I heard once that the best thing a photographer can do is to get in front of the camera themselves and see what it’s like. Let’s face it, a lot of us enjoying hanging in the background, taking pictures of people, buildings, mountains…whatever you like, but we never really try hard to let someone take a photo of US.
And for those of us who are portrait and wedding photographers…we really should understand what it’s like to be our clients in front of our lenses.
Towards the end of this past summer I decided I wanted to get some photos taken of myself and my family. I really wanted some images of me to use for my business, but we also needed some updated photos of our little clan. I knew right away that Session Nine Photography would be the guys doing this for me. In fact, I think the whole idea to even get pictures might have hit me while following their work. They are amazing photographers in general, but now that we’ve gotten to know them as Jason and Jessica (plus their kids), we’ve become solid friends.
Now, after I booked with them, they followed up with me a few weeks later to have me take THEIR family photos. I was blown away…and totally excited. I posted their images on Monday, which you can see right here. I’m super proud of them and I know they loved the whole experience.
Besides showing you some of our favorite pictures from our shoot with Session Nine, I wanted to persuade you to look into doing the same thing we did. It may not work out that you can swap business with another photographer, where you shoot them, they shoot you, but my point is that you should get SOMEONE to take your pictures soon.
A lot of us have fancy cameras and tripods and remotes. We may think…heck, I’ll just do this myself, I can save money, I have a sweet 5D and lenses with red lines on them, so why wouldn’t I? (or you may have a Nikon, in which case you definitely should have someone with a Canon take your pictures…I’m kidding.)
There are two reasons why I think you gotta book a photographer to capture images of you and your family:
1. It’s an amazing learning experience. First, the amount of preparation my wife and I (mostly her) went into to find the perfect clothes for the shoot. When I arrive to take pictures of clients, I may not immediately think about how hard that bride-to-be, or mother, or family, worked to get themselves looking how they are. It’s important to them. No, it’s HUGE. I don’t think we always realize how big a deal that is to clients. Second, you discover what it’s like to walk around, pose, and feel the lens on you. It will help you better tell your own clients how to act because you KNOW how it is to be in their shoes.
2. You get to support the photographers you love around you. One of the things a lot of togs love to do is to network with each other whenever they can. Photowalks, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, whatever. But do we actually support each other in other, more tangible ways? Yes, you could save money taking your own Christmas photo…but how much more fun would it be to show a fellow photographer that you dig their work by spending a bit of cash on a photoshoot?
That’s just what I came away with from my experience being in front of the lens and also taking pictures of other photographers. It’s uplifting, rewarding and a huge confidence boost. It’s also an awesome learning experience to see how someone else works behind the camera, how they interact with you and what you are feeling during the whole thing.
I urge you to seek out a photographer you love nearby and set up a shoot with them.
And I once again want to thank Jason and Jessica for capturing such beautiful photos of my family. We almost have our Christmas card ready and will be getting a bunch of these printed and hanging on the wall soon! You guys rock, you killed the shoot and it’s been so amazing getting to you know you both. Thanks for the support and your friendship!