The first reason is obvious - your clients deserve the very best. They've hired you because they trust you to capture the images most important to them.
The second reason is less obvious. The newer you are as a professional photographer the less you realize the potential importance your photographs mean to your clients.
Heres a perfect example, thanks to my good buddy Rick Gerrity, who's a Panasonic LUMIX Ambassador.
The portrait on the right is of Kieran and her horse, Countess. Kieran was 8 years old when she got Countess. Kieran was coming up on her twentieth birthday when Rick captured this portrait of her and Countess. A week or so later, at thirty years old, Countess died.
The relationship we have with our pets, whether they're dogs, cats or horses makes no difference, they're incredibly important and special. "Special" is one of those understated words that's so inadequate to describing the relationships in our lives, especially with animals. They have an important place in our hearts, lives, and memories.
Rick talked to Kieran's mother a few weeks ago. She commented how this portrait has become one of the family's most prized possessions. Obviously, life would go on if Rick hadn't done this portrait, but because he did, it's a little better for Kieran. She has an intangible moment in time captured forever with this portrait.
So, the next time you're doing a portrait, think about the importance of the image you're about to capture. Whether people or pets, you never know how an image is going to be viewed later on. Every seasoned artist has a story about somebody who passed away, often making their images the last pictures taken of that person...or pet.
Never underestimate the importance of your photographs. Keep raising the bar on your skill set and make your images the best they can be. And, NEVER listen to that little voice inside your head telling you to rush the process or suggesting, "That's good enough!"
Your clients deserve nothing but your best work!