I understand it can be difficult for most people to consider paying for professional photography services, whether it be newborn, family, wedding, event, or portrait photography, when it seems you could call a friend with a "fancy" camera to do it for you. We all know that if you have a nice, big camera you can do the same job, right? It’s just not that simple. The thing is, what you shoot with is such a small part!
Here are some benefits to hiring a professional photographer (meaning registered in their state & fully insured) – And I’m not just talking about little old me over here in New Jersey...While I would love to talk about working with you, one of my jobs is to make sure you make an informed decision no matter who you chose as your photographer & let's be serious there are a ton of photographers to choose from here in Central, NJ. So, here we goes:
Insurance: Professional photographers carry insurance to cover against professional liability and equipment in the event of an unforeseen disaster. What if the person you hired to photograph your newborn called you days before to say their camera had been stolen out of their car and they couldn’t afford to replace it in time? (there is such a small time frame to capture true newborn photos!) Or if a guest at your wedding trips over your photographer's tripod & breaks their $5,000+ equipment?
File Storage: Now with advancements in digital photography, how many of us have thousands of photographs taking up memory on their computers? How many of us have had computer crashes & lost every file ever saved on that computer?-I know I have! A professional photographer will have systems in place for handling the many thousands of images they process a year. They will guarantee your files against loss for a certain period of time and guard against storage failures, fire, etc.
Professional equipment: Van Gogh was an amazing artist, correct? Just as a paintbrush was his artist's tool of choice for expressing his artistic vision, the camera is only 1 of many for photographers. A professional photographer uses many tools to get the job done and a pro DSLR is only the start. We rely on professional lenses, various types of flashes, reflectors, light modifiers, power packs, lights stands, editing software, etc. Professional photographers also have back up equipment. All the equipment listed above, we have duplicates. Just in case! As professionals, it’s our job to plan for every contingency and be prepared as much as possible.
Education: Whether it’s an official degree or countless hours of workshops, video tutorials and books, a professional photographer is educated. It's not necessarily a degree that makes a photographer. There are so many talented, skilled and educated professionals who took the time and had the dedication learn the necessary techniques and learn instruction from other professionals. Photography is so much more than pushing a button and it takes time and practice to perfect it. It’s something photographers should never stop doing. I personally love doing hands on workshops from some of the best photographers in the world whenever they are touring the tri-state area I always try to attend when I can.
Testimonials: Previous client's experiences can be a vital piece of information when choosing the right photographer for you. Personally I do little to no advertising, I really don't have to either...almost all my clients are referrals from previous clients - word of mouth!
Experience: I understand everyone starts out somewhere as did I but at some point having experience is extremely valuable for a high end experience and final product. I have now been a NJ newborn & baby photographer for over 10 years and have grown tremendously over the last decade & happy to say some clients who I worked with when I was just starting out still come to me today all these years, and growth later. Even if the photographer is new & just starting out they should still have some experience handling newborns, working in public with people, etc. If this is something that is important to you than be sure to ask before hiring a photographer what their level of experience is.
It’s easy to see photography as expendable (& for some people I'm sure it it), and I understand not wanting to pay what might be seen as a huge amount of money on portrait or event photography, but you are investing in your memories. How much does good quality images mean to you & those you pass them down to? By hiring a professional, you will have someone who is going to give you 100% of their time, focus, talent and attention before, during and after. A photographer can advise you and be in your corner, and can provide you with keepsakes of your most treasured moments. And that’s really what it is all about!