Why Hire a Professional Photographer
The following summarizes the reasons for hiring a professional photographer. Be sure to check out the next section Example of Professional Photos to see examples of why you should hire a professional.
While there are many talented non-professional photographers, a professional's talent should be consistently demonstrated by all of their work and should be readily apparent by viewing and comparing their on-line portfolios. So make sure you shop around and look at a professional's on-line portfolio. A talented photographer will create a wide variety of stunning images, certainly within their specialty but also in all other types of photography. If the talent extends beyond lucky shots then a talent of creating, finding and seeing an image shall extend beyond a particular specialty. For this reason, I ask that you not only review the gallery of images on Witness to Beauty that are of most interest to you but also watch the homepage's full slideshow and then peruse other portfolio galleries under the people, built or nature sections to get an idea of the kind of work that I produce.
2. Skills and Knowledge
Most professionals have amassed years of experience behind a camera and in-front of a computer. They have already learned the hard lessons so you don't have to waste the time and money. All of these skills enable the professional photographer to consistently deliver high quality images in a variety of conditions. The knowledge needed to consistently produce high quality images for a client includes a thorough understanding of all available photography and computer equipment, along with an understanding of how to work within the associated industry, such as the building industry for architecture photography. As an example, when I do an architectural photoshoot I use my inside knowledge of the building industry to comfortably and efficiently walk though a construction site or finished building and quickly identify the most dramatic marketing images, and then to effectively communicate and collaborate with the design team when required.
3. High Quality Equipment
In most cases professionals have invested at least five figures if not six figures into their photography and computer equipment. Unlike the old days of film when a camera would last decades, today's market demands a two to three year replacement cycle for digital cameras. To get an idea of what it would cost to step into the professional's world for a day check out local rental prices. For instance, to rent my camera kit from Pro Photo Supply here in Portland you would need to spent $425/day ($175 camera + $175 lenses + $75 accessories). Considering that you get all of this equipment along with the advanced computer hardware and software employed to develop images, high-end archival prints, all of the talent and skills I have to offer and the tremendous amount of the time required to deliver those high quality images at the critical moment of your event or scheduled photoshoot for only $200/hour is a comparative bargain.
4. Time, Effort and the RAW File Format
In most cases, the majority of a professionals' time is spent away from the camera. For instance, I spend on average two hours preparing for a one hour photoshoot and then another eight hours afterward to develop and deliver the images to the client. While anyone can snap photos and from time to time capture a special moment, professionals consistently create high quality images. In addition to the talent, skills, knowledge and equipment that a professional uses to consistently deliver these high quality images, professional also employ sophisticated computer development to maximize image quality. In order to ensure that I deliver the highest quality images possible, I shoot exclusively in RAW format, which is a digital format often compared to film negatives. While this comparison holds true in that a RAW file must be developed prior to producing a common image file format that can be easily viewed without professional software just as the negative must be developed before it can be printed and so easily viewed, the analogy ends there as a RAW file far exceeds the development potential of a film negative, thus enabling the professional photographer even greater control over the final image quality. For the professional, RAW format enables the greatest expression of the photographer's talent, skills, knowledge and maximizes the higher quality of their camera equipment. I would go so far as to say that there is very little reason to hire a professional that does not shoot in RAW format, with the exception of photo assignment that require immediate image delivery (less than 1 hour following photoshoot).
5. Reduced Stress and Improved Business
When you hire a professional photographer you are passing on the stress of preparing for the photoshoot event, managing the various parties and delivering the images on time, thus freeing you up to better enjoy the event or improve your business.
© Chad Kirkpatrick : Witness to Beauty ® Photography