As I look back at 2015 it will be defined as the year I spent in the water. Having ponied up for a professional grade camera housing for my DSLR it opened up the possibilities of what had been fun experiments to full-fledged commercial shoots.
I currently have 585 photos on my iPhone. I love my iPhone. It’s an amazing tool to have in my pocket; so much so that it’s the camera I use the most when I’m not being paid by someone. When it comes to dragging a seven pound chunk of metal to Grace’s ice skating lesson I’d rather just reach into my pocket and pull out my phone. If you think the quality isn’t up to par, the following photo was printed at 20×16. I bring this up because, like me, the majority of my clients have hundreds of photos on their phones and in their digital library that they never do anything with. If you are like me, most of those images don’t see the light of day. Maybe a couple end up on a blog or on Facebook, some end up on Instagram but for the most part they are left in digital purgatory and after a few months the special moment you wanted to document is lost. I took it as we were heading out the door to have our family portraits shot.
A few weeks ago we had our family portraits taken. The same questions that pop into my client’s mind popped into mine. What to wear; where to shoot; will the kids behave….I’ve answered those questions countless times.
During a recent family portrait session a mom asked me what was harder – shooting weddings or family portraits? Hands down shooting family portraits is one of the hardest photography jobs. A wedding may be stressful and complex but at least there’s a plan. People are there to celebrate an incredible occasion and they are there to have fun. I can’t say the same for family portraits. Many family portrait shoots are controlled chaos. Sometimes people don’t want to participate or in the case of kids they can’t help being kids.
I am a firm believer that professionals should have a good head shot. For executive professionals the image is usually used for speaking engagements, annual reports, websites and newsletters. Most executives come to me because they need a head shot. I think it is even more important for service-oriented professionals to have a great head shot. Creative professionals tend to come to me because they want a head shot. That was the case with Tina. She wanted a head shot for her new website and marketing materials.
A few years ago most commercial photographers wouldn’t stoop to shooting weddings and family portraits. It was beneath them. Some of the photographers that did, went to great lengths to hide their wedding and family work from their commercial clients. Although I separate my commercial and family work on different websites I’ve never been shy about either. I love working as a photographer. Period. I love shooting both and I’m proud of the work I do in both areas.