This post is a little overdue as I’ve been meaning to share our family portrait/maternity session with Maggie Russo Photo. As you recall, I shared a blog post on where to find cherry blossoms in Chicago earlier this spring. Well, the post did not include the professional portraits taken by Maggie Russo.
When I found out that Chicago had some cherry blossoms this spring, I knew I wanted to go and take some pictures. At first, I was going to use my tripod and do some self portraits with a remote and time. But because cherry blossoms do not stay bloomed for long, I didn’t want to risk it if my pictures did not turn out the way I wanted it and I didn’t want to stress out about getting the right show as Luke can get a bit impatient.
So I called up Maggie Russo a week before and we agreed to meet there (Maggie also took our family portraits at Elawa Farms about five years ago and our other family portraits at Olive Park four years ago). I’m very happy that we used a professional photographer because I loved the way our family portraits at Jackson Park in Chicago turned out! Especially with the cherry blossoms!
Instead of just sharing the pictures from the session, I also wanted to share the reasons why I like to use a professional photographer for certain family portraits as some friends ask why we have our portraits taken every year. It can seem excessive but in my view, it’s the memory it creates that matters the most.
1 – Ensuring Everyone is in the Photos
Most of our pictures taken from our phones or with my camera require either Charlie or myself to take pictures. Therefore, someone is missing from the pictures. It’s nice to know that we are all in front of the camera and there will be some good shots of us together.
2 – Documenting a Special Occasion
Although I didn’t plan for this session with cherry blossoms in Chicago to be a maternity session, it turned out to be just that! We took these pictures when I was 25 weeks pregnant and I’m glad we were able to have some professional portraits of my growing belly.
3 – Seeing the Creativity of the Professional Photographer
My plan was just to take pictures around the cherry blossoms but Maggie’s take was somewhat different. She brought a step stool to get a higher angle of the pictures and she was able to incorporate the petals into the photos. Something I don’t think I would have thought of doing or able to do.
4 – Capturing the Unplanned or Posed Photos
I have to admit, some of my favorite photos are the ones that we are not posing but just doing our normal family thing. It just shows how we were at that moment and feels so natural.
5 – Taking the Stress Out
I think the most stressful part of taking our family portraits is the getting ready part…you know the getting dressed and making it to the session on time. But often times, when we are there, it’s not as stressful as we trust the photographer and just try to be natural. Also, I think I would over-think about how to take the portraits myself, which adds on more stress.
6 – Your Child’s Behavior Changes
When I take pictures of Luke, he is often not cooperating or doesn’t want to take pictures. But for some reason, when there’s another adult there, he’s seems to be on good behavior and seems take direction from the photographer fairly well. All the professional photographers that we have used have managed to get Luke to naturally smile or laugh by telling him funny jokes or just saying something silly.
7 – Getting Great Photo Quality
With the invention of the smart phone and editing applications, most people rely on their phone since the camera quality on those phones are pretty good. But I seem to prefer professional portraits because the quality of the photos are crisper and sharper. It also helps that the professional photos look great on our holiday cards.