This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to sneek away for two days in the mountains of Woodland Park for a women’s retreat.  We laughed, we cried, we ate amazing food,  shared our heartaches, and God showed up!  It was amazing!

During which time, while we were making dinner I began talking about photography.  My friend, who also shares hosting our Mom2Mom group in Boulder began talking about her horrible experience having her family photographs taken.  I realize not everyone can afford hiring a professional photographer, so there was no judgement passed when I saw these photos hanging on her walls last spring.    However, there were also no words either.  My heart broke when I saw them, because it is my deepest desire that families, especially of young children have beautiful photographs that document those fleeting days.

This is why each year, I make it my top priority to have our family photographs taken by my dear friend Stacey Z.  She is great with kids, and always does an outstanding job!  I recently read a great article on a site called “Reflections by Louise” that gave the top 10 reasons to hire a professional photographer, so I wanted to share them with you.


Even photographers hire photographers. “Why?” you ask. “If you own a good camera, you don’t need a professional photographer, right?” Wrong. And here are the top 10 reasons why you should hire a professional photographer.


10. You will be in the images. In most families, there is a designated ‘photographer’, and often it is Mum. This means that there are rarely any photos of Mum in the albums. Or, the photos of Mum aren’t so flattering as they have been taken by another member of the family that hasn’t practiced much.


9. Your session will be thought out and styled. Unlike family snapshots, when you book in your portrait session your photographer will guide you on how to style the session. This will involve choosing the right location to suit your style and family and will also cover what to wear and how to prepare. This single point can make a huge difference in how professional your images will look.


8. Quality of the equipment. Most of my clients own a DSLR. The fact that they hire me shows that they value photography, so many of them have their own camera as well. Although cameras are expensive, the cameras and lenses that your photographer owns cannot compare in quality to ordinary consumer cameras. Most clients love images where the subject is clear but the background is blurry. This is called bokeh. In order to achieve good bokeh, you need superior equipment. Your photographer will have all the equipment required to produce beautiful images, that most ordinary households won’t have.


7. Following on from point eight, your photographer will know how to use their equipment. Most of my clients that talk about their cameras will also admit to me that they turn their camera to auto and let their camera do the work. Modern cameras can take great images on auto, but things can go very wrong too. This can result in dark images, blurry images or the on board flash popping up to light your subject. Your photographer will know how to use their equipment and will have manual control over their camera. They will be choosing their ISO, shutter speed and f-stop to ensure the image is well exposed. They will know their equipment in and out.


6. Photographers carefully re-touch your images. We use products like photoshop and lightroom to ensure that your images are properly exposed, the colours are perfect and the image is polished to a professional level.


5. Attention to detail. Your photographer will pay attention to the detail. With newborn photography, babies are posed right down to the position of their hands. Blankets are smoothed out. Fabrics are ironed. Background clutter is removed. The time of day is carefully planned. Every part of the image and your session is carefully planned to ensure that you get the best images possible.


4. Fresh eyes. Your photographer will bring fresh eyes to your family and will look at your family in a unique way. They will offer suggestions and solutions that you haven’t seen or though of and this will result in images that you may not have thought to capture.


3. Investing in your home. One of the goals of most sessions is to produce images that will be enlarged and framed for the wall. This is an investment in your home and can enhance a room. You spend a lot of time and hard earned money furnishing your room, finishing it off with professional  images of your family only makes sense.


2. Professional photographers have a lot of training and experience. It takes years and a lot of hard work to hone photography skills. Your photographer will have spent a lot of time and money educating themselves on how to use compose your images and light them well to create a lovely gallery of images for you to choose from.


1. I believe that the number one reason to hire a professional photographer is that once that day is over or that time-frame has passed, it is now a precious memory and you will want the best images possible of those memories. This is even more important for those moments that cannot be relived, like weddings, maternity images, newborn images and other important milestones. Please make sure you capture the best images possible, so you will always look at those images and smile warmly. These photos will take you back to that time or that day, to a place where you can almost smell the flowers and touch the perfect newborn skin. It is definitely worth hiring the best you can afford to capture those precious memories.

I realize sharing my family photographs comes a little late after the Holidays, but I hope you’ll still enjoy them.  I’m currently thinking about how I’ll display them in my home.  I think I’ll do a wall design in my kitchen, since this is where we spend most of our time together, with the letters LOVE hanging above them.  I saw some aluminum letters at Anthropologie that I’ve fallen in love with that I think I’ll pick up, but I’m also inclined to make my own too.  I’ll let you know what I come up with when I’m done!


Boulder Family Photographer