5 Reasons to Hire a Professional Photographer

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Image via Amanda Rodriguez

I have been a professional family photographer longer than I have been a blogger and a writer (not counting the princess stories I pinned through elementary school).

It actually is how I got into social media and blogging. I started my first blog for my photography business and then went on to found my personal blog and move into the world of lifestyle blogging. As much as I love blogging, photography is my first love.

I know that with DSLRs so accessible to people these days, the allure of hiring a family photographer is diminishing. Making the investment in a camera and having a friend shoot your pics seems more economical than hiring a pricey photographer to do the capturing for you.

I get that; I do. Time, money, effort — all of it plays a role.

With all of that in mind, I say totally buy yourself that fancy camera … but still hire yourself a photographer.

outside with dog
Image via Amanda Rodriguez

It’s NOT just the camera.

I can’t tell you how many times friends come up and say, “I have the same camera. How come my photos don’t come out like yours?” Welllllll, because I make my living this way! It’s kind of like saying, “My son has the same bat as Manny Machado. How come he can’t hit home runs?!”

I have countless hours of practice, training, and knowledge under my belt. I shoot in manual. I know how to Photoshop J.Lo into a photo. My photos are better because it is my job for them to be.

ar
Image via Amanda Rodriguez

You can be IN the photo.

Even I hire a family photographer from time to time. Of course, I can set up the camera correctly inside of my studio, and use my lighting and a tripod to get a decent family photo. Sometimes I do just that. But then I can’t be me with my family.

A good photographer is able to capture you and your family BEING a family. They can find the right moment and click the shutter in just the right way to capture the essence of who you are together. Try getting grandma to do that. Fuhggetaboutit.

{ MORE: Picking a Rocking Family Photographer }

baby boy
Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Your kids will show their best selves.

This is not a guarantee. Unfortunately, I have had children do everything from breaking my camera (yes, really) to throwing sand in my face during photo sessions. It’s part of my job, but it’s not the norm.

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Honestly, I think the whole stranger-danger thing helps me get a leg up with kids. By the time they are comfortable enough to misbehave, it is usually time for me to say “Adios!” But even on those occasions, when I want to actually run screaming to my car from the very beginning of the session, I have been able to capture some images of that monster child being beautiful. A smile, a look, a moment when their true human (not the one hopped up on sugar, lack of sleep, and moodiness) comes out.

I’m always watching for it, coaxing it, helping it want to be a part of the experience because I count those moments as priceless, and the parents always do, too.

baby walking
Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Your husband might cooperate.

Just like the kids, I can’t promise, but grown-up husbands are much more likely to perform for me than they are for you. And for longer, too! They at least appreciate the investment and want to get their money’s worth from the whole thing. All you have to do is get him to show up and make sure he is wearing something appropriate, the rest your photographer will handle.

dudemom
Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Your photos will be more than just snapshots.

These aren’t your everyday snapshots taken with your phone. As much as I love some of the on-the-fly iPhone pics I’ve snagged of my children, my most cherished images are ones that I took of them with my real camera where I thought about things like lighting and location and such. They are the ones I am happy to blow up and place on my living room wall like the art that they are.

When I meet with a family to photograph them, this is my goal: to capture them authentically in images that they can use as portraits for years to come.

{ MORE: Outraged Mom Says 'Walmart Illegitimately Withheld My Baby Photos!' }

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5 Reasons to Hire a Professional Photographer

Amanda has been wowing the Internet since 2008 when she launched her pretty-much-useless guide for parents, parenting BY dummies. As it turns out, her parenting advice is not generally useful for more than a good laugh, but sometimes that’s exactly what you need! Amanda spends her offline time (which is embarrassingly limited) running a photography business, working as a social media director for a local magazine, writing freelance articles about stuff she loves, wrangling her 3 little Dudes ... More

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