It’s a great question, and I think there are four main reasons:
1) At a deep, fundamental level, we want to have mattered. We want to know that while we were here – however fleetingly – we left a mark; that someone cared for us, and that we cared for them.
2) When it comes to our kids and our family, we want to tell our story – just as we are. We want to say to the world: “Hey! This is who we are! We may not belong anywhere else, but we belong with each other because we’re family.”
3) We want to last longer than our allotted time. Our ego wants permanence of our bodies, our looks, our abilities, our opinions. Our spirit wants permanence of the love we feel, and the love we give to others. This is a bit “woo woo” but absolutely true I think.
4) We want to leave something behind for our future generations. We want them to truly see us. To see that we lived, that we loved, that we were here on this Earth, and that in the chaos of life, it somehow made a difference.
Being photographed professionally gives you all of this, and more.
A professional family portrait shows you at your best.
A professional photographer knows how to use light, lenses, angles, posing and personal interaction to get the best out you and your family – WITHOUT “Photoshop” or “Airbrushing”. This skill brings out the best in each of you, so you are captured with dignity, beauty, and grace. (Even if the kids are running around like crazy, and you’re doing your best to simply stay calm…)
And then, once the original image is amazing, a professional photographer will use other tools like Photoshop to simply enhance what is already there – colour, contrast, lighting, mood. (This does NOT include conversations like “make me lose 20 pounds” because a) that’s not reality, and b) the photographer has already made you look your best when the image was first taken.)
A professional family portrait captures your personality and your emotions.
A professional knows how to use the visual language of photography to communicate so much more than what you look like. How you relate to your family, how you feel about yourself, who you love, how you enjoy spending time, what makes you tick. All of these things and more can be read from a well-crafted professional portrait, and a professional knows how to speak this language like a native.
A professional photographer freezes this moment in time, forever.
We often think or say “I wish this moment could last forever.” With the skill of a professional photographer, the moment can last forever. A well-crafted portrait can capture all the chaos and energy of a moment, and preserve that visually, so you can enjoy it over and over again. An archival print of that portrait will last for generations without technology, and will give you an instant portal back to how you felt and who you were with in that moment.
A professional photograph is created in a fraction of a second, but in that fraction of a second is all the training and education, all the trial and error, and all the life and experiences that photographer has had up until that point.
The juggling act.
A great professional photographer can do all of these things while at the same time keeping the kids entertained, keeping the adults relaxed and at ease, and keeping an eye on the light, the background, the foreground, the clothing, the stray hair – AND using highly technical professional equipment to manipulate the flow of light into a fancy box, so that the moment is preserved beautifully, with technical precision, with creativity, and with artistry.
And at the end of all this, the resulting family portraits will last a lifetime, communicate stories of human love and connection, and be a permanent reminder of the amazing, energetic lives that were lived by the gorgeous faces looking out of the image.
That’s why I shoot family portraits. That’s why I do what I do.
Are you part of an energetic, loving, connected family? Want me to capture your story? Drop me a line – I’d love to give you the same amazing experience, and create gorgeous portraits for you and your family.