Updated: Sep 28, 2019
Digital photography has made the whole business of photography everyone's playground. Nowadays everyone seems to have a camera in their bags and those who don't have a cell phone in their pockets.
Believing that everyone who carries a camera (and that includes even some photographer) is a professional photographer is like thinking that every medical graduate can perform a brain lobotomy.
Yea. It requires some serious skills. So does photography.
Professional photography is a whole lot more than just taking shots. It's a real job and requires skills, expertise, knowledge, and practice. Most professional photographers consider themselves artists.
They go the extra length to create the right vibrant image perfect for the occasion or event, pictures guaranteed to get attention anytime. You might be wondering if going the extra length of hiring a professional photographer might be worth the hassle.
Well, the question is…
What do you want?
Quality vs. Quantity?
Imagine if your photographer sends over an album containing over 1000 pictures after a single day event.
That is a lot of photos for a client to go through. You might end up not even making use of half of it as they would be of no value to you.
No client should have to go through such stress, and no professional photographer would do such a thing.
Of course, any photographer, professional or not can take over 1000 pictures in an event, but not all these images showcase the story or value of what a client intends.
When you book the services of a professional photographer, you tell him what you want. He then visualizes the storyline or what you want to accomplish with the image. With the help of his camera and an artistic eye, he captures images that would vibrantly tell your story, then goes back and carefully sorts through the photos one by one, weeding out the unnecessary ones — eventually crafting a story from the pictures that better describes what you want.
In other words, a picture is worth 1000 words.
Edited vs. Unedited Images?
Creativity is dirty work!
Behind that stunning beautiful images is a ton of sweat and work. Little edits here and there that have made it into such a beautiful picture. Creating such images is more than just pressing the shutter of a camera. It involves skillfully editing the photos to give it better quality and feel.
Most amateurs either totally ignore this part or do a half-hearted job of it.
Editing is not easy work. This is the most crucial part for a professional photographer as it requires both knowledge, skills, and experience as well as consuming a lot of time — all for the need for perfection.
A Professional photographer goes the extra mile of ensuring consistency in creating top-notch quality images. And that is something you would want.
When it comes to photography, the place of skill cannot be overemphasized. You might want to hire an amateur photographer because it might cost you less, but don't expect you will get the kind of skills that a professional photographer would display.
Most Professional photographers have spent a lot of time and money honing and developing skills that qualify them to handle not just the camera skillfully, but different situations and problems that arise during photo shoots.
A professional photographer would display his skills, equally producing consistent quality results that also emphasizes his proficiency in the business.
Equipped with the Right Gears?
Like I previously pointed out, photography is a real job and requires skills and expertise. It equally requires the right equipment.
Although it is a popular misconception that having all the right gears makes one a professional photographer, this is not the case. I might have expensive iron pans; it still doesn't make me a chef.
On the other hand, though any photographer without the right gears has no business taking shots. Hiring a professional photographer gives you the confidence of working with someone who has all the necessary tools to ensure the work is done properly.
Value vs. Budget?
I believe this to be one of the significant reasons why it seems difficult to hire a professional photographer. One might ask, why do I have to spend so much just for some images.
Let's ask a different question?
What is the price you would pay for a lasting memory or a successful business?
Let me guess… Priceless!
Generally, we are highly influenced by what we see, and the right images go a long way in determining the course of our actions.
Imagine what goes through your mind when you see a product displayed in cheap packaging; your first thought is that it is cheap. When you see another or even the same product in high-quality packaging, you would consider it excellent.
By using high-quality images to promote your brand or product, people would attach more value and respect to it.
You might be wondering, why does hiring a professional photographer have to be so expensive? When a professional photographer is taking pictures in an event some lasting no longer than a few hours, all you see him do is press a shutter… or so it seems.
This only shows that not everyone knows what starts happening the moment a photographer decides to take on a project. Most professional photographers would charge expensive fees for their services. Although some people would immediately understand the reason behind this, others don't. Rather than complain about it, the best course of action would be to ask questions.
Five reasons why professional photographers are so expensive
It Takes Time to Learn to be a Professional Photographer.
Becoming a professional photographer doesn't just suddenly happen. Nobody wakes up one morning and start calling themselves a professional photographer then decides to charge premium fees for their services.
There is a whole learning curve that a professional photographer has to go through from the basics of photography, which of course everyone seems to know, to learning technicalities like lighting, proper posturing, editing, etc.
A professional photographer knows how to handle different situations and difficulties as they come up during a photoshoot.
Of course, anyone can learn how to take amazing photographs and become a professional, but the bottom line is that it takes time, a lot of practice and experience and don't forget money - to emerge a professional fully. Some even have to take classes to further their hone their knowledge and skills.
Professionals Work with professional gear.
I have pointed out how indispensable having the right gears is to a photographer.
More so, no professional photographer would ever compromise when it comes to getting professional equipment.
As with all things quality, top-notch photography gears are quite costly.
Although they don't have to get all the latest equipment, a professional photographer would spend thousands and thousands of dollars to get the best camera gears, most excellent lenses flash equipment for different situations, tripods and the list goes on.
No professional photographer would borrow their working gear but would instead buy theirs.
Setting Up the Perfect Scene
There are so many things that help make a photograph vibrant and beautiful and a professional photographer from experience and skill knows all them and how to align them properly to produce that stunning image.
A professional photographer works almost like an artist. Using an artistic eye, they try to create the perfect scene for various scenarios, occasions, and events.
For example, a professional photographer would know what settings or background to use for a family photo as opposed to weddings or what time of the day to take a particular shoot best.
There's more work after pressing the shutter
Most people would think that the professional photographer job starts at the beginning of a project and ends at the end of an event. This could not be farther from the truth. There's a whole lot more work after a professional has finished taking the shoots. This is the post-production aspect and is usually the most work-intensive part of photography.
During post-production, is when a photographer settles down to do necessary edits and tweaking of the images. Areas such as high light, adjustments in exposure, shadows, saturation, sharpness, and other retouching works are done. Usually, this can take up to four to five hours minimum as well as span multiple days.
In most cases, professional photographers might take pictures of the same subject from different angles to get the angle right, and during post-production starts weeding out the unnecessary ones.
Photography Is A Small Business.
In spite of the popularity and explosion of digital photography, with big photography studios sprouting everywhere, the world of photography is still a small business and not comparable to big-name companies with millions in budget. Most photographers work from their homes or home studios. Some work solely without the help of an employee, spending their own money and in most cases without insurance and other benefits.
Top-notch Photographers would charge quite a bit for their services.
The question as always is about what you want.
When you want quality beautiful photography for your project, you should be willing to pay and take advantage of the skills and knowledge of a professional