Why You Should Hire a Professional Photographer
As obvious as it sounds, professional photographers have access to a wide array of professional camera equipment. Not only do they have access to the correct tools, but the knowledge of how to use them to the best of their ability. Each lens has pros and cons, different camera bodies are better suited for different lighting situations, and flashes and reflectors can be used to facilitate some evenly lit or creative shots in situations with challenging light. A camera is only as good as the photographer wielding it, similar to how cookware is only is as good as the chef. You can only get 5 star photos with a 5 star photographer!
One of the biggest worries for many people is how they’ll look in the finished images. We’re all our own worst critic and being assured we look beautiful in our special images is monumental to the success of a photo session. Many talented photographers have built up a list of casual, easy to achieve, stylistically appropriate poses that they’ll guide you through during your session. With a really talented photog, you won’t ever realize you’re flowing seamlessly from one to the next while having every second captured. Knowing good angles and beautiful composition comes with experience in the field, not from a book or a Pinterest board. Finding a well versed photographer could be the difference between ending up on a pro-photo blog and ending up in the next volume of Awkward Family Photos.
An artist’s eye is not taught, it’s earned. As much as we can learn technical photography skills and composition techniques, having truly unique vision comes from that artistic place within that’s hard to define. Talented photographers often try new things, even with the possibility of failure, because being artistic and true to their style is a level above simple technical prowess. Finding a photographer who understands your requests and seems to have work that compliments your desired image style is a key way to ensure you’re happy with the results.
Photography is, at its core, capturing the available light to create an image. While many photographers will suggest shooting at times when the light is already easy to work in, some sessions don’t allow for that type of control the entire time. Weddings are a perfect example of an event where multiple day of locations have you changing from indoor to outdoor to sun to shade and back again with minimal time to adjust and prepare. A well worth it photographer can show you an entire portfolio that includes images that you love from every point of the day. The hotel room photos, the first look, the ceremony, and the reception should all peak your interest and leave you feeling confident about your potential photographers skills. Being flexible on the fly while having a good handle on multiple lighting scenarios is probably the most important skill your photographer should possess.
Professional Editing/File Sizing
We don’t expect you to know about megapixels and ratios, but that’s because your photographer should absolutely have a handle on the for you. When getting digital images back you should expect them to be large enough to print well onto at least a 5x7 or, depending on the photographer, larger sheets. If you’re having to dramatically re-crop the photos or a little yellow triangle indicates a quality issue is present, even as smaller sizes, then there’s a problem. While many photographers will give you files with web appropriate images, the final high resolutions images you end up with should absolutely not present with this issue. This type of backend knowledge comes with research and education that only experienced photographers tend to look into. Heaven forbid you’re unable to get larger sized files for enlargements simply because your photographer didn’t know what they were doing when shooting and/or exporting your photos.
Access to High Quality Printing
Even though your photographer may be handing over digital images, BEWARE OF PRINTING ON YOUR OWN. The main reason to avoid this is that your images most likely will not look the same once you receive them. In our experience Walgreens images always come out looking a bit green, CVS looks far too contrasted, and Shutterfly prints tend to lose the beautiful detail in your images. This is due to printer variances and color profiles, which is something your photographer accounts for when editing and exporting your images but has zero control over once they’ve left the building. These printers also tend to print on inferior paper types. It might seem like a small issue, but in fact it affects the entire life if the images you order. Acid free mattes and fade resistance paper used in professional image production create beautiful long lasting pieces of art that you can enjoy for a lifetime instead of a few months or years.
As you can imagine, NOT having to think about all these things will add to a relaxed and fun photo session overall. Professionals should be experienced enough to provide you with all the help and guidance you need while making everything feel fun and effortless on your end. :)