• Lauren

Why hire a professional photographer?

Updated: Jul 19, 2018

My unbiased opinion as to why you should hire a professional photographer - and not necessarily me I’m talking about, even though it would seem easy to ‘blow my own trumpet’ here…..but, just hear me out and keep reading, OK?

OK, so yes, I’m a professional Tauranga wedding photographer. Quick intro, I spent 2 years studying my discipline, 5 years practising my craft and thousands of dollars investing in my equipment and software, like many others before me. But this blog post isn’t about why you should hire me for your wedding, family portrait or other special event, it’s about when in 10, 20 or 30 years time you can look back at the photos of that special occasion with the younger generation, without cringing or having to explain “We got Uncle Bob to take the photos because he had a fancy camera”. Having a expensive or top-of-the-range camera is as good at taking photos as a laptop computer is at writing a novel - it’s the person behind the equipment with training, knowledge and artistic ability to turn a digital image into a precious memory.

A Bride and Groom kissing with water reflection
A sweet moment in a stunning location

How amazing is it that we live in an age where photographic technology has evolved so rapidly? Now everyone who has a smartphone can take fairly decent photos with it, and why wouldn’t you? It’s multi-functional, easy to use, fits in your pocket and can take it practically anywhere, which allows us to capture some pretty amazing things and document just about every aspect of our lives to share with the world. Whereas only 10-15 years ago this was not possible. Problem is, is that you don’t hire a professional photographer to photograph your restaurant/cafe meal or latest clothing ensemble for your social media gratification. Because let’s be honest, you’re not going to look back on those images on your social media and say “So glad I have an online album of numerous food snaps”, not my idea of a heart-stirring precious memory.

Speaking of precious memories, it’s not just your wedding day that you want to immortalise, don’t look past getting some beautifully done, fun family photos. All to quickly our kids grow up and leave home to begin their own adventures. Then those opportunities of being together in the same place become less frequent or a lot harder to achieve. I know I’m guilty of this - I’m always telling myself and my hubby that we need more family photos together - one’s where I’m actually in the shot for a change and not behind the camera as usual! So take this time, now, to ‘pause’ these fleeting moments of little hands, cheeky smiles and the dynamic that is your family. The same goes for other special events, such as milestone birthdays and anniversaries. Trust me, you won’t regret looking back with fond memories of these in the years to come....especially when loved ones are gone, they’ll become even more cherished and meaningful.

A relaxed and candid family portait with a baby
A relaxed and candid family portrait

Which leads me to my next point….It always makes my heart sink when people email me and ask if I can fix their blurry, underexposed wedding/event photos that a friend took, to make them look like some of my client photos. The short answer is No. A professional photographer knows how to correctly compose and expose for the shot, make adjustments in camera with the settings and functions of their camera equipment. Now I use Photoshop for my post-shoot processing, and I know enough about this amazing piece of software to bring to life my photographic artistic goals, but I am by no means a Photoshop pro editor.

And here’s my next point…..Some people are under the belief that Photoshop is a magic wand that all professional photographers wield. This is not entirely true. Professional photographer’s can work with a number of different photo editing software to achieve their artistic style. In fact, most professional photographers’ will have enough knowledge of their chosen editing software to get the job done. So when I start hearing things like “Can you Photoshop my *insert missing person here* into our family/group photo, here’s a picture of them for you to use” or “Can you make me a bit thinner” and “Can you photoshop out my double chin” I try not to sigh in frustration as they are completely missing the point of my profession. Post processing after the initial shoot is only one part of the overall workflow process for a photographer. Time, energy and money have been spent before and long after the shoot has finished.

People often assume that professional photographers are willing work for free. I don't need the 'exposure', thanks.

Which brings me to my final point...The bitterness of bad photographs remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten. So let me ask you this, If you invest so much of your time, energy and money into preparing for your dream wedding day, then why would you leave the documenting of the best day of your life to chance? As admirable as it might seem to bestow the honour of photographing your special day to a close friend or family member, just don’t do it. You cannot hit the rewind button and repeat moments lost, there is no do-over. By hiring a professional photographer you are investing in the longevity of those special life events, it’s our goal and mission to capture those precious moments, a loving embrace, the first kiss, a cheeky grin, a sweet smile, or my personal favourite the real and raw emotion of a surprise proposal.

Why you should hire a professional photographer

I hope this blog has helped (swayed?) you in some way. Before I started down this career path, I too use to wonder why you would hire a professional photographer? I thought taking photos was as simple as a click of the button….you know, point and shoot sort of thing? But since doing my diploma it’s really opened my eyes to what my wedding photographer was thinking and feeling when we paid him to immortalise our wedding day. The best $4000 we ever spent, because our digital photos and stunning album are still paying dividends from that amazing day 11 years ago. I gained a new perspective and appreciation for this profession, and I love it in all its facets. So to wrap it up and bring this blog post to a end, this basically sums up how I feel......

We don't just shoot what it looks like, we shoot what it feels like.

We take photos as a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone.

If you would like to find out more about me and my work, please contact me or check out my photography packages here

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