Having a big family get together and want to capture the moment? Just had a baby and want to get some family shots together? Is your child off to university and you want a family shot before your kids fly the nest? Families are important, and one thing you won’t want to do is look back in a few years’ time and wish that you’d decided to take the opportunities you had to get some professional family photographs done.
So if you are thinking about getting some family photographs done then the next major question is whether or not you want to get a professional in over an amateur. Everyone knows someone who’s relatively handy with a camera, and it can be a real temptation just to pick someone like that in order to keep the costs down.
However, if you’re thinking of going down this route then it’s worth asking yourself a few questions about the person that you’re considering. If this photography session and result means a lot to you, then there are a good few reasons for spending a bit extra to guarantee yourself a finished product that you’re happy with. We’ll explore three of these and hopefully help you better understand why there is significant benefit in choosing a professional.
They might have some gear: do they have all the gear?
Digital SLR cameras are ten-a-penny these days, but possessing a decent digital SLR doesn’t mean you have everything you need to produce high quality photographer. What if something goes wrong? What if the battery runs out? A professional photographer is trained and paid to think about all these things; and this will ensure you get great photos as well as peace of mind.
Whilst they may be a decent photographer; are they good at directing people whilst also making sure the experience is an enjoyable as possible?
Not only do professional photographers bring a significant level of technical expertise to the table; they also have experience of directing people and ensuring that subjects are positioned in the right way. Whilst the amateur you’re thinking about may be able to take a photo without shaking; he’s far less likely to be able to think about the composition and mise-en-scene than a professional would be.
Can they edit photos and ensure that you receive a high quality return?
So, you’ve gone for the amateur and he’s taken some half-decent photos. Does he know how to edit them to make sure they are as high quality as possible? If using film, does he/she know how to use a dark room?
If film is used then extreme care obviously needs to be taken in the developing process – can you trust he/she not to ruin the photos? Once again, the professional photographer is trained in all these things; and as a professional is being commissioned to produce an end product; they will ensure that you get one.
One final question: if you go for an amateur and he doesn’t deliver; how will you feel?
It may be that the family photoshoot was a once in a lifetime chance. Your family might hail from far flung areas of the world and this was the last time you were all going to see each other for an indefinite period of time.
Choosing a professional ensures that you capture that moment effectively and forever. Choosing an amateur is cheap, but risks everything.
You forgot to add that most amateurs don’t know how to use an off camera flash to make sure your subjects are lit properly if needed.