Why should you hire a professional photographer over a friend of a friend with a good camera? You’ve seen your friends photos and they are good. They are just starting out and will photograph your wedding or family or new baby for next to nothing just to ‘practice’ and/or build their portfolio. But, when it comes to your family, your special occasions and precious moments, is it worth saving money knowing you’re taking a risk on the end result? So why should you invest and hire a professional photographer?
“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” ~ Benjamin Franklin.
Photography is an investment and a luxury experience and you should have high expectations from start to finish. This is something you might only do once for a special occasion such as a wedding or to welcome your newborn baby into your family. Perhaps you update your family photos every couple of years. Either way, you’ve made the decision that now is the right time to have this moment of your family story documented. You want to look and feel your best so you’ll probably buy a new outfit or get your hair done. Regardless of your reason for wanting photographs, it’s important to you. So you’re not going to be expecting ‘OK’ or ‘mediocre’ or ‘they’ll do’ snaps. You want amazing, you want wow, you want the best.
- If you’re really on a budget but appreciate the quality you’ll receive from an established professional photographer, look out for model calls. Or heavily discounted rates when they are looking for very specific portfolio images. But be aware when taking this route just to save money. You will be told to wear what the photographer wants you to wear, go to a location the photographer wants to use and be asked to pose in a specific way.
- Many photographers offer instalment plans so you can spread out the cost of your session and/or products. Don’t be afraid to ask if they offer this if it’s not advertised to get the photographer you want.
This is our bread and butter!
Professional photographers are both passionately and financially invested. We love what we do but this is also how we provide for our families. We can’t take chances like a hobbyist or someone starting out. We can’t afford to mess up your photographs and ask you to do them over again. Especially wedding photographers who have literally seconds to ‘get the shot’. Referrals and word of mouth are how we get the majority of our clients. It is in our best interests to provide a top notch service time and time again. Photography is no different to any other time when you are making a significant investment. You expect a high level of professionalism, excellent customer service and the best quality products. I can say from experience that I couldn’t have offered what I do now when I first started photographing families over seven years ago.
Knowledge is power
I mentioned that we can’t afford to take chances, and this means that a professional photographer has to know how to use their equipment inside out and back to front. We can’t stop a session or a wedding or a birth to start over because we didn’t get it right first time! Photography is about capturing moments, and you can’t recreate those because you messed it up first time. We don’t get lucky, we get it right.
We spend years learning/training/schooling in the art of photography. We learn to such a degree that getting the camera settings right becomes second nature, using experience and intuition over what the camera tells us. We know which lenses to use for any given location, lighting conditions or to achieve a certain style or look. Any one can pick up a camera and take a good photo, but there is more to it than that. Use of composition, layering, textures, depth of field and light are just a few things that take the ‘good’ photo to ‘great’. We aren’t hired because of what equipment we use, we’re hired because of the experience we provide, how we make you feel and the quality of the end products our clients receive. All of those things come with experience, not with the purchase of a camera.
Been there, done that!
This isn’t our first rodeo! A professional photographer has chosen their niche, honed their skills in that field and quite simply, they know what they are doing without thinking! You don’t have to worry that you’re taking a gamble like you would with an inexperienced photographer, who’s likely winging it for the majority of your session (that was me over seven years ago!). We know intuitively how to use angles, posing and lighting to get the most flattering photographs of you. We don’t just snap and hope for the best, we create and anticipate moments and know how to interact with our clients in order to achieve the results that they desire. Our work is consistent and not hit and miss.
Creating art, not snapshots
Lastly, a professional photographer will deliver you a consistent and cohesive gallery of the finest quality photographs possible. Each photographer has their own unique style and vision and this doesn’t end with your session. They will already have a vision of your finished gallery before they’ve even photographed you. Professional photographers will use their experience and knowledge with editing software to edit your photos, bringing out the very best of your precious memories. You will be drawn to different photographers for different reasons, but first and foremost you’re captivated and feel something when looking at their work and want that for yourself.
When it comes to photographs of your most precious moments and people in your life, remember that this is an investment that becomes more and more valuable over time. There are plenty of other times to look for the cheapest deal, but this isn’t one of them.