There is a huge difference between an amateur photographer and a professional one. This starts with the equipment they use, their pricing structure, how they deliver their work to you, and even down to the contracts that are signed when working together.
So this article will help you understand what it takes to have professional photography done for your business or brand, why it costs more than hiring an amateur photographer off of Craigslist or Fiverr, and what you can do to reduce the cost!
There are a lot of questions from people who either want new photos for their social media accounts, blog posts, brands wanting headshots of the employees, companies looking for new product photos for websites, photographers looking to collaborate with other creatives, and even graphic designers wanting images to use in their work in documentary video production company.
Which Photographer Is Best To Hire?
The type of photography that you order doesn’t just need to be for your personal brand. Most businesses, organizations, and even churches will benefit from having professional photographs taken. But hiring a professional is not cheap!
It can cost $50/hour with most professionals working in at least the $100/hour range. You may wonder why these prices are so high when shopping around on Craigslist or Fiverr yields photographers charging as little as $15 for an 8×10 print (a little bigger than your driver’s license)!
10 Things To Look Before Hiring A Photographer
Here we will discuss 10 different things to check in a photographer before hiring him for better results.
1. A Professional Photographer is Well Trained
A professional photographer has studied their craft for years before they are given the title of “professional”. That means they have knowledge of lighting, composition, camera settings, depth of field, posing models/clients, editing photos for social media posts or printing large sizes, accounting/billing practices, and even marketing strategies.
2. Their Equipment is Upto The Mark
While some amateurs are able to build a career out of their iPhones (I know several who are making six figures/year). Most professionals use DSLR cameras with multiple lenses on top of all the other gear mentioned in this article.
When it comes to photo equipment there are so many quality levels on everything from cameras down to tripods that not everyone can afford professional-grade products. These brands have been tested extensively by photographers over the years and cannot be substituted by cheaper accessories.
3. They Own All Necessary Equipment
Some amateurs will use their own camera, but most professionals invest money into the gear they use to craft your photos so there are no “hidden” costs or deadlines for purchasing equipment to complete your photography order.
They don’t sell you on their ability to create great images only to pass the project off onto an intern who needs experience! If someone is good enough at their job that they can afford all of this expensive equipment then why should you have them work for less than what they spend annually on their own tools? (even if it’s just a hobby!)
4. Professional Photography is Not Cheap
I’ve mentioned this twice already – but it is important to note that hiring a professional photographer is not the same experience as finding someone on Craigslist or Fiverr.
A professional photographer has done this long enough to know how to create an image you are looking for, even if they have never taken photos in your industry before. You will be paying top dollar because of their extensive knowledge and years of practice under their belt.
5. Professionals Have Marketing Skills
While most people can benefit from social media (especially when they’re using it correctly), many professionals use these sites like Facebook, Instagram, etc. to market themselves and find clients outside of their own hometowns. The separation between business owner & client allows both parties to build a more trusting relationship.
6. They are Better Communicators
Since most professionals work independently they find ways to speak with clients over Skype, chat programs, phone calls – just so that there is some type of communication throughout the project. This way both parties can feel out if they’re a good fit for each other before committing to a long-term contract.
7. Professional Photography is completed with Quality First
Every single project you have your photographer work on will be completed with quality in mind – no matter how many times it requires them to retake photos or what type of equipment they use (lighting, lenses, etc.).
If the product does not live up to their standards then it will require more time/effort for them to produce an acceptable result. When you hire someone who makes their living from creating great content photo after photo that speaks volumes about how much care and concern they put into everything they do!
8. Professionals Have Strict Work Ethics
If you give professional photography $1,000 and ask them to photograph a family member and get the job done by next week (and if they’re working on their own project and don’t think that it’s fair for you to take up some of their time) then they will tell you no. It shows that they value their work and the projects they work on at all times not just when it’s convenient for them!
9. They Make Decisions Quickly
While many amateurs might spend more than an hour deciding what lighting equipment or props should be used in your shoot, professionals have been doing this long enough to know which gear works best under certain conditions and how/where to get access to the newest trends.
They know how to create spaces in their studio and edit images without spending forever on each photo.
10. Professional Photography is More Affordable than You Think
While some photographers might ask for thousands of dollars before starting a project, most professionals won’t charge more than $100/hour if you’re working remotely (Skype) or in-studio.