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As a photographer, I felt the need to express why I think professional photography’s important. Hopefully the following correlation of my thoughts will shed a little light onto why you should too.
Whether you’ve never considered having professional photographs done, you think photographers are overpriced, have your own digital camera, or you actually have thought about having professional photographs taken, this applies to you!
Photographs are our own personal stories, a timeline of our lives filled with the places and faces we love. Living in a generation were digital cameras sell for under $100 at Walmart it’s easy to buy your own camera to take photographs, in fact most of you likely have computers and mobile phones filled with thousands of digital images. Now, let me ask you how many of those photographs you can actually hold in your hand or hang on your wall? How many are really good portraits you can hand out in Christmas cards, put into picture frames, or hand down generations? Chances are, there aren’t very many and that’s a large part of why I desperately love what I do.
Traditionally, when asked which items people would rescue from their home in the event of a fire, the frequent answer would be a treasured photo album. In more modern times, a computer filled with all their digital images will also come to mind. The impulse to save our recorded memories is powerful, this tells us just how important the role of photography plays in our lives. It’s my goals as the owner of Evelyn Barkey Photography to capture those special moments and distil them into images that will last a lifetime. Whether it’s the celebrations of birth, an engagement, marriage, anniversary, family photographs, holidays, or love in general, we record them because they matter. For the purposes of this post I want to focus more on the ordinary moments in life. The majority of people know the importance of professional photography on big days such as their wedding day, but what about all the other big events in our lives? That family photo that everyone can cherish and look back on years later, a newborn child in their first weeks of life, photographs of your children as they grow up (so fast, might I add) or photographs of you and your spouse on your anniversary.
I truly believe you need to have professional photographs taken at least once in your life to fully understand the value in paying a photographer. We’ve done this before, any photographer worth their salt will take the time to get to know you, your style, and relationship in order to create those moments that portray your true personality. Every session is different in its own way, for me, capturing that difference is what makes this job so special. Seeing my clients through my photographs in a way that expresses who they are as individuals is very important to me. It takes a lot of practice to get that out of an image and the result is rewarding for all parties involved.
Another big factor to understanding our profession is that you’re not just paying your photographer for the number of hours in your session. There’s much more involved outside the time we’re taking photographs that’s often-times overlooked. Between bookings, preparation, travel, meetings, importing, editing, designing, exporting, packaging, and delivering there are many elements involved in getting you that finished product. On top of that, pro-level equipment runs from $3000 to $7000, and the average pro-level lens costs around $2000. Not to mention, backup batteries, camera bodies and other equipment in case of electronic failures, it adds up quickly! That’s not even taking into account the computers, software, flashes, light meters, tripods, ect! Take all that into account and I think you’ll find the hourly session rates reasonable.
I could go on, but in an effort not to ramble I will conclude that hiring a profession photographer should be seen as a meaningful investment. Yes, it can initially appear like a lot of money, but most of my clients end up loving the results and rebooking several times. If your photographers anything like me, they’re truly passionate about their work and exceeding your expectations means everything to them. From how comfortable we make you feel during the shoot, to the care we take editing and packaging your images when they’re delivered, it’s not just a job to us. Photographers, like myself, work hard to make you feel as though your money is being well spent. From the little details like how quickly we finish your images and the way we package them when they’re delivered, to the big details like how we make you feel during the process and the way we edit your images. We genuinely care from beginning-to-end, your satisfaction and feedback means everything in this business.
I feel like I’m writing a resume trying to selling myself as a photographer, but truly my intention is to simply shed some light on why I love what I do and hopefully encourage those people on the fence about hiring a photographer to give us a chance!