I was speaking to someone the other day [someone I had never met before] and we were embarking on the kind of idly small chit chat that everyone dislikes. We got on to the topic of careers. The polite question of what do you do for work popped up [after we had exhausted all there was to say about the weather] followed by my very British well meaning “Oh yes well everyone does need an accountant these days” retort. He then asked what my career was, I then replied that I was a professional family photographer in Surrey. He then responded with “I mean that’s nice but really I always think why should I pay for someone to take photographs of me and my family when I could do it on my IPhone?”
Ouch. Well that was a punch in the stomach. I was nice about your accountant job.
I then found myself babbling. Well, yes, technically speaking you could take lots of lovely family photographs on your IPhone Mr Accountant Man. I then realised that I was actually nodding along and agreeing that technology has massively improved in terms of cameras in phones; when inside I was hurt and angry and quite frankly tired of this person man-splaining what a decent megapixel was.
I know what a good megapixel is, I own a camera and run a wedding and family photography business.
Realistically I know that family photography is a luxury. However, it is in my opinion, one that I believe to be more rewarding than splashing out on a new car, for example. Family photography is an indulgence, but unlike a new car, you can look back through your photographs for years to come. The reality that you can take a nice photograph on your phone is apparent. But what you cannot necessarily create with a phone are un-structured moments. Unlike the skills that some professional photographer’s posses.
As a family photographer, I am able to immerse myself in your life. My approach to photographing your family is to almost not be noticed. My methodology behind A Day In The Life Photography is to capture selected moments unobtrusively throughout a day in your life. This could be anything from be a birthday party, to a Saturday morning where you make pancakes, an adoption celebration day or a nightly bed time routine. The fact is that your family shoot is all about your family and a moment that you find important enough to remember. No matter how big or small.
Now I know that you can take a mean IPhone image of your kid blowing out their candles in a wicked fancy slow-mo effect for social media, but can you capture the moment where your child looks up at you and gives you a kiss at bedtime? The premise of hiring someone to take photographs of you, is that you get to enjoy the interaction with your children and family without having to shout “CHEESE!” while holding up your phone. You can’t always see how your partner stares adoringly at you from the bedroom door as you read stories to your kids at bedtime, or the happy tears that your mum cried when you accepted the adoption certificate at your child’s adoption day. These are the precious moments, captured for you to reminisce and enjoy that a family photographer can encapsulate. These are moments that are sometimes missed; and isn’t that what we crave from life? Memories! That feeling of nostalgia or emotion when looking back through images. Forget your phone, and live in the moment; in the safe knowledge that a professional is capturing these special times for you.
Don’t get me wrong I love a Boomerang effect, but these apps are short lived. An image taken through my camera is not. An IPhone camera cannot compare with the actual skill and creative power that a professional photographer can. The skill is different and that should not be taken away from the art of photography, and fundamentally, this is what it comes down to really. Pictures on your phone are amazing Mr Accountant Man, if you don’t have a camera and want to take a snap. But what a professional family photographer gives you is so much more than just images. They give you the memories frozen in an image forever. Which in my opinion, is possibly the most precious thing of all.