usual “family photographer” to come out from behind the cell phone and be captured in the photograph. Years from now, your kids will thank you for including everyone in the photo.
We could get pretty in depth here, but I will do my best to summarize. Most professional photographers use cameras with a full frame sensor (which is 25x larger than the sensor in the current iPhone 12). Larger sensor = better performance in lower light situations. Smaller sensors will often produce grainier photos in challenging light situations.
Professional photographers also utilize higher quality lenses than what you find on a cell phone. A high quality lens produces sharper photographs overall. These lenses also boost low light performance as they can often allow the photographer to use a larger aperture (known as the f-stop) which lets in more light.
I rely heavily on these factors when shooting in my favorite type of lighting, known as back light. This is when the sun is directly behind my subject. If you’ve tried to do this with a cell phone, you’ve probably ended up with a photo where your subject was too dark or the background was too bright. The full frame sensor on my camera and large aperture on my lens allow me to shoot photographs that preserve the light in both my subject and background.
The photos below involve difficult shooting conditions such as motion, low light, or backlighting.
Professional photographers bring years of experience to every shoot. This experience allows them to choose the best lighting, location and composition to tell your family’s story. They are also able to manipulate the camera to adjust for quick motion, changing lighting conditions, and other unforeseen situational elements that can affect the quality of your photographs.
Photos never come off your phone
How often do you print your photos, either for your wall or for a photo book? So often photos live on phones or computers, never to be shared. We are living during a historic moment. Your grandchildren are going to want to know what it was like to live through the pandemic of 2020. Hire a professional photographer to capture photos of what life is like today (including a few with masks for history’s sake), and then follow their lead on where and how to create pieces of art that your family can enjoy for several generations.
I hope this article helped highlight reasons why hiring a professional family photographer is worth the investment. If you’d like to discuss setting up a photo session for your family, I’d love to hear from you!