Who Are The Best Family Photographers? A Far Too Honest Answer

Who Are The Best Family Photographers? A Far Too Honest Answer
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Who are the Best Family Photographers? Did that title catch you attention? You may be disappointed to learn that I have not undertaken the great task of actually naming the top ten (or 20 or 100) family photographers. God Bless anyone who can figure that out! Wow! If there is anything I have learned about photography over the past few years it is that there are SO.MANY.AMAZING.PHOTOGRAPHERS…many who are so creative they have essentially defined their own genre of photography. I’m not even sure I can give you a list of qualities and characteristics that define the “best family photographers.” Its something I contemplate though….

When I left my first career as a lawyer, I enjoyed several years as a stay at home (and homeschool) mom before I added photography into the mix. During those years between paying jobs, I considered myself a former type A personality type. Well, it turns out my type A personality was just in remission. Sigh. When I started to turn photography into a business, it was so cute, you guys. I remember thinking I would just use the camera I had, I would have no expenses, and I would take family pictures for $30! By the time I had done 50 sessions, I’d have $1500! WHAT WAS I THINKING?! Needless to say that thinking changed very quickly.

Why the change? I’m going to give you a very candid peek behind the scenes of the photography industry here because I know I’m not alone! I wanted to create amazing pictures (remember that whole type A thing?), which meant I needed better equipment, more editing time, and more education. I wanted to show people that I was professional, which meant a serious website, time on social media, and to consistently raise the level of my work. Here is what I know…none of this is actually what makes “the Best Family Photographers.” Its all related for sure but its not an x+y=z type situation. Equipment certainly does play a part. Marketing helps bring in money, which helps pay for better equipment and more education. But none of this can make someone an artist or make someone create-ive or make someone able to connect.

So this is an open question that I may try to answer over time. Some days I feel like I’m rocking my art and other days I feel completely uninspired. Some days I want to buy the newest gear and other days I just want to find my creative voice. Some days I have success. Some days I don’t. The nature of being a professional business (and being someone who generally prefers to focus on the positive) is that I generally only share the success…the confidence….the milestones achieved.  The one thing I never knew about being a “creative type” (especially as an entrepreneur who is consistently putting themselves out in thew world) is the emotional roller coaster of it all! Its a work in progress but I wonder if any artist ever feels confidently “the best”?

Of course looking from the outside, I could name a couple of industry greats who I love and could easily add to some kind of “best” list…Rachel Vanoven, Leah Robinson, Bethney Backhaus, Meg Bitton, Chubby Cheek Photography…But perhaps there can never really be a standard list of “the best.” The question is who is the best for each client…Just as I am the best mom for my kids, maybe the best photographer varies from client to client and that is OK. Who do you connect with, whose style speaks to you and moves your heart…there’s your answer…that is the best family photographer! Again I’ll be very candid here and drop the usual confident posture small businesses have to put forward….I would never imagine myself on any kind of “best photographers list”! BUT if you “get” me and feel connected to my work, then I would certainly be honored to be your best photographer (I am Type A, after all)!

Speaking of which, I’m super honored that this fellow photographer, let me do my best for her and her family! I first met her in a Facebook group for photographers where she liked some of my work last Fall and then started following my page. She then won one of my mini session giveaways at the end of last year which was a tiny bit complicated because she lives 3 hours away! She was super excited and made plans for a family trip out to Joshua Tree to use her January mini session. Their session included 5 free digital images but she couldn’t live without 20 extra so we upgraded this to a full session, which means more for you to enjoy!

Good night all!

xoxo

Marisa

Am I the photographer for you? I only have a few more spots available in 29 Palms/High Desert/So Cal as my family will be moving this summer. If you’d like to grab one of those spots, feel free to email me at marisa@marisamcdonaldphotogrpahy.com. I’ll also be hosting a very special mother’s day photo opportunity in the near future. To stay in the loop you can sign up for my email list here.

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