Not Everyone is a Photographer: Reasons to Leave Your Digital Imagery to the Professionals
The last fifteen years have seen a complete revolution in terms of imagery. What once was a highly respected niche job of the community, that was as much science as it was art, has turned into an every person, daily activity that we don’t even think about most of the time. Something mildly interesting appears before our eyes and out comes the cell phone to snap a picture that will probably be forgotten about within a day.
Every device within arm’s reach of us at any given time is armed with a camera (while writing this, I count three on my desk that are totally unrelated to my professional gear). Because of this, it is very easy to think that capturing a moment in time can be left to any layman. I would argue that this is a very dangerous attitude to take, and when it comes to your business, it can be downright costly.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why it’s paramount to hire a professional photographer for your business when you need digital imagery.
“Doing your own legal work is like doing your own surgery.”
This a quote from a friend of mine who is a Real Estate Lawyer. To break down its underlying meaning, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re probably going to end up with a poor result.
There’s a big difference in approaching a task with no prior knowledge vs. hiring someone who has spent years mastering a craft with the single intention of making that task look awesome. It’s worth investing in someone who’s sole job is to elevate your image.
I’ll do it myself because my new camera takes amazing pictures.
Correction: Your camera CAN take amazing pictures, but not unless it is in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing with it. Trust me, it can take some very bad pictures too.
Photography is an art and the camera is like a paintbrush. No one ever told Van Gogh or Rembrandt that their paintbrush painted a magnificent image. It comes down to what the photographer sees, but not just literally. A good photographer can look at a subject and predict the outcome after they snap that shutter. Things like where lighting needs to come from, how to reflect and detract that light, how to pose you to accentuate your positives and minimize any flaws, how best to draw someone’s eye in, make your gaze circle the scene and take it to the climax of the photo. Not to mention how to post process that completed image so it looks perfect both on a billboard or in an email signature.
Money Money Money
Why spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on someone when you can do it yourself? One great example is Zillow. If you are not familiar with the site, it is a real estate resource listing all the houses for sale in any particular area. Spend a few minutes looking at the photography and you will quickly figure out what kind of realtor makes the above statement.
I shot a house that had been on the market for over a year under the same agent. She hired me to reshoot it as a last ditch effort. Two weeks after the photos went live the house sold for half million dollars. Why? Because I made the house look like it was worth a half million bucks!
Too often photography is seen as a task that needs to be checked off; as in “any ol’ photo will do.” But that’s not how a professional approaches it. They look for the best way to present the subject matter. It doesn’t just apply to real estate photography either. If I want you to buy into an idea, I’m going to woo you with it in its most glamorous form.
Mcdonald’s and a five-star restaurant both serve the same purpose.
What I mean by that is you can get full from either of them. One will cost you $6, the other will cost a decent amount of your paycheck. Which one will you feel better about when you’re walking out of the restaurant?
The same applies to the visual imagery for your business. You and your market demography will have a better experience if you are willing to commit fully and present yourself or your product as something better than bottom tier.
Your image is everything!
See what I did there 😉
As a business, you always want to put your absolute best foot forward. It’s why we wear suits to interviews instead of ripped jeans. Every time you meet someone new you are being evaluated and as tech friendly as the world has become you might have someone looking at you from across the globe when you’re not even aware. If your digital image (be it a picture of yourself or your business portrayed via photography) comes off as an afterthought, there’s a very good chance you will be skipped over for someone with a much better presentation.
If you walk down the streets of New York City, Disney World, or pick any random movie theater, you will never come across photos that were taken by a new intern. Professionals use professionals. They realize that they can’t do everything themselves and that outsourcing a job to someone who has spent years mastering that specific craft will only make that decision maker look better in the eyes of their peers and public.
Steven Saccio is a commercial and portrait photographer in Tallahassee Florida. He is certified by Professional Photographers of America and has over seventeen years of experience in both digital and film photography. When he does not have a camera in hand he enjoys scuba diving and exploring everything from beaches to mountains.