What I value the most

Photography by David P. MacDonald

An objective viewpoint from a tough consumer about why investing your money in professional photography is worth it….

“Have you visited a historical castle or country estate with the monarch captured in an oil painting staring down from the walls? Why is it that only the richest and important people had oil paintings done all those years ago?

Money is the short answer. It was expensive and time consuming to accurately capture the image of a really important person in those days. Imagine the risks the artist was taking, you could lose your head if you displeased the King!

Why go to all the trouble though? You are the King and now you had to get dressed up fancy and then stand like a statue for hours, while the artist paints your likeness.

Important people want to be remembered; it’s a status symbol, very important people want to be remembered in the history book for the contribution and status they had on the world.

Today, every phone has a camera and we can take thousands of pictures of the people that are important to us. It’s so easy and everyone can have as many pictures taken of them and passed down to future generations to see what you looked like. It’s no longer just for Kings and Noble man!

I’m king of my own kingdom, my household! My teenage daughter doesn’t agree with me, but I could have a picture of me looking very serious and blown up for future generations to see.

My image on the wall is not what’s important to me; I don’t really care what my future lineage is going to think of me in a hundred years. What I do cherish is the pictures of the ones I love the most; pictures that remind me of good and precious times that we easily forget in today’s business.

Often when I’m watching TV or sitting in the living room I will look up on my wall to when we had a professional family portrait done of our family in 2005, our kids were 3 and 5 and now they are 11 and 13, it makes me smile inside every time with the memory of those times. Just that photo causes a flood of awesome memories. The crazy thing is that I don’t get tired of the same picture, the older my children get, the warmer the memories become.

I will admit that when we first had the pictures taken, I was shocked at how expensive it was. When you have a young family, you’re not typically flush with cash. The pain of the cost has long since been forgotten and the joy of remembering my family grows each and every year.

I understand that I could have someone I know take a picture of my family and I would be satisfied with that – I think I even made that argument to the professional photographer in the early years – There are a lot of pro-Sumer photographers advertising themselves as professional photographers online and I can find a dozen on Google with one mouse click. There is a difference between being satisfied and having an image created that stirs the emotions. I’ve seen too many family, baby and children portraits where there is no sparkle in the eyes and the expressions are just okay. Sure, you can save money with photographers that don’t have 15 years with lighting technique, experience or equipment. What I do know is that you quickly forget the money you spent and you can have a portrait that stirs you with the warmest emotions, because the photographer who loves what she does captured the sparkle in your child’s eyes and the expression that will melt you heart.

Pictures as a status symbol are no longer valuable; but the value of the people in my life is more important than ever. I’ve seen and experienced the value of good and bad photographers and the cost to have the right photographer is worth every penny, because family and children mean more to me than anything I could buy.”

Written by Michael about his family portraits.