share this post:
Why Should I Have Photo Shoot? A Candid Response From A Professional Photographer
One of the questions I get asked the most by potential clients is: Why should I have a photo shoot? So many people feel silly paying a professional photographer to shoot their images, like they “aren’t allowed” to have photos just of them or that it’s somehow an egotistical move to want to have their portrait shot. My answer is often: Why not?
Best Reasons For Being Photographed
As a professional photographer, I see a photograph or portrait as a moment in time that will never happen again, a time capsule that will outlive us all. I imagine children and grandchildren looking at the photographs sometime in the future as a treasured keepsake or maybe searching for a piece of the complicated puzzle that is them. I imagine spouses looking through photographs and memories of their treasured loved one that has passed from this earth. In all honesty, at some point in the future what we leave behind are photographs and memories.
When we lose someone we love, what is the first thing we look for? Photographs. I look at photographs of my grandparents, my parents when they were young, my children when they were infants and toddlers – often!
Do you have beautifully shot legacy images and art pieces that will be passed on for generations, or are all your photographs on a phone or computer hard drive that will be misplaced or lost at some point down the line? Are they clear, well-lit images, printed on archival materials that will endure, or pixelated blurry shots you can barely make out? These are all questions I ponder.
The Storybook of Our Lives
One of my favorite things to do with images I have captured of my clients is look through my favorites… the silly laughs, the beautiful poses, the amazing connection, the expressions, the personalities. We are beautifully and wonderfully made. All of us. For this reason, we all deserve to exist and live on in pictures.
A superpower I possess as a photographer, is seeing… truly seeing… my client’s inner personality and capturing it in photographs. I want my clients to look at their images and say, “This is me! You did it, you captured my personality in these pictures!”
Often, when I ask my clients what they haven’t liked about their photographs in the past, hidden under the surface of their answer is generally a dislike of what they see is a fake smile, a fake expression. They want real smiles, real laughs, real connection, real facial expressions, for instance.
Our photographs are the storybook of our lives. A storybook that is all words and no pictures, is downright boring. Like a dry piece of toast. Picture storybooks, on the other hand, are fun to look at. Photographs and memories.
Why Should I Have A Photo Shoot? Time Doesn’t Stand Still
One thing I wish I had more of are images of myself in my 30s and 40s. Life was busy with young children then, and I was often behind the camera, so I really have very few images of myself at that age. I notice it now that I am starting to show may age.
When I talk with my clients, I notice they feel that way too. One comment I receive often is, I wish I had done this sooner. As a result, many of my clients return every few years for a shoot, they send their children and teenagers to me for photographs, and they refer their friends. Once you see the value of great images, you can’t unsee it.
Should you be professionally photographed? My question to you, is this: WHY NOT? If you were 5, 10, 20 years into your future and you had a time machine looking back, would you wish more images of you, your family, your friends existed right now? Time marches on and the truth is, none of us will be this young again. Photographs and memories.
Natalie Wallace is an accredited master photographer living in Bellevue, Washington. She owns Natalie Wallace Photography, a boutique studio in Issaquah, Washington. Her specialties include beauty, boudoir, fashion and branding photography. For booking, please fill out a contact form on her website at: Natalie Wallace Photography