family of five playing hide and seek in trees in Portland

Why you should hire a professional family photographer

Why choose an experienced photographer for your family photos?

There are so many advantages to hiring a professional family photographer, rather than trying to take them yourself or asking your friend to snap a few photos. Someone with the proper training who has been photographing families for years will be able to provide truly beautiful photographs, a stellar experience, and help with so many of those small details that you might not even think of!

dad playing with his kids during professional family photos

When you hire a photographer, they understand how to use their camera properly

A professional photographer will know how to maximize the settings in their camera to create amazing results. Your friend might have a professional camera but they may not know how to expertly use it. Putting it on auto mode is not going to produce the same results as shooting in manual mode.

Mom cuddling her baby in the golden sun during professional photos

A professional family photographer knows how to beautifully edit your images

Great photography isn’t just about the photoshoot itself, it’s also largely about the editing. The way that photographers edit their photos will make a very big difference in the final product. No editing at all will leave you with flat photos that just don’t seem very dynamic. Different photographers have their own styles so make sure to check out their portfolio first to make sure you like how they edit their images.

Mom cuddling her little boy

A trained photographer knows how to get real emotion and genuine smiles out of your family

If your photographer is passionate about what they do, then they have most likely spent thousands of dollars on photography education that specifically teaches how to evoke emotion and make the experience fun for everyone. Sometimes it’s through games, other times they might give you room to just be together and do your own thing while your photographer documents all the little details of your family’s interactions. Someone who isn’t a professional will probably just tell you to “smile” and “say cheese”, and no one looks genuine when told that.

Family smiling on a blanket during professional family photos

They will help you prepare

As a family photographer who has been doing this a long time, I have learned how to prepare the families who work with me so everything goes smoothly. From tips on how to prepare to what to bring to the session, I cover it all. When you hire someone who has lots of experience, they will pass all their knowledge onto you for a smooth session day.

Dad playing with his boys

Established photographers know all the best locations

When you hire a photographer who has been photographing people in their town for years, they should have built up a long list of locations that they love shooting in. I know that my photos turn out so much better when I’m at a familiar location because I know the lighting there, and I know all the little spots that photograph beautifully. Additionally, I have a location guide full of all the best spots so my clients can choose their favorite. If you were to try and take photos on your own, you would have to do the location scouting yourself and you might not know what to look for.

two boys running towards trees at sunrise in Portland

They can help with styling your family

I send out a styling email to all my families which helps them to choose outfits, plus I offer styling services at no additional cost. Clients have access to an online styling tool that will put together outfit combos using available clothing for purchase online, too. Styling is one of my favorite things to do, plus it makes a huge difference in your final photos. I’ve written a lot of blog posts about styling, but if you’re interested I would suggest starting with what colors to wear to your family photos.

portraits of kids

Your photographer may have a client closet

Another perk to hiring a professional photographer is that they may have a client closet that you can borrow from. I have a client closet with over 500 items for families to choose from and it makes it super easy for them. Just show up and I’ll bring the clothing (steamed free of wrinkles, of course).

Dad and son laughing

They have all the best gear

Amazing images can be made with any gear, but having expensive gear can create sharper images and deal with sun flare better. The file sizes will also be larger and able to be blown up for bigger prints and canvases. Professional photographers also may have extra, fun items to create truly unique and artistic images.

Boy kissing moms cheek

You’ll have access to professional printing services

Depending on the photographer you choose, they may offer printing through a professional lab. When you get prints made through a professional print lab the colors will be as they should be, they will be the highest quality, and last for generations. If you’ve ever made a print at Walgreens and they’ve come back super saturated or wonky, this is a great example of why you should print through your photographer.

professional family photos of family with boys

You deserve to have beautiful images of your family and low stress

Having someone help you with all of the preparation and planning that goes into a professional photo session helps relieve a lot of the stress that comes with booking family photos. They will help to document your family and hopefully make it a fun and low stress experience for everyone!

three little boys laughing together

Lets summarize why you should hire a professional family photographer

  • They know how to expertly use a camera
  • Your images will be edited beautifully
  • They will evoke genuine emotion and laughter
  • They can help you prepare
  • Your photographer knows the best locations
  • They can help with styling
  • You can borrow from their client closet so you don’t have to purchase clothing
  • They have the best gear
  • You can order professional prints
  • They can help make the experience fun and low stress

Oh, and one more reason I forgot to mention: we randomly do fun little things for our clients. For example, I write a yearly blog post where I award my clients with silly superlatives!

Ready to book your own professional family photos?

If you are looking to hire your own professional family photographer here in the Portland area, in the Columbia River Gorge, or on the Oregon Coast, look through my portfolio and make sure I’m the photographer for you. Then head over to my contact page and let me know what kind of photo session you are looking for and I will help to make it happen! I also take a select amount of travel sessions each year. And if you’re not quite ready to schedule your photos yet, follow me on Instagram to keep up to date with my seasonal offerings!

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