DIY the Perfect Family Holiday Photo…NOT

I watched a segment on Fox News this morning entitled: “Pricey Pictures with Santa-Tips to DIY the Perfect Family Holiday Photo.” A friend sent me the link. It was early and I was still on my first cup of coffee. I opened the link and as I began to watch the video,I realized that I didn’t have enough caffeine in my system to deal with this. In fact, it was becoming evident as the seconds ticked by that this video wasn’t a job for coffee…it was a job for vodka.

For here was a professional photographer telling the audience that you don’t need a professional photographer.

What the hell? See why I needed the vodka?

It was sort of a train-wreck of insanity. Some of my favorite lines from the segment?

Host to photographer: “Show us how to do a good picture.”

Photographer tips:
1. Make sure your kids are happy and fed and bribe them to death
2. Have your child snuggle with their stuffed animal
3. Stand them in front of a Christmas tree

Really? That’s how you get the Perfect Family Holiday Photo? Is that all there is to it. ‘Cause, you know, I’ve been in the family photo business for close to 30 years and if THAT’S all there is to it, then I’ve been doing it wrong all this time. I mean, I have wasted A LOT of time creating family photos, caring about those pesky details like lighting, posing, expression, location. Working my butt off to better myself and my craft all for my clients and now, 30 years later, I learn that all I had to do was give ‘em a teddy bear and say, “Hey, kids. Get over there in front of that tree.”


Host to photographer: “Are you shocked people are spending $300? I asked you where this was happening and you said “everywhere.” EVERYWHERE.”

<gasp> $300? On portraits? You mean, the same amount of money the host probably spent on her shoes is the same amount of money someone would spend on photos of their family?

I was shocked that the host was shocked that $300 on professional photography was considered expensive. I was even more shocked that the photographer being interviewed didn’t correct her. What is happening here?


What an awful segment. I don’t blame Fox News, for these kinds of nonsense DIY segments are everywhere: Good Morning America, Hoda and Kathie Lee, Oprah. Maybe not Matt Lauer so much. Unless it’s a “How to Sexually Harass Employees in your Spare Time” kind of DIY.

And as I re-watched it out of sheer disbelief, I found myself speaking in a rather loud voice to the screen of my iPhone, telling it what I tell everyone: I have a lot of friends with hammers, but I wouldn’t trust them to build my house.

People, if you want professional photography, you hire a professional photographer.

Unless, of course, your “perfect family holiday photo” consists of your kids standing awkwardly in front of your Christmas tree in your living room, in which case, have at it.

Now, excuse me while I go put on a suit, plug in my podcasting microphone and become a Professional Journalist.


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