Why Hire A Professional Photographer Over A Friend

maternity couple under a pier by the ocean

Photo credit: Leta T.

Why Hire A Professional Photographer Over A Friend

So you have a special event coming up. Maybe you’re having a baby, or your oldest is graduating high school. Perhaps you’re a real estate agent with a new home to list. To save money, you might be thinking about asking a friend to take photos of these important moments or business needs. iPhones take good pictures, and camera equipment is more affordable than ever. But before you ask them, you might want to finish this article first.

Why Hire a Professional Photographer

Let’s put it this way. Say you wanted a spectacular cake for your wedding. Would you ask a friend to make it simply because they have an oven and cake pans?

Of course not! There’s a difference between having the tools and knowing how to use them. While most of us have baked a cake at some point in our lives, a professional baker knows how to securely stack layers and decorate in a way that keeps the cake looking great for hours.

It’s the same with photography. Most of us have taken dozens (if not hundreds) of pictures in our lifetime. We probably have some that we’re pretty proud of too, where the light and the pose was just right. But a professional knows how to produce great photos day in and day out in different environments and circumstances. 

couple outdoors photo

Photo credit: Ian H.

Pro photographers have a hundred tricks up their sleeves for taking fantastic images, all honed through trial and error over the course of many photoshoots:

  • The right lenses and filters to use
  • How to set up lighting indoors and out
  • Wardrobe colors or patterns that don’t work well on camera
  • How to stage an environment
  • How to put people at ease and coach them into more natural reactions
  • Improvising on set if conditions suddenly change
  • The composition of the photo
  • A unique style

All of these elements combine to create a finished product that looks unique, artistic, and polished.

interior real estate photo of living room

Photo credit: Ian H.

Why Hire a Professional Photographer for Real Estate

With real estate, photos make a BIG impression on potential sellers. Research has shown that great, professional photos can help a listing sell quicker and for a higher price.

Hiring a professional real estate photographer gives you a huge advantage over taking photos yourself or asking a friend. An experienced pro has spent years figuring out the best way to take photos that help a house sell. For the shoot, they will take into consideration a hundred little factors that an amateur simple wouldn’t know to account for, including:

  • Time of day- What time of day will really show off the property? Even more importantly, how does the position of the sun throughout the day affect shadows both outside and inside?
  • Lighting – Depending on the availability of natural light, additional lighting equipment may be needed to light rooms and avoid shadows and reflections.
  • Angles – Experienced real estate photographers know how to play with angles to really highlight the best features of a space.
  • Lenses – An amateur photographer may not have correct equipment necessary to photograph small, enclosed spaces.  Professional Real Estate photographers will have the wide-angle lenses in their bag, which can make your home or office seem larger and more inviting.
  • Staging and props – Sometimes furniture needs to be rearranged to better show off a room or create a better composition for the photo.
  • Drone usage – Drones are increasingly used by professional photographers to capture a bird’s eye view of a property, or to better capture large areas such as backyards.

Why Hire a Professional Newborn Photographer

The birth of a child is one of the most remarkable experiences you’ll have in your life. To capture the beauty of a newborn, you’ll want the knowledge and expertise of a professional newborn photographer on your side.

photo of newborn on baby blanket

Photo credit: Kallol D.

While it may seem more special to have a friend take the photos, it may be better to simply invite them to share in the experience with you. Hiring a professional newborn photographer gives you someone whose only job is capturing the sweetest photos of your little one. You’ll want a photographer who is comfortable around newborns and knows the gentlest and safest ways to pose the baby throughout the shoot. And when you need to take a moment to nurse your baby back to sleep, a professional newborn photographer will have the patience and understanding to know that everyone is on the baby’s time table!

Beyond having experience working with young babies, newborn photographers also have special skills when it comes to editing. From creating the illusion that your baby is hanging from a tree branch to creating fantasy-inspired backdrops, you want a photographer with a big heart and a big imagination.

Why Hire a Professional Photographer for Senior Pictures

Graduating high school is one of the first major achievements of your kid’s life. The days of fuzzy Glamour shots are long over (thank goodness!), and today’s kids are looking to commemorate their achievement with photos that show what they’re all about.

Hiring a professional photographer for senior pictures will ensure that the session becomes a memorable keepsake your kids will look back on fondly, rather than something they might be embarrassed by later. A pro photographer will help brainstorm locations, wardrobe, poses and props while delivering a fun photoshoot experience that will be the envy of their friends.

girl standing in sunflower field

Photo credit: Brandon P.

How to Hire a Professional Photographer

Now that we’ve convinced you of the value of hiring a professional photographer instead of a friend with a camera, let’s look at what you need to do to hire the right photographer for your needs.

PhotoBooker makes this super easy by letting you search for a specific type of photographer within your area—you can even filter by budget! Explore photographer profiles and check out their experience, portfolio, and general rate information.

Once you’ve selected a few photographers for your shortlist, you’ll want to get more specific with your needs in order to get a more accurate cost for your shoot. Here are some of the things you’ll want to think about and tell your photographer when discussing rates:

Type and length of shoot
A simple senior portrait won’t take as long as, say, a newborn portrait session or real estate shoot. Be sure to discuss exactly what you’re looking for so the photographer has an accurate idea.

Location of shoot
Do you want to shoot in a studio? Outdoors? Your home? Depending on where you want to shoot, there may be additional factors involved in things like lighting equipment, filters, or studio rental.

City location
Some photographers factor in mileage to their rate. For example, a shoot at your family farm 70 minutes away may cost more than a shoot at the photographer’s studio. Also, just like when it comes to restaurants and housing, some cities are simply more expensive for photography than others.

Photographer’s experience
You can realize savings by choosing a less experienced photographer. You might find a diamond in the rough, or you might discover why they are so cheap.

How many final photos you want
You’re not buying an unlimited number of finalized photos. Think about how many you want to have edited to perfection by the photographer.

Rights usage (for real estate or other business-related photography)
If your shoot is for real estate or another business use, there is a whole different set of questions you’ll need to ask your photographer, mostly around rights usage, type of usage (online vs. print), length of usage rights, and so on—all of which can affect your final cost.