Almost everyone these days has a camera, right? In fact, almost anyone can take a decent or even spectacular photo from time to time. The fact is, anyone can take an amazing photograph with a simple camera phone and conversely anyone can take a lousy image with a $10,000+ camera system. So why hire a professional? This is a question I get asked all the time, especially now that the cost of a goof camera, and even a decent light kit, is within the reach of just about any hobbyist.
First, hiring a professional photographer means that you are hiring someone who has the knowledge and experience to deliver a quality product on a consistent basis. I have the knowledge and training to know what makes an image work and what makes an image mediocre. I know how to properly process photographs so that they look great on the web, in print, or hanging on your wall.
More important than that, though, is the fact that as a photographer I am also a storyteller. Through the power of a single image or a sequence of images I have the ability to communicate a message. This is more than simply “snapping a nice photo,” this is conveying something special.
Maybe it is portrait session for your family where you want to show the bonds between siblings or several generations, or maybe it’s just a simple story of the connection between parents and their newborn baby.
Photographing events is certainly an exercise in storytelling. How would you feel if you got an album back from your wedding that just had random photographs from your big day in the order they were taken? Wouldn’t you rather have a story that set the scene, built anticipation, excited the viewer, then carried that excitement through to the conclusion?
Product photography, again, is telling a story. If you are hiring me as a commercial photographer you are hiring someone who will not only show the images of your product or service, but will help the viewer understand why they need to buy it.
Even architectural and real estate photography can be considered a story. When I photograph a house I am helping the viewer to explore and to see themselves living there. I set the scene of the exterior of the house and the neighborhood where it is located, then I take the viewer through the home in a logical way. I show the viewer the beautiful view from the sun room to the back yard and I entice them to come experience the place for themselves.
To me that’s all a lot more than just taking a few nice photos, don’t you agree?