Sure, smartphone cameras are pretty good for taking photos on the fly, but how many of these images do you have printed? How many are hanging on your wall? I'm guessing ZERO. My generation and those younger than us are probably going to have the least amount of professional photos hanging in their houses, and that's a damn shame.
What was your childhood home like? Did your Mom and Dad have all kinds of photos of you printed and put in frames set all around the house? Perhaps you actually had a drawing or painting of you hung somewhere? I know my childhood house did. I loved seeing picture of us hanging on our wall. My home now has even more photos- but nearly none of them are in frames. Most of ours are hanging on our walls.
Besides having your wedding photographed professionally, I highly recommend that you also have either a family portrait, a head-shot for business, a boudoir shoot, or just a fun shoot to be able to have some awesome portraits of yourself and your loved ones. You should have this done every couple years- and here are a few of the many reasons why:
1. I'm very happy that I have some professional photos of me in my wedding gown looking thin and fabulous (thank you Carol Malick) BUT, after 6 years of marriage, it's hard to justify posting these photos over and over on social media. Do you still have your wedding dress? Do you want to put it back on for a fun shoot with your daughter? Or just by yourself? Do it! I did! I've worn my dress 3 times since I've gotten married. The poor thing is filthy. It's worth it to get some awesome portraits that you may not have gotten on your wedding day.
2. Children grow- FAST! When our family went on vacation to North Carolina 2 years ago, we hired a professional photographer (Shooters At the Beach) to take our first family photos. Yes, even us professionals rely heavily on other trusted professionals! We have about 20 canvas prints of this beach session printed and hanging on our walls. About 10 of them are hanging on the wall by the staircase going to our upper level in our house. Every time I go up and down the stairs, I see a little Sophia staring at me. Time to update our family photos!
3. I thought I looked my best when I got married at 27, and had a sleek figure. Well, it turns out I like my body a little more after having a baby. If you are self-conscience about having your portrait taken, remember: a professional photographer will listen to your concerns and will pose you in a way to hide any features that you may not like about your body. At the same time, they will make sure they they accentuate the features that you do like.
4. We have the Photoshop! If posing doesn't alleviate your concerns, we have the technology to tuck, nip, airbrush and reconstruct. Even the skinniest models get this treatment. Do not feel bad about it. I'd be lying if I said I didn't retouch my skin and tuck in areas on my body after a session. We're human. Take advantage of a person who truly knows what they're doing in photoshop! For example, which of the three images below do you think is the best? If you think #2 one is the best, then I'm very sad.
The first photo is the raw, unedited photo of me. The middle is a ridiculously, overly airbrushed and tooth whitened me. The last one is somewhere in the middle. Just a little retouched, but you can still tell that it's me. Unfortunately, we see a lot of this super retouching going around.
5. Preserve precious memories! When my daughter was born, my grandmother was 92 years old. We had 4 generations of living women to photograph! We had Tony take some photos of us and we printed our favorites. I'm so happy that we have them. My grandmother is currently 95. I know that me and my mom will cherish our prints long after she's gone.
6. Do it for yourself. I don't care if you're a man or woman, have your portrait professionally taken for yourself! It doesn't have to be boudoir-esque. It can be a stylized shoot that is aimed to fit your wants and desires! Do it for you!
7. I'll end on lucky #7. Do it for your significant other. What is more amazing than having an awesome print or album of your spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, significant other? Or WITH your significant other?