The Difference Between Pictures and Portraits

Photography is more accessible than ever and the results you can achieve even with a smart phone are amazing.  While those cool filters and apps make it fun to take pictures and make adjustments, they do have their limitations.

As a general rule, smart phones and consumer-grade cameras are mostly point-and-shoot, relying on the camera to decide the best settings, focus point and even the ratio between distance and digital zooming.  Good photographers can get a lot out of a point-and-shoot or smart phone camera, but there are still compromises.

Professional portraits combine lighting, depth-of-field and subtle nuances to bring emotion to life.

Professional portraits combine lighting, depth-of-field and subtle nuances to bring emotion to life.

In comparison, professional-level cameras in the hands of an experienced photographer, accompanied by strategic lighting and reflectors, create images that are stunning and evoke emotions years after the initial print is created

One benefit of a smart phone is it’s easy to take a lot of photos, and capture the spur-of-the-moment shots.  Unfortunately we sometimes hear disappointment from our clients when they try to create a print suitable for framing from those pictures.  That’s when limitations become more obvious – the photos aren’t crisp and clear, the colors aren’t what was expected and the lighting seems off.

Professional portraits, on the other hand, are pro-level images that are created specifically for printing in many formats and sizes.  Professionally printed images provides an archive-quality image that will last for generations.  A professional photographer is considering not only the subject through the lens, but also composition, lighting and ultimately how the finished portrait will look framed in your home.

Our suggestion is to take lots of photos with your smart phone or point-and-shoot camera.  Learn the controls and experiment with different settings, angles and even light sources.  Look at the pictures side-by-side, so you can see the differences that small setting adjustments have on the final picture and resulting emotion.  You’ll likely find that people who see your photos on Facebook, Instagram and other sources notice the care you put into your photos.

The more you practice, the better you will become at taking pictures. Just keep in mind the limitations and don’t expect those cameras to produce frame-quality images.

Then, when it’s time to capture memories for a lifetime of enjoyment, consult a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) who will have the equipment, knowledge and experience to create a portrait and print that will wow.  You’ll have long-lasting memories of family, weddings, vacations and even pets.   It doesn’t take long see the difference that technical excellence, style, lighting, high-quality cameras and most of all, a professional photographer, can make on a finished print.

As always, please contact us if you have any questions regarding professional photography.