Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Top 5 Reasons People Don't Book Photo Sessions

There are people out there who are loyal "picture takers", people who's homes are filled with professional photos of themselves and their families. People with beautiful memories that fill their walls. Then there are those people who often want nice pictures taken, but are held back for one reason or another. Here are the top 5 reasons that I have found keep people from booking professional photography sessions and my rebuttals to them.

5. "I Can Take The Pictures Myself"

How many of you have ever thought this when contemplating booking a photo session? Yes we live in a day and age where the digital camera is just as common in the household as a toaster and with scrap booking and photography such fast growing trends, there are a lot of moms out there documenting every second of their family's lives. But there is a BIG difference between family snapshots, and nice professional family photos. And let's face it, even a professional photographer, like me, can't always take ALL the photos themself, there's really only so much you can capture with a tripod and a timer. My husband and I are getting our photos taken by a professional this weekend. Because even though I can, and have, taken our photos myself before, I can't really get the candid, emotional shots that I love when I'm trying to be both in front and behind the camera.

So even if it's only once a year, it really is a wise (and stress-free) investment to hire someone else to take your family pictures for you.

4. Not Enough Time

This, in my opinion, is one of the worst excuses out there. There are 365 days, 52 weeks and 12 months in every year. If you can't find ONE day out of all of that to book a portrait session, then you need to better prioritize your time. Photos are an investment, in a fast paced, hectic world, a picture is able to stop time in it's tracks and freeze a moment forever. there are so many life changing and memorable experiences in life that how can we NOT find time to capture them? Weddings, graduations, baby's being born, baby blessings, birthdays, family reunions, anniversaries etc. Far too often do I hear people telling me how they regret that they never got newborn photos taken of their babies, or that they haven't had a family photo taken since their oldest daughter was born, 12 years ago!

It's easy to let time slip by, if you allow it, but a family portrait session is the perfect reason to put your crazy lives on hold, come together as a family and capture a moment you can cherish and look back on forever.

3. "I Don't Like Pictures of Myself"

I know a lot of people who don't prefer to be in photos because they don't like the way they look or think they're not photogenic. I think this is a selfish mind set. Photos aren't always just of one person, and if you haven't booked a family portrait because you don't like how you look, then you're depriving both yourself and your family of important memories. I can understand being insecure and that a photograph can be a very vulnerable thing, but having a nice photo taken of yourself can also be an uplifting and empowering experience. Often times people don't like how they look in photographs because they over think it and look awkward and stiff. A good photographer knows how to capture people of all different shapes and sizes. They know how to work with angles, lighting and posing that is flattering to you and makes you look good in pictures. If you have a good photographer and vocalize your insecurities with them, they will help you to feel comfortable and confident during your session and the more comfortable and natural that you feel, the more you will like how you look.

2. Weight

This one falls in line with the previous reason, most people who feel they are overweight don't like getting photos taken of themselves. Way too often I hear people say "I really want family photos taken....but I want to lose x lbs first", or "I want to take pics with my newborn, as soon as I get the baby weight off". Next thing they know it's been years and they still haven't had a portrait taken, family or otherwise. Losing weight can be a difficult and timely process, and while I can understand wanting to look good and be in shape for your pictures, at the same time, if you wait til you're "perfect" you may never get pictures taken again. I still have clients I'm "waiting' on that keep telling me their gonna get photos taken soon, "just a few more pounds" they tell me yet I've been hearing that for years. I think it's all about priorities and what's really important. Looking super stick thin for your pictures and passing up multiple opportunities to document the years with your family, or being a little heavy but having years of photos with your family as they grow? Again, if you find a good photographer, and express your weight concerns with them, they will help you feel and look good in your photographs.

And the number 1 reason most people shy away from getting professional photos taken is....


Yes, professional photography can be expensive, but let's talk about why. As a professional photographer I work and have been working extremely hard to learn and improve my skill and knowledge. Photography is an art form, an expression of ones personality, attitude and style. A good photographer knows how to capture someone in their true and unique form. There are a lot of people out there who think that a nice camera=nice photos, but that is simply not the case. While photography is about learning, knowing and understanding your camera, it is also about lighting, posing, angles, knowing how to frame and capture your subject and it's about learning how to deal with and interact with people. Making people feel comfortable, look natural and be themselves in front of a camera. There is a technical, a creative and a business aspect of photography and not all photographers are mastered in all three aspects. A good photographer is in touch with their own personal style and flare but doesn't limit themselves to one particular way of shooting. Photography truly is an art from that is not only learned, but mastered.

Photography is also expensive on the photographer's end. We have constantly evolving products we have to keep up with, and camera equipment isn't cheap. Camera bodies alone can be $1000's of dollars, then we've got all the different lenses that allow us to capture images differently and uniquely. We've got lighting, props, camera accessories etc. If you want nice professional images, you need a photographer who has high quality equipment. Everything we own and use costs us money, then you have to factor in our time as well. For me, photography is my lively hood, it's my full time job and main source of income. I am extremely passionate about what I do and have taken years to develop my talent. I work hard to ensure that each session is a fun and genuine experience, so underselling myself wouldn't be fair to me or my clients. Often times in the photography world what you pay for, is what you get. If you choose to be cheap and go with someone who charges next to nothing, then chances are, that's what you're going to get. Discount photos that often lack a lot of style, professionalism and quality.

So next time you think you can't afford a professional photographer, or consider just going with someone cheap, think about if someone didn't want to pay you all the money you work so hard to earn. Like I said before, professional photos are an important investment worth making time for, and if you have to, saving up for, cause you know what they say...

"...A picture is worth a thousand words".