For so many people these days the choice of whether or not to hire a photographer comes down to the price. You are actually doing yourself a great injustice if you chose only by this criteria. Choosing a photographer should be evaluated for their photos that they produce and customer service that they provide. Also, a professional photographer is NOT your boyfriend/girlfriend/aunt/uncle/friend/cousin/mom and or dad with a nice camera and a hobby. Another fact to consider when choosing a photographer is that a photographer’s time and experience is valuable. You probably won’t ask a professional photographer to simply “take a few pictures.” It really doesn’t work that way. Even if all you need is one shot, it will take time to find the best angle, prepare the lighting, as well as finding the correct outfit that will get you the image you are seeking. A professional photographer can give you advice on what to wear, make-up, and so on. They have done this before and can guide you as needed. This is why professional photos look professional and the photos you took using your “professional” camera with your closet, computer desk, wall, bed, and carpet in the background of a poorly lit photo will not look all that great.
Next keep in mind that a professional photographer’s photography equipment costs a lot more than your “professional” camera. A high quality camera, specialized lenses, memory cards, digital software, tripods, umbrellas, lighting equipment, as well as colorful backgrounds are all professional grade and are quite expensive. You will also benefit from the latest professional technology being used in the photographs, and USED PROPERLY at that.
Remember to factor in the time it takes to produce your one headshot. It is not mere point-shoot-print. It involves setting up the equipment in advance, blocking off time for the photo shoot itself, uploading the photos and going through them after the shoot, digital touch-ups to the photos chosen for printing, getting the prints to and from the lab, as well as waiting for you to pick them up when complete or mailing them out to you. You may have a lot of time on your hands but you should always be aware that photographers are busy running a business and I’m pretty sure we can all agree that the professional photographer does a lot of work for the small fee asked for the services. This brings me to the next point of individuals that don’t even show up for the shoot and are too inconsiderate to call and let the photographer know that they cannot make it. The professional photographer does not get paid for the time wasted in a case such as this unless they require a booking fee, but still it took time to set up the shoot and there is a possibility that they turned someone else down for a shoot for the same time period because it was pre-booked.
Photographers create Portraits for a living and you must understand this factor as well when making inquiries about pricing and whom to hire. When it comes to cost, can you really put a price on lifelong memories? Whether it’s to update your portfolio, create a portfolio, family photos, weddings, or special events. Your memories are priceless moments and spending the necessary money, even if in the thousands of dollars, will ensure that the value of those memories are properly preserved and cherished for a lifetime. The value of those images will be much more since you will get more benefit out of the photos than the paper the photos were printed on will cost.
Purchasing photography services based on value and quality rather than price is the only smart way to go.