101 Reasons to Hire a Professional Photographer

“That’s a great picture, you must have a really nice camera!” Such is the perception of most who don’t really know anything about a photography. It’s about the same logic as saying “that was a wonderful meal, you must have a nice stove!”

After having been a photographer for many years (and even selling photography equipment for a while) I’ve heard this statement many times. When I was selling, customers would consistently come up to me and say similar statements. The one I probably heard the most was “My friend Tom has a [insert camera name here] camera and he gets great pictures so I want to buy the same one. Almost without fail the same said customer would come back a few weeks later complaining because “something must be wrong with the camera you sold me because the pictures aren’t as good as Tom’s.” I would always reply with “may I see your camera?” and would then ask if they minded if I took a few pictures. I would put the camera in either aperture priority mode or manual, adjust the settings according to the photograph that I wanted to create, press the shutter button, and then show the customer the picture. They would always follow up with something like “Wow, that looks great, how come my pictures don’t look that good?” To which I would begin the long conversation about how I use a camera as a tool to create the look I want instead of being dependent on a camera to do all of the thinking for me. Because of peoples, often erroneous, beliefs about photography I’ve decided to create a list of 101 reasons that people need to hire a professional photographer instead of depending on their “friend with a nice camera.” This list – in no particular order – is mainly focused on wedding photography but can include any type of photography.

A Professional Photographer

1. creates photographs, he doesn’t take a picture and “hope it comes out.”

2. has spent years studying every aspect of making a photographs.

3. knows which lens to use in which situation.

4. knows how to set the camera for a consistent look regardless of location (ceremony, reception, outdoors, etc.)

5. knows how to properly use a flash for soft, even lighting.

6. knows when to use multiple flashes to create a beautiful scene.

7. knows how to make a scene look “natural” and not like he was using a flash at all.

8. knows what aperture to set his lens to for fotografia professional the look that will make you look the best.

9. knows what shutter speed to set to capture the ambient light, create the feeling of movement, or freeze an object in place.

10. will sometimes spend several hours retouching one photograph to make sure it is perfect.

11. knows when to use off camera lighting (strobes) to create a certain look or evenly light a group of people or a room.

12. owns professional equipment.

13. has spent about the same amount or more for *each* lens that he owns than he did for his camera body.

14. owns multiple camera bodies in case of equipment failure.

15. knows to back up his photographs to multiple locations to avoid computer crash problems.

16. has spent far more on accessories Backdrops , Light Stands , Remote Controls for Flash , Storage Cases , Umbrellas , Tripods , Tripod Heads
, etc.) than he did on his camera(s).

17. spends a great deal of time and money creating a website, advertising, and marketing.

18. will gladly spend multiple hours meeting with you, answering questions, emailing, going through every detail of the wedding, scouting out the location(s), etc. to make sure that everything is done the way you want it.

19. will discuss a “shot list” with you so that nothing, or nobody gets left out. (You know that you’ve got an uncle Joe, but your photographer doesn’t unless you tell him.)

20. will be professional about taking photographs of the bride and bridesmaids while they are getting ready.

21. knows how to direct groups of people to be photographed so that everybody looks great (no closed eyes, yawns, people hidden behind other people, etc.)

22. won’t be drinking at the reception like uncle Joe.

23. knows how to capture the moment. (not when you’re pulling away from the first kiss but right as your lips touch)

24. knows how to put together a wedding album so that it not only shows great pictures, but tells a great story.

25. knows how to match the color of his flash lighting to the color of the ambient light (tungsten, fluorescent, outdoors in the shade, etc.)

26. keeps up with the latest trends in photography styles so that he is able to offer anything that a client might want. (think red wine glasses with a black and white background )

27. keeps up with the latest digital editing tools in order to create unique and custom artwork for you to enjoy.

28. can shoot film.

29. has done this before. He’s not at your wedding to “practice his photography”

30. will let your guest be a guest. Uncle Joe will actually be able to enjoy the wedding instead of being stressed out about making sure that he gets all of the pictures that he thinks you should have.

31. will typically spend around 5 hours BEFORE the wedding in preparation, and between 40 and 60 hours AFTER the wedding editing pictures, making prints, framing, creating slideshows, creating wedding albums, confirming orders, talking to the lab, etc. Did you really think you were paying several thousand dollars just for 8 hours on the wedding day?

32. knows that the average cost of an entire wedding is around $20,000 and that the only thing that you will keep (other than the dress) is the photography.

33. knows that the average price spent on catered food service is around $3000.

34. knows that the average price spent on flowers(which will end up in the trash is about $2000

35. will be happy to let guests take pictures throughout the wedding.

36. will comply with all rules regarding flash photography during your ceremony. Most places of worship will not allow flash photography during the ceremony. How do you get good pictures in a dark church without a flash…? Hire a professional!

37. knows how to make great photographs while being discreet and unobtrusive.

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