The value of portraits…confession from a photographer



Today marks the 10th month anniversary since my brother’s passing from cancer.  As I reflect on the past year, I’m reminded of things that I missed and should have taken more seriously.  One of those was having professional family portraits taken by a photographer while my brother was still alive.

As photographers, sometimes we get into the mindset that “we can do this ourselves” when in reality it’s incredibly difficult to be the photographer and in the photos….we end up missing important moments or we aren’t included in them because we were taking the photos.

My goal in January 2012 was to hire a professional photographer (friend) to take family portraits of all of us before my brother passed away from his cancer.  The photographer I wanted to hire is amazing and she does a beautiful job.  I love her energy, her work, her kind heart and knew she would have taken great care in spending time with us capturing so many special unnoticed moments.  I also knew she was worth the money to hire…that was never an issue.  Sadly, another family member who is also a professional photographer talked me out of what I wanted to do…saying “we can do this ourselves.”  I didn’t want to rock the boat, so I obliged.

We all met up in Wenatchee and spent time together locally and in Leavenworth.  We had a nice visit and throughout the visit my camera was snapping away capturing lots of moments.  As I look through the photos there are a few things that I have noticed…I’m not in most of them (because I was taking photos), and they’re just snapshots not truly a “portrait.”  A portrait for me are those images that you want to put on a canvas and hang on the wall above the fireplace.  Those beautiful ones that capture moments between family members…that happen naturally during a photo session.

We took some quick snapshots outside up against the front of my parents house…in a row…almost like a police lineup.  Don’t get me wrong I’m grateful to have the photos…but they’re not portraits.  As a photographer, I know the value of a portrait and communicate that to my clients all the time.  Now, as I look back I place even more value on capturing those family moments…by a professional…going forward!  No more “Do-it-yourself” family portraits for this photographer.

My goal today with this post is to remind you….take time and schedule those family portraits you’ve been waiting on.  Hire a professional, someone that will take those moments and capture the magic with their camera.  Images you will be proud to put on a canvas and hang on your walls.  (Even if you’re a photographer…hire another professional to take your portraits.  You will be thankful you did!)

It’s so easy for me to hide behind the camera lens, because that’s where I’m the most comfortable.  It’s been two years since we’ve had some professional photos taken and it’s time to have more done this year.  I’m thankful for the photos I have of my parents, dogs and horse….I would have loved something like this with my brother.

Starting this year, I’m making a promise to have yearly family portraits that will capture special, goofy, silly and loving moments that I can proudly display on my wall!

Oregon Coast Photos by Best Impressions Picture Company, Pacific City, Oregon |  Fall Orchard Photo by NCW Digital in Wenatchee, WA.



The value of portraits…confession from a photographer


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