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What makes a True Professional Photographer?
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2008 MPPA Photographer of the Year
All images on this site Copyright Robert Akers Photography 2013
Photography is many things to many people. For some it is a way of keeping the family records, a family history if you will. Each birthday, family gathering and holiday are photographed and placed in an album or box. Then they are carefully stored away in a drawer, cabinet or attic. These pictures really do tell the family history, but why are they put away in storage never to be seen again? The answer is not really that easy. In fact, it could be many different reasons. Lets look at some ideas about why. The picture of Johnny on his fifth birthday really shows that terrific smile and the sparkle in his eye. It is to bad the sparkle in his eye is a flash that was so bright now the whole side of his face is white. When the family picture was taken in the back yard, Dad used the timer on the camera and he is in the picture too. We love this picture because the kids were so cute at 4 and 5 years old. If only we could have figured out how to keep the dark shadows out of everyone's eyes, oh and not get those shiny spots on our foreheads. We would have definitely put this one on the wall.
Today it is even easier to take pictures than any other time in history. With digital cameras you can take a picture, download it to your computer and print it out in ten minutes or less. Wow how great is that!? So why doesn't every one have great pictures all over their house? Probably the same reason everyone doesn't make their own clothes. Anyone can go to a store and buy a sewing machine and some cloth. Just like buying a camera and some film (or a flash card). The answer is skill and talent. Lets talk about the skill first. The skill in photography means "having and understanding of light" and the tools to capture it on film or a ccd. However to complete the process I believe there must be talent, an artistic element. Something that makes a picture of a person or animal or house more than just what it is. When a picture tells a story and\or invokes an emotional response, it then begins the transition from a picture to a work of art. So if you put a camera, a craftsman and an artist together, what you end up with is a photographer. I am proud to say I am one of only 6 Certified Professional Photographers in the State of Maine
This is why at Robert Akers Photography we create the "Art of your Life". Hi my name as you may have guessed is Robert Akers. I have been creating portraits here in Maine for almost 30 years. I have been a professional photographer for about the last eight years. I made the transition from picture taker to Portrait Artist when I began to understand light. It was at this time the images I created began to come to life. So I began to educate myself with the camera and the art. I attend seminars, worked with other professionals, joined photographic associations, and had my work critiqued by master photographers. I studied artistic composition, artistic lighting, and color, not to mention traveling around the U.S. to learn from the best photographers in the country. Now as a member of the Professional Photographers of America and The Maine Professional Photographers Association, I continue to learn and grow. Having won both local and international awards for work done for my clients, I am encouraged to strive for excellence with my camera. My goal is to give you pictures you can put on the wall that will tell the story of your family with grace and beauty.
Family Beach Portraits
So let me tell you a little more about the type of work I do. One of my specialties is Family Beach Portraits and we are doing more and more every year. People love pictures on the beach. Here in Southern Maine we have some of the most beautiful coastline in the world. A family beach portrait will include beautiful environmental portraits, individuals, and groups. Best of all you are included in the planning of the location, clothing and choice of groupings. So why are these portraits getting so popular with us? It's Fun. I can't tell you how many people tell me they hate having their picture taken. However, after a beach session they are telling me how great it was. Why? The reason is very simple. Most experiences of people having a professional picture taken are something like this. They get all dressed up, sometimes in clothes that are not the most comfortable. Then they are asked to pose in ways that don't feel natural or comfortable. And finally they are asked to smile in their uncomfortable clothes and uncomfortable pose. This is not what I do! So if you want to know what I do give me a call.
High School Senior Portraits are something I really like doing, because I get to work out of the box more than normal. High School Seniors want to show off their personalities and interests. Most of the time they don't want their senior pictures to be a cookie cutter of what everyone else is doing. They want to be different. While many other photographers stress how they capture a high school seniors personality and individuality, if you look at their work you won't see much of a differance from one picture to another, it all still looks the same as everyone elses.They want to look great, so everyone else will notice. This is exactly the type of senior I want to photograph. Senior Portrait Sessions are designed around the interests of the senior. Sports, Music, Careers and Hobbies are often included in the huge variety of images I make. When it is all done, making the decision of what image to use is often a difficult one to make.
I am constantly amazed at the expressions of children. They have innocent smiles, painful tears, and everything in between. In addition, they show us the true joy of playing, learning, and finally the bonds of love they have with their parents and siblings. The images we get from these sessions are some of the most cherished portraits we do. Parents will often talk of how much their child has grown since the last time they had their picture taken. They tell me things like "Johnny was three in those pictures." As we all know Johnny will never be three again. But the pictures we took will be there to remind us of how much fun three was. There is one more thing I love about children's portraits. Innocence! Maybe it's the smile, maybe it's the big eyes. I wish I could tell you more about what I mean by this. But as a parents, most of you understand.