Why I’ve come to love being a portrait photographer

Yesterday I got a wonderful reminder of why I’ve come to love being a portrait photographer. I often tell people how I always liked taking pictures, and how for the longest time I only shot landscapes – and I really enjoyed it. Then I decided that I wanted to try making money with my hobby and realized that I’d have to learn to shoot portraits. So I took a bunch of online classes, practiced a lot on my kids, and started getting some jobs through referrals. Gradually, I realized that I truly enjoy taking people’s portraits, and now I very rarely go out to do landscape shots – I’d much rather have a person in the photo I’m taking!

Which brings me to my reminder from yesterday. Just before Christmas of 2012, a friend of mine from high school contacted me and asked me to take some family portraits. She was going to be in town to visit her parents, and her sisters and their kids would all be there too so they wanted some pictures, as it wasn’t often the entire family was together. I went to her parents house and we had a great session and got some wonderful portraits of the families. A few months later, her father became ill and was diagnosed with cancer. He fought bravely but in the end it was too much to overcome and he died last week. I went to the viewing last night and every single one of the family members said how much they appreciated having those family portraits now and they were so glad they had done it when they did.

Sometimes being a photographer is about more than just taking nice pictures – it’s about giving people memories that they can cherish for the rest of their life. Being able to be a part of that makes me very happy.


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