In our world of high end technology, user friendly gadgets and do-it-yourself guides on the internet, it seems as if there is no longer the need for a professional. From something as simple as changing your oil to as complicated as planning a wedding, it just doesn’t make sense to pay someone to provide a service when you can perform the same service for free. Inevitably, there are individuals who do not like to get oil on their hands or just have no time to plan a wedding and the professionals in these fields are utilized.
But what about a photograph? From the time we are children, most of us know how to work a camera. Pushing a button and instructing everyone to yell, “cheese” doesn’t seem like much of a professional feat. Even taking the time to line a few people up correctly takes very little effort, nearly anyone could accomplish that. One hour photo shops litter our street corners making it so easy to print your own masterpiece that it seems ridiculous to pay more than twenty five cents for a print. Most importantly, if you can pick up the same camera your local professional photographer uses for a fair price and switch it on to “auto exposure” then it’s very plain to see why the shelf life of a career photographer has nearly expired.
The process of professional photography extends far beyond the time it takes to snap the photo and drive down to the drugstore to pick it up. It entails countless hours of painstaking color correcting, cropping, skin softening, eye enhancing…the list goes on and on. In our day and age, a photographer cannot survive in the professional world if they are unaware of how to remove a blemish or change the color of the sky.
This is why photography must be seen as an art. Professional photographers are not charging for a snapshot they think might be a little better than yours, they are charging for a photograph that has gone through the steps of becoming art, like a painting on the wall. An investment in an heirloom that will last a lifetime and capture the true beauty of you, your family or your child.
There are times for snapshots, not every event calls for professional portraiture. Having a nice digital camera on hand for when your son or daughter takes their first steps is invaluable. There are also times for a professional, to capture a moment that will last forever. I guarantee, once you see the difference between a snapshot and the art of portraiture that you will never go back.