People often discount the need for a professional photographer because they have this computerized imaging device in their pockets. What I often hear:
“Professional photographers are unnecessary.”
“Anyone can take a picture nowadays.”
“Why would I pay for a pro?”
“Everyone is a photographer.”
“My pictures look that good.”
“How much do you charge? That’s a little much.”
The truth is, unless you:
1) understand composition,
2) lighting (key light, fill light, backlight),
3) good camera techniques,
4) use of camera angles,
5) focal length choices,
6) aperture control,
7) shutter speeds,
8) posing techniques,
9) how to use foregrounds and backgrounds,
10) how to create depth in the scene,
11) how to use leading lines,
12) techniques for creating flattering portraits,
13) color temperature and white balance,
not to mention ISO, exposure triangle, working with artificial light, using flash/strobes, essentially how to use all the photographic techniques available to you, you can’t make photos like a pro. You just can’t.
Which don’t be down by, of course you’re not, no one without photographic training can. You wouldn’t buy a Selmer saxophone and be upset that you’re not a top player like Clarence Clemons just because it’s a great instrument.
More bad news–you can’t create desserts like a master baker no matter how good your oven, can’t write like Steven King no matter how good your typewriter or laptop, can’t cook like Gordon Ramsay despite your awesome stove, can’t play the piano like Joe Jackson even if you’ve got the same Steinway piano. Oh, and your garden hose doesn’t make you a fireman!
Leave the pro work to the pros! That doesn’t mean that your snapshots aren’t valuable, they are, but they’re not at the level of professional photographs.
So why does everyone think they’re a photographer just because their phone can take a sharp picture? The photos you put out, seriously, to the pros, they’re downright embarrassing. Really, they are. They’re terrible, no matter how many of your photographically-challenged friends say they’re good. Of course they think so–they don’t know anything about photography either. I see posts with lots of ‘likes’ all day long on faces that are green, portraits that are blurry, unflattering poses, pictures that are just plain bad.
Besides they’re just hitting the ‘like’ button because they like you. They didn’t even look at your bad photo.
But it’s not just you and your friends. If they’re not experienced and trained in photography, how would they know? They all follow each other around sharing bad photos, singing praises on un-creative poorly-composed photos. Doesn’t make them good.
Take a rock and roll legend like Joe Jackson. Even he doesn’t know what a good picture is.
There’s a difference in the way a professional photographer works, and you don’t (and didn’t) acquire all that knowledge the moment you got a phone camera.
You don’t automatically become good at making photographs because you have a camera that can get a proper exposure and focus. Back to Joe Jackson, even if you are a musical virtuoso like he is, you still might not know a good photograph from a bad one. Here’s proof.
Joe Jackson is a rock and roll legend, one of my all-time musical favorites. But he posted this a couple days ago. He must have liked the photos. I bet ‘bosbert‘ thinks he/she’s a good photographer. He/she is not. They’re terrible.
Joe, I love you. But these are terrible photos. Don’t thank bosbert–they’re not doing you any favor. Hire a pro. You can afford it. It’s going to cost you some real money.
“How much does it cost? That’s a little much!” No, it’s not. It’s what quality photographers cost, just like you like to get paid well for performing music. The same with other artists. Including professional photographers.
If you think those pictures are good, you just might think boiled hot dogs are a high delicacy food–photographically speaking. Trust me, they’re not, they’re terrible–GRILL THEM!
Hire a professional when you want a pro’s eye, a pro’s experience and a pro’s technique. You, your business and your family are all worth it. And so you won’t embarrass yourself posting bad blurry photos like Joe did.
I do love you Joe! Also, please note I’m available to come on tour with you. I charge real money for my work, but they won’t be blurry phone photos. They’ll be the work of a pro, just like all of those magnificent people you mention on stage and the strong crew behind you.
Y’know, real pros!