We live in the age of the instant photo. With a phone in your pocket, it is easy to capture every big milestone, every impressive meal, every you've been framed moment... even every slightly drunken evening that you'd much rather forget. 40 million photos are uploaded to Instagram EVERY DAY. And with phone camera capabilities becoming better and better, why bother hiring a professional photographer?
As a parent myself, there are four really important reasons why I think professional photographs are worth the time and money.
1) These are your heirlooms, to be passed from generation to generation. Phone photos will
stay in the cloud. You might remember the moment fondly when it pops up on your timehop or phone memories, but honestly - how many have you ever actually printed? Which ones would you keep to show your children and your grandchildren? Which will they carefully dust off and bring out at special occasions? Professional family photos are an investment for the future. They won't bring you any financial return, but the emotional responses are priceless.
2) Your phone camera takes a nice photo. Maybe it can even blur the background for you. But it isn't a miracle worker. Your professional photographer can use a range of lenses - not just the wide angle phone lens that leaves you with a slightly large nose. They know light. They know colour. They know editing! They capture you at your very best, and then take it to another level!
3) Isn't there always someone important missing from your photos? The one taking the picture. This is your opportunity for the whole family to get in the frame. We love to look at photos of our children, but I guarantee that when they grow up... and indeed when we are no longer there... they will be desperate to see the photos of us, too.
4) A professional photo session is FUN. Professionals know how to get you to relax and have a great time. We are an egocentric bunch of artists and we want the photos that we take to be a perfect reflection of the joy and love and energy and peace and mess and wonder of your family. We'll play with your children and encourage them to be just a little bit naughty. We'll give you suggestions of where to stand or what to do without piling on any pressure.
This is why I love taking photos. Is there anything more magical than freezing moments in time; manipulating light into a small black box and showing you off at your best? Whether you choose a session in your own home to capture all the little things that make you you, or a session in the great outdoors, you owe it to yourself and to all future generations to go for it.
And if that didn't convince you, then I urge you... heck, I DEMAND you... to go through your phone photos right now and print yourself an album. Hang them on the fridge. Stick an album in the bookcase. Whatever you do, keep those memories.