Why hire a professional photographer?
I do get asked this question, though I do not think I get asked quite often enough. Everyday we are exposed to different sorts of visual stimulus. It can be a photograph, or a video. For now, lets focus on that first item, photography.
In the age of digital photography, where everyone and their cousin has a digital camera and can take a “good enough” picture for their friends, you ask yourself; Why hire a professional photographer, and what is it about a professional photographer that makes a difference? Is it not the experience? Do you go to an amusement park just to watch? No. You go to have a great time, that is only part of what we offer. I have long realized that anyone can take a good picture. Most people can take a picture, you might make a print of it and frame it. But to consistently produce high quality images, one is just as good, or better, than the next, consider the fact that I have trained and studied for years to develop and hone a craft.
For example, as a photographer, I am constantly aware of the trends in photography that change almost monthly. The images seem simple enough; a white backdrop, one or two strobes, and a good model. But how easy it really? Simply owning the tools and becoming a shutter bug isn’t quite enough.
Concept, Creativity, Skill, Commitment and Understanding
So how does a professionally photographed image become important to a person or family? Well, the obvious is that the people who stand behind the cameras are thinking in layers; after years of training and years of experience, what you are really paying for is not the final image, but rather the journey, the process that gets you the final image. What clients should consider is not just the final product, but how we get to this final product. Concept, creativity, and skill are all reasons why people hire professional photographers.
I conducted a one on one training session and I remember saying to my client that what differentiates the working photographer from the occasional photographer is that the images you see produced by a working photographer is deliberate, not mere accidents (though that can happen at times). A single good photograph for the most part can be done by anyone with any camera, but to produce a successful collection of artistically strong and moving images, requires someone with skill, creativity, commitment and an understanding of the clients needs. With the ability to consistently intuit what the client wants before the client even knows what they want.
Also, find a photographer that you can bond with; relationships are huge. A happy client + a happy photographer will always get you great results.