Chances are, at some point you’ve run into a family member or friend musing about life as a professional photographer and trying to get a fledging photography business off the ground. Maybe they’ve even offered to take your images for free to build up their portfolio. The offer can definitely be tempting, but is it worth it?
Photography is an art form, just like painting and sculpture. It requires training, skill and knowledge to do well. When it comes to photos of you and your brand, you don’t want an amateur creating your image. You want someone who knows how to translate your brand into a visual language people admire.
They have expertise and experience.
A professional photographer brings years of training at university and/or an apprenticeship in photography to your session. They know everything about lighting, set design, cameras, production and visual communication. They know how to make use of every setting to create the best possible images for you. Experienced pros can make adjustments as they go, ensuring they can adjust to unexpected changes on set so they don’t miss a single shot. Your friend or family member may have a professional camera, but if they don’t know to use it, chances are you won’t get the images you want.
You can be in the photos.
Some people use generic stock photography to represent their brand, but does it? As a result, you may have tons of cheap photos that mislead your customers and leave them with a bad feeling. Worse, your own talented people and services aren’t represented.
By hiring a professional photographer you get quality images, and it enables you to actually feature your products, services, employees, and happy customers in the photos. A talented photographer knows how to produce a photo shoot and create images that show your personality. Taking the responsibility of producing photography off your plate lets you actually be productive and enjoy the moment. The result is a content library of on-brand images that will promote you for years to come.
Professional photographers have the post-production skills.
Anyone can send over some snapshots, but professional photographers do a ton of work to polish the photos after your photo session. They have the software, calibrated equipment and skill to edit your photos and create images to power your business into the future. You definitely don’t want someone who’s still figuring out Photoshop or playing with Lightroom sliders to edit your valuable images. It takes a professional eye to know just how to make each shot a masterpiece that blends seamlessly into your brand image.
Your photos will be more than quick snapshots.
We all have cameras on our phones, and you probably take pictures all the time. Isn’t it amazing that we always have the technology to capture the events in our lives? But when you want images to inspire your audience and engage them with your brand, a professional photographer is the only way to go. While it’s important to capture everyday moments, it’s also important to have hero images that become icons of your brand. Photos that people can look back on years later and remember with a smile – proud that they were a part of it.
They care about making you happy.
A friend or family member who offers to shoot some photos is usually trying to get into some practice or start their portfolio. A professional, however, is genuinely invested in your satisfaction with your images. This isn’t a side hustle for them – it’s their career. They’ve trained for years, honing their lighting, shooting and editing skills. As entrepreneurs, they understand your deadlines, that you work hard for your business, and that you are in it for the long haul so they do what it takes to make their clients happy. A professional photographer understands the importance of being part of a team and ensuring everyone’s thrilled with the results.
You might need a little guidance.
No matter how many times you’ve had your photo taken, it can still drive up your anxiety, especially if you have to get the boss involved. The patience and confidence of a pro helps ease the stress of a shoot making everyone feel more relaxed. Plus, a professional will have plenty of tricks up their sleeve for getting just the right look out of everyone at the shoot. They will guide you through the poses to help you relax so you look natural and confident.
Professional photographers have all the equipment.
Your friend may have a professional camera, but a pro photographer has all the equipment. Don’t be surprised if they show up with a crew of assistants rolling in cases of lighting, camera gear, backdrops, lighting gear and a rolling editing station. They have invested a small fortune in their photography equipment, and they know how to use every piece to make their photos amazing. A professional photographer will have all their equipment and backups on hand so they can adjust on the fly to layout changes, extra shots, weather changes, and everything else so you never miss a shot.
You deserve it.
Some people feel that professional photography just isn’t worth the investment. They don’t know what they’d do with their images, or they feel like it’s a waste of time and money. But photos are one of the few ways we can truly hold on to memories. As you grow older, you’ll forget so many things you swore to remember. Photography can help you look back on your growing family, on your children’s first years, and on the beginning of your marriage. You deserve to remember the special moments in your life, and your kids deserve to have photos of you when you’re gone. Everyone deserves to be remembered, and photography helps us capture those memories for the years and decades to come.
Brett GilmourProfessional Photographer
Brett has extensive experience photographing web, print, outdoor and direct mail campaigns for energy, hotel, real estate, tourism, editorial and corporate clients. Brett creates commercial photography that propels a brand’s narrative and weaves their products into the fabric of our culture. Brett partners with advertising agencies and companies to produce custom photography. He’s a 3x Gold Nugget Award winner for architectural photography, a Past-President of CAPIC, Prairie Chapter, was a Juror on the Banff Mountain Film Festival Film Selection Committee.