I'm a little bit biased, but there are incredible benefits to professional family photos that I don't think people realize beyond the fact that they are lovely images of your smiling loved ones. Today, I'll concentrate on one important benefit that I believe is often overlooked: it's just easier.
Living in Clearwater, I'm presented with this image along the beach almost constantly: a family vacationing or just hanging out along the beach is trying to get family portraits. No one is nearby to hold the camera, so instead they perform the swapping dance. Mom holds the camera. Then dad holds the camera. Great Aunt Bertha holds the camera. And there is always that one family member who isn't as familiar with the camera or the phone. With larger groups of families, this becomes an entire affair. Simple outings to Clearwater Beach or a local restaurant are held up for the swapping dance - instead of simply enjoying one another's company and the experience, family trips become a series of photo op locations.
In fact, I've experienced this with my own family more times than I can count. We don't want to leave anyone out, but there's nobody nearby we can ask to hold the camera, or it's just inconvenient at the time. But we can't just leave our cameras at home because we really do want some photos in order to immortalize happy memories.
The solution to all of this is simply to hire a photographer. Enjoy your week or weekend of vacationing, then set up a convenient date and time when everyone can get together. No longer do you have to worry about herding everyone together for family photos when you'd really just like to enjoy the moment - you can be secure with the knowledge that later in the week, a photographer will come to capture formal and candid photos of the entire group - no herding necessary.
What happens after the vacation? Speaking from personal experience, photos are are all over the place: I have photos on my camera, mom has a million more on her phone. Some will get downloaded to a computer, some will stay on phones and cameras, and the rare bunch will actually get uploaded and shared on Facebook or Instagram.
With a professional photographer, those worries vanish. I offer clients their own online gallery where every single, retouched photo from the session is optimally sized for social media and downloadable. That same gallery can be shared with family and friends so that everyone gets a chance to download, share and order prints. The images, and the wonderful memories from that day, don't vanish into noisy digital space. They are brought out into the light for years to come, much like those old family albums filled with 4x6 glossies from Eckerd. Remember those days?
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