Why Hire a Professional Photographer?
Because you’re a professional in your field as well, you probably want to get the best images possible – -which are almost never the cheapest images possible. As we all know, the advent of digital photography has led to a whole slew of folks thinking they’re photographers; more people are trying to do-it-yourself every day. And it’s true — the DELETE button on their digital cameras allows them to throw away out-of-focus, awkwardly framed, and miserably exposed images instantly.
The result is more people taking bad pictures than ever before!
When you hire a pro, you’re not just hiring a person with a more expensive camera than your Uncle Fred. You’re hiring someone who knows how to make you (or whatever the subject is) look awesome, using an artistic eye, an ability to put the subject at ease, and the technical skill to give you a riveting image that everyone will notice. You’re hiring someone who can take your vision of yourself (or of the subject you want shot), and mold it into something eye-catching, truthful, and new.
If those things don’t matter to you, phone Uncle Fred immediately.
Why isn’t digital photography cheaper?
Film was a wonderful thing, and we will always love classic black and white in particular. Still, it’s true that digital shooting has numerous advantages over film. Among those advantages is the ability for the photographer and client to catch mistakes and make changes early in the shoot by checking the monitor, as well as faster turnaround time, easier image modification and retouching, and the ability to create color and black and white images from the same shot.
But the idea that digital photography on the professional level is cheaper than analog (conventional film and paper) is a total myth. According to all of the stats published in the past two years, doing a professional shoot digitally costs as much as one-third more than traditional methods. Why, you ask?
(1) Constantly Changing Hardware and Software
In the old days — from five to 150 years ago — photographers expected their cameras, darkroom equipment, and all they needed to shoot and create an original image for you to last between five and 25 years, if not more. Today, digital equipment — cameras, computers, hardware, and software — is often obsolete in a few months, and rarely makes it to two or three years. The ongoing investment more than offsets the costs of film and processing.
(2) The Photographer’s Time
When a photographer shoots digitally, the post-production work required after the shoot –including downloading, naming files, color corrections, various batch actions, backing up on external hard drives, burning CDs or DVDs, etc. etc. — is infinitely more time consuming for the photographer, and sometimes takes longer than the shoot itself. In the old days, this was often a simple lab drop and pickup that was billed to the client. Today, it is the photographer who is working at the computer perfecting and presenting your images, which is reflected in your bill.
(3) Faster Turnaround Expectations
Because clients know how quickly digital turnarounds can happen they often expect the photographer to process and deliver much, much faster than with film. The marketplace has upped the ante on deadlines as well. So these added pressures also push up the costs.
In the end you, the customer, benefit greatly from the professional expertise of a skilled, trained photographer. Treat them well… they work hard for you!