The Value of Professional Portraiture

In today’s age of inexpensive digital SLRs and smartphone cameras, not everyone understands the value a professional photographer brings to your family portraits and professional headshots.

Most people understand the difference between a $0.99 fast-food McDinky and a juicy, custom-grilled cheeseburger with all the fixings, and I’m fortunate enough to attract clients who don’t need to be informed of the difference between an iPhone selfie and a professional headshot. But with the photography market full of newcomers breaking in with “prosumer” digital cameras and entry-level package prices, it’s important to address the value of true professional photography.

Like you, I like to make informed decisions when making a purchase and I shop around before making any significant purchases. Here are a few points to consider when you’re hiring a portrait photographer.

There’s more to photography than accurate exposure

Anyone with a camera and basic photography skills can make a few great “keepers” from hundreds of shots, but professional photographers have the experience and training to produce consistent, planned results that match your intended vision.

Your goal isn’t to get pictures that are properly exposed. Your goal is to commission professionally-created images that capture you with the mood and message that represents your brand.

Does your photographer know how to light and pose his subject to convey that message? Is she equipped with the right lenses and lighting for the task at hand?

A Photographer Working In His Studio adding value

Experience equals convenience

Your time is as valuable as the money you invest in your photography needs. You want to be confident that your photographer will show up, get the job done, and deliver your proofs, finished digital files and custom prints on time.

When you hire a professional studio photographer with established vendors, solid skills and a portfolio of happy customers, you’re reducing the risk of expensive and time-consuming re-shoots. Remember that value does not always equal cheap.

Is your photographer equipped to set up a remote studio at your desired location? Does he have a permanent, conveniently-located studio with ample off-street parking? How comfortable is he with working on deadlines, multiple subjects?

Your professional photographer’s experience helps him adapt to challenging situations, making your photography shoot run more efficiently.

Professional photographers have invested in themselves

I don’t charge what I do because I can get away with it; I charge what I do because I’ve invested in the training, equipment, insurance, facilities, and overhead required to maintain a reputable, viable business. If I don’t charge professional rates, I can’t maintain my professional standards. It’s just bad business.

Quality photography requires more than just a bit of technical savvy, a dash of talent and an out-of-the-box digital camera kit. We’re constantly upgrading our photography equipment, post-production software and computers, and our technical training.

There’s a lot that goes on when there isn’t a subject in front of the lens, just as any business owner knows that client meetings are only a small percentage of their job description.

Professional photographers are invested in your outcome

I’ve built a fantastic career and reputation in the greater D.C. area, and I plan to stick around as a part of the local vibrant business community for a long time. That means I want you to be happy with the results, and I want your photographs to represent my best abilities.

I get most of my business through referrals from satisfied customers. Like I said before, when my commercial clients use their professional headshots on business cards, in websites, or on billboards, they’re telling their audience that they care about their presentation and that attention to detail translates to how they’ll treat their own clients.

So when their friends and colleagues notice that they’ve made a good investment in quality photography, they’ll ask, “Who did your photography?” It’s win-win!

When you hire a professional headshot photographer, not only are you investing in your image, your photographer is investing in theirs.

Whether you’re booking a photographer to promote your personal brand, or to capture timeless family photos that will transcend trendy photography fads, avoid the hidden costs of “cheap” photography, and invest in a professional.

Want to learn more about how I can add value to your photography session? Contact me for more information, or to visit my new Silver Spring studio!

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