Why you need a photographer.
(Yes you, Yes now)
When we think about times to hire photographers, very few instances generally come to mind. Weddings, Holidays, Births, school photos... that's just about it.
Why do we relegate the memories that are worth commemoration to these few events? Is your wedding important? of course, but I would suggest that there are days in your life that merit equal if not greater ability to look back and remember. We tend to let society decide for us when it comes to what we want to remember over the years. Now that I've been around for a few decades and I look back there are events I wish I was able to look back onto the same way. I'm sure you can think of some as well.
The first thing that comes to my mind is Halloween. (hear me out.) You spent days planning a costume, sometimes hundreds of dollars on make-up, wigs, special effects, robes, fake weapons, live rabbits, light sabres, clown suits, produce... (look i don't know what you went as). then you spent hours getting yourself ready, clogging your pores with cheap grease paint, applying fake eyelashes, fake blood, live rabbits (again.. probably)
And for what? so you can go shuffle up and down the street for a couple hours with your kids begging for candy from strangers? So you can go to the bar down the street and lose the costume contest to a guy dressed like Jon Snow, in a Snow White dress going as Jon Snow White? (clever bastard) and now you're frustrated so you're going to drink away the memories of this crushing defeat. You wake up the next morning with blotched face paint on your pillow and a pounding headache. (If this seems extremely specific... shut up you don't know my life.)
"But Chris" you scream at your phone while reading this because you don't understand how blogs work "I took pics with my cell phone! I'll remember for sure!
Halloween activities are done in the Dark generally, which is the 50% of the time that cell phone cameras have not really advanced much since the etched bricks they called Nokia's of the 1990's. and non-photographers generally don't think about things like "how is the light going to reflect off of grease paint vs. cream paint. what kind of angle makes it look like you're just going as a vampire, and not a zombie vampire, because poking at your face all day has given you horribly bloodshot eyes.
1052967_688006993515_1599800339049600936_o "But I have my cellphone camera" -Chris circa. 2014
2019 - Halloween
That's all one very specific example, of one very specific occasion. But there's more to it. It's not all Holidays and good times. It's 2019 and if we're in the professional world we are only as good as our brand. Even if you don't need commercial or product photography (If you're selling goods or services, you really do.)
A blurred, or amateur head-shot on your LinkedIn profile, or about page on your website. Lets potential networking contacts, clients, or employers know before even contacting you that you are not willing to go the extra step to present a professional appearance. Does that always equal a "no"? Of course not. I can guarantee you that your odds are better with a well polished photo that's been taken with content and consideration.
Personally I know if I'm hiring a professional LARP instructor, and These are my two options:
I'm going to pick the second Chris without a moment of hesitation, that dude looks like he takes his LARPing seriously, probably a little too seriously. That's the exact guy to teach me how to take whacking people with PVC covered in safe foam way too seriously as well.
In this day and age we get the choice to decide how to present ourselves to the world. We get to decide which days are important enough to record professionally and which we want to crowd-source cellphonetography for. There isn't a right or wrong answer. Ask yourself what's important to you, and when you do contact your local professional things rememberer. I'll bring out my memory machine, and record it so you can live the event. So you can add that extra touch for your client, and you can finally sell those left-over live rabbits from your over the top Halloween costume.
You would be surprised at the prices some photographers will offer to help you recall your day to day, but still huge life events.
In summary I've compiled a short list of times when I wish I had hired a photographer.
My Enlistment ceremony into the army. The fear, excitement, and anticipation was palpable.
Family Thanksgivings with family that's not here to give thanks for anymore.
Days I came home after months or years away
The day I rescued my dog (and she rescued us)
The last day I saw an elderly family member that I knew wasn't going to be there when I came back next
My daughters first Halloween
The day that asshat in the trench-coat sold me all those live rabbits, then disappeared into macabre laughter and smoke.
Opening presents from Santa for the first time with the kids both (may want to schedule that one a day or two early... the kids won't mind, as long as the red guy can deliver.)
When I moved into my home, when there was nothing but empty boxes, hardwood, and hope.
more than I care to list, and some I don't care to share.
Comment with what you wish you had taken the time to have recorded for you!
P.S. no offense intended to the LARP community, please to not come to my business location listed on google and challenge me to a foam fight.... that would be awful...