Guest Blogger Ginny Felch: Why You Should Still Hire a Professional Portrait Photographer

It was almost exactly a year ago (on my birthday to be precise), when renown photographer and author Ginny Felch contacted me to request using some of my photographs in her revised edition of Photographing Children, A Photo-Worskshop by Wiley. I was in shock because in my opinion, I was just another person in this big fish pool of photographers that exist today. How did she find me and did she really think I had something to offer to her revision? To say the least, I was humbled and flattered all at the same time. I knew exactly who she was and what book she was referring to because her first book had come out only two years after I launched my photography business in 2006.

Ginny Felch is a true artist…. someone with original style who focuses on the emotion of her subject. Her style is unique in that she connects with the light and the subject bringing out beauty even in situations to some may not be all that beautiful. Her vision and perspective on life shine through in her work.

Ginny is our guest blogger today. I hope you are inspired by her thoughts and words. Thank you Ginny for sharing your time and of course talent!

As a Master of Photography, awarded through PPA, I am very aware of what it takes to be a skilled photographer. After studying with many of the best contemporary photographers, I understand the value of seeking knowledge from the best of the best.  I can attest to the money and time spent to refine and redefine my skills and creativity.

But this is not about me!  In the last few years, the value of a fine photograph has seemingly decreased. Everyone IS his/her own photographer and spontaneity seems to be the state of the art.

I’m not saying “Bah Humbug,” at all! I am wildly involved and enthusiastic about all the newest technologies and ability for everyone to make a good EXPOSURE.  That in itself is creative and fun, and involves just about everyone who wishes to dive in.

I want to just make a point about why spending a little or a lot of money to invest in a portrait by a tried and true professional is important and worth it.

A professional photographer is NOT

  • Someone who just got a hot new camera
  • Someone who loves Photoshop
  • Someone who gives away her/his work for next to nothing
  • Someone who isn’t pleasant and kind
  • Someone who has gotten some compliments from friends about pretty photos she  has taken
  • Someone who gives away JPEGs for your Facebook page

A portrait photographer takes pride in her work and spends money and time to study and learn all the old and new skills required of a great photographer.

Do you like to eat where a good chef cooks?  Do you go to a good dentist and doctor to assure the best health? Do you spend money on café au lait every day for a tasty jolt?

Perhaps by any standard, hiring a portrait photographer is a bit of a luxury and an elective expense. However, down the road when your children and grandchildren look back, they will appreciate your taking the time and making an investment in their family genealogy and heritage.

Don’t mean to sound like your grandmother who walked through snow to school, but my home WAS destroyed by a fire and the portraits were the greatest loss.

I always chuckle when people complain about spending lots of money for wedding photographs, when they don’t wince at what they spend for clothing, flowers and food. Everything disappears immediately after the wedding except the photographs and the memories.

How many times have you heard about someone getting a real deal and hating the results? It is tragic. A professional photographer will not let you down. His reputation depends on it.

A portrait photographer worth their weight in gold will:

  • Be an artist in their own right
  • Be able to create a FAMILY portrait that will hold its value and integrity through generations. You can’t even BEGIN to do that unless you are ambidextrous and have a tripod and self-timer.
  • Have the kind of personality and psyche that will EVOKE comfort and natural expressions.
  • Allow you to remove yourself from the equation as a mom or dad who is always around popping out a camera, thus eliciting surprising, natural and spontaneous expressions.
  • Know about dynamic composition
  • Know about SEEING THE LIGHT and make use of it
  • Make you look as good as you think you look or better without looking like a plastic rendition of yourself. That “disease” is spreading like wildfire.
  • Have a great relationship with their lab to insure the highest quality archival print.



Staying up with the times doesn’t mean eliminating values from the past.  Of course you want your photographer to stay current on trends and technology, but what is most important is their VISION and skill as an ARTIST.

About the Author: Ginny Felch

Ginny Felch and husband Will

As a child growing up in the fifties, I was given a Brownie camera by my father, a newspaper publisher in New England. I remember feeling encouraged by his kind compliments about my sensitivity and composition.

The beauty and nostalgia of New England as well as my mother’s eclectic eye for beauty and her appreciation of art and design, were gifts which contributed to my developing eye. While I was an outwardly friendly and social young person, I cherished solitude and daydreaming and entertaining fantasies of motherhood. Perhaps these were the seeds of what would come forth in my imagery.

As a young mother, I was trained as a wedding photographer after years of studying black and white photography. Later, my love for children, spurred by my experiences with my son Zachary, led to an inspired career creating childrens’ portraits.

Along this journey, as I exhibited and lectured my way to becoming a Master of Photography through Professional Photographers of America, I was fortunate enough to have been coached by some of the great photographers: Marie Cossindas, Morley Baer, Ruth Bernhard, Robert Farber, Sara Moon, and Josef Karsh.

What motivates me always is the moody and sculptural effect of natural light on a myriad of subjects, creating a sense of place or feeling of timelessness.

I have recently established a digital darkroom, always hoping to avoid what I consider Photoshop cliche, when the effects are obvious. Recently I have been experimenting with photographing appealing textures and surfaces and blending them with an original photograph. This is a spontaneous and intuitive process which has endless possibilities. Another great advantage of my darkroom is the ability to use textured fine art papers and archival inks.

Above all, I seek beauty.

“Beauty has a dignity and poise that takes us beyond our smallness and negativity; beauty brings us in to remembrance. Beauty is the bridge between the real and the ideal. Not everything is beautiful; yet when we develop a graceful and gracious eye, we can find beauty in the most unexpected places.” – John O’Donohue

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