As we all know, the advent of digital photography has led to a whole bunch of folks thinking they are photographers. More people are trying to do-it- yourself every day. The DELETE button on their digital cameras allows them to throw out-of-focus, awkwardly framed, and miserable exposed images instantly. The result is still only bad picture.
When you hire a professional photographer, you aren’t just hiring someone with an expensive camera. You are hiring someone who knows how to make you, or whatever the subject is, look awesome. They use an artistic eye, they have an ability to put the subject at ease, and the technical skill to give you an image that everyone will notice. Artistic vision and the ability to see the image helps a photographer craft memorable images and snapshots.
As the saying goes, ‘you get what you pay for’ and paying for a professional photographer will bring you custom crafted images you’ll be proud to display and share for years to come.
Simply understand you’re not just paying for the actual photograph, you’re paying for time and expertise in creating the image itself. First, lets look at the actual time involved.
For a two-hour portrait session:
- Travel to and from the session
- One or two hours of shooting
- 30 minutes of setup, preparation
- 30 minutes to load photos on a computer for editing
- 30 minutes to back up the files on multiple external drives
- 3-4 hours of Photoshop time including cropping, contrast, color, sharpening
You can now see how one to two-hour session easily turns into more than ten hours of work from start to finish. So, if a photographer charges 4000 for a two-hour session then you can understand what it entails.
Qualities of a professional photographer.
- Creativity and imagination.
Photography, for all intents and purposes, is a form of art. Therefore, it requires a creative mind- and plenty of imagination. A good photographer can look at something ordinary, or even extraordinary, and find a million different ways to interpret what he’s seeing and convey those interpretations in beautiful and meaningful photos.
- An Eye for detail.
A good photographer has a very keen eye for detail to ensure that all elements within the photo- the lighting, the composition, the subject, and everything else in between- work together harmoniously to convey the right vision or message.
Key elements that make up a photograph:
- Patience and flexibility
Whatever the photography field, a good photographer is patient. The patience to wait for perfect lighting. Patient enough to deal with crying babies, hyperactive animals, and difficult clients. And patience enough to keep trying when they can’t get the right shot. In addition to that flexibility is also so key. The two qualities go hand in hand as a photographer should be patient enough to deal with whatever comes his way, and to be flexible enough to make the best of undesirable conditions.
- Good people skills.
Being a professional photographer means working with people – whether it’s a client, a model, or even a fellow photographer. Thus, a good photographer should have people skills. A photographer will also need to network to obtain clients and partnership, so knowing how to connect and communicate effectively with others is imperative. In addition to that, its just not enough to know how to take good photos. You must know how to interact with your subjects to make them feel at ease, get them to cooperate, or draw out all the right emotions out of them.
What sets a good photographer from the rest? Passion.
When you’re passionate about what you do, it will always shine through in your work. It takes a lot of time and effort to make it as professional photographer, and the ones who do succeed and manage to make a name for themselves are those who are truly passionate about their craft.
Things to know when hiring a photographer.
- You are hiring a visual solution provider.
This is what commercial photographers do. Every product has challenge to making it look great. Every service has challenges in bringing that service to a photograph. Professional commercial photographers are uniquely prepared to meet those challenges and provide solutions that make images that work for you.
- All photographers are not the same
That wonderful photographer that photographed you sister’s birthday may not be a commercial photographer, nor have the skills needed to provide that work. If you need a people shot, you should look for someone who does that well. If you have a product, make sure the photographer can shoot products. Remember that their portfolio while not having the exact shot you are looking for, will let you know if they are capable of shooting products, people, locations and studio work.
- Discuss your budget honestly.
Most professional photographers are decent, honest people and want to work with you. They can take your budget and find the best way to get what you need done. If your budget will not be enough for studio rental, they will find a way to shoot in location. If you only have a specific amount of money to spend on the photography, most photographers will find a way to make sure you get the absolute best work possible. And for sure, different photographers have different ways of getting things done.
- Hire a photographer that understands your needs.
How will you tell if they understand your needs? They ask questions. Lots of questions. They will want to see what you consider your competition, they may want to scout your location, or meet with you for a pre-production discussion. They may ask to do test shots before the actual shoot to make sure they can solve the challenges in the best way possible. They may also want to know what you want to do with the images, so they can prepare them for the best presentation possible.
- Great photography is not a cost item, it’s a profit center.
Good photography sells more product. It makes your service look better. It takes your business and shows it in the best light. Consumers and purchasers choose brands with great photography over products with bad, boring or mediocre imagery. Better photography sells more stuff to the clients you want to serve.
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