Portrait Photography: Investment or Expense

There are so many ways we could spend money on our families, what makes professional photography worthy of being called an investment?

Photography As An Investment

Expenses such as mortgage repayments, school uniforms, a visit to the hairdresser or general household outgoings all command you to outlay money within your daily life. However, they all hold little value for impending profit or returns as a whole.

The purchase of the family home is, quite evidently, a large investment in the future of your family and, hopefully, in many years of family happiness.  Often, we feel a sense of contentment about investments, but feel some trepidation at the thought of shelling out money on general expenses.

So, Where Does Photography Fit?

Clearly photography, particularly professional photography, costs money and some would be quick to classify it as an expense. After all, there are so many other ways we could spend money on our families, so what makes photography worthy of investing our hard-earned dollars?

Considering almost every adult seems to have access to a camera via a smart phone these days, resulting in many people considering themselves to be good amateur photographers. Most of the images taken are only ever digitally distributed to family and friends and never see the light of day displayed on a wall.

However, that doesn’t detract from the beauty of a professional image which requires a greater investment in skill, time and/or money.

An Investment For Future Generations

A great photographer can add more than just good lighting – they can bring context to an image, evoking all five senses, not just visual. They can trigger a reminder of how we were at a particular moment in time. For many, a photograph is a captured millisecond, a cross section of our lives at a given moment or a recorded image preserved for decades to come. Indeed, for some it represents a future opportunity for nostalgic recollection.

Certainly, a family may wish to seize a moment of their young children’s lives, sustaining that moment in the coming years as they grow and flourish. But similarly, one can envisage these same children as fully-grown adults, pouring over the old photographs that signified important points in their family’s lives. Perhaps a wedding album of parents or grandparents, or maybe professional family portraits. So, for some, photography is not only an investment in preserving images and capturing moments, but in the promise of reflection of days gone by.

The Answer …

While so many photographs are viewed digitally and never in physical albums or prints, the truly special images created by a great portrait photographer, are an investment worthy of being printed, framed and proudly displayed on your family home.

Or, perhaps the answer lies in the attributes of the photographer in question.

A unique and personal style captured within an image is surely worthy of investment. The ability to see an image as if through a ‘different lens’ and create a picture unique in its perspective is a gift worth celebrating.  The resulting portraits should be considered not as an expense, but as an investment.

Photography Is An Art Form

There are those people that consider photography to be an art form, and great art is always a sound investment. For example, The Rhein III, (Andreas Gursky), fetched $4.3 million when it was sold in 2011. It’s difficult to argue that this was purely an expense. The value of such a piece will appreciate over time as good investments do. So, while it could be considered a significant cost, in the eye of the purchaser it was certainly an expense worthy of investment. And like any good investment, you need to spend money on unique portrait photography for it to pay dividends.

Great professional photography, the type that is as much a piece of art as it is a captured moment in time, will pay dividends for decades to come.

Portrait Photography
Portrait Photography Investment

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