So you want to hire a photographer… but how do you choose? Especially in a place like Portland where there are just SO MANY photographers… I have a few thoughts about this, but I think it’s easier to illustrate it with a story. (I do love stories after all!)

I have come to realize that the more fun I have doing my job, the harder it is to blog.

Weird, right? But what am I supposed to do when I have an amazing afternoon photographing a family that I’ve come to really like hanging out with… When I’ve captured a ton of beautiful, authentic, true moments that I just can’t wait to share them… When I’ve scheduled their viewing appointment TWO WEEKS FROM NOW!

I want to post all the pictures – I want to connect with the family again ASAP. I want to say “Look how beautiful your life is! I had so much fun playing together today, holding the mirror up to you, and capturing this beauty.”

But I won’t. I will post only these three. Because it’s after 9pm, I have a 5-month-old, and I have to decide to ration my binge posting somehow. 🙂

That is what a client-photographer relationship should feel like. There are so many variables… what style do you want? Lifestyle, candid, documentary / journalistic, fashion, studio, fantasy…? How far do you want to travel? How much are you willing to invest in this experience – in the opportunity to save these memories for a lifetime?

Before you hire someone, the most important thing to consider is – Do you like the person?

Think about it… when do you feel most at home? When do you have the most fun? What are the times you really want to carry with you and remember in 30 or 40 years when your children have grown and gone out in the world to make their own stories?

When you are spending time with someone who you know, like, and trust, you will find it is easy to capture the images you want. Because you feel safe, and you are genuinely having a good time. The other factors matter, but they are secondary because what’s the point of choosing based on location or saving a few dollars and getting pictures that will live in a drawer or on a disk somewhere because they don’t mean anything to you in the end?

This little guy came into the world full term but under 6 lbs! And now at just over 4 months, look at him – flying high, sporting his adorable chubby cheeks and holding his head up high.

Lucky guy, his daddy is a musician!

I can’t wait to come back when he is old enough to sit at the piano with daddy and push some of the keys for himself.

What beautiful memories await him!

For now, he, his mama, and I are a captive audience.

This next photo might be my favorite one.

When I am able to capture a true, free moment like this I am overwhelmed. Because what is it that makes a picture special? Among other things, it’s the connection between the subject and the viewer. And because I have been accepted by these two as a friend, the truth of our relationship comes through in the image.

Because of that simple truth, when they look back at this image decades from now, little Julien will be able to get a sense for what it was like to be with his mom when he was just a tiny baby.

What a gift! What magic. Melts my heart.

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