When Professional Photography Matters

While many of our projects include commercial photography and video production, sometimes we are asked to do the occasional family portrait. So we pack up the camera gear, meet the family in scenic location, and take some really cool photos. What we tend to forget in the hustle, is the potential impact of our work. I was reminded of this when I ran across a post in one of my Facebook groups. In that same group, there are often people looking for an “inexpensive photographer”.

Here is the post:

“…I am so tired of seeing people who want pictures at a reasonable price! I am not a photographer and never will be! But you get what you pay for … I spent out the butt to get pictures of my 3 year old done 14 years ago! He passed away 6 months later due to a tragic accident! All I have are the pictures. They look just as good as they did 14 years ago…not faded at all! Spend money on pictures. You never know when it will be the last time someone captures those moments!

This story broke my heart and at the same time inspired me to think more about what we do and why it matters. It’s always ok to look for the best deal and maybe even hire a friend who is trying to “build a portfolio”.

Just remember that the best deal may not always be ideal.


  1. Get references. Look at their portfolio. If you don’t like their style or just don’t like their work, they’re not the photographer for you.
  2. Are they a beginner and just need more practice to build their portfolio? Decide if you want to let them practice with you.
  3. Do they offer the ability to purchase prints from a professional printer? If you opt for the “disc with printing rights” option, how are you going to print the photos?
  4. Does the photographer keep a copy of your photos in case you lose your disc or computer files?


  • Maternity
  • Newborn
  • One year old portraits
  • “Sweet 16”
  • Prom
  • Graduation and Senior portraits
  • Yearly portraits
  • Wedding (Engagement, Bridal, and Wedding)
  • Big family gatherings or reunions