In the past several years, DSLRs have become affordable. Is it still worthwhile to hire a professional photographer? For most cases, yes. Think about these things:
- Consistency: Anyone can take a DSLR, shoot a bunch of photos, and get a few good ones. A pro will be able to create reliable photos without relying on luck. For event photography, you need images that are captured as the action occurs… many photo opportunities are one-time affairs. Hope shouldn’t be a factor in your photos. Even for posed photographs such as portraits or headshots, wouldn’t you rather have the efficiency of a professional?
- Reliability: A pro photographer will arrive with backup equipment so that a gear failure won’t preclude great photography (I generally show up at a photoshoot with three camera bodies). I’ll have the right gear for the venue and the knowledge of how to use that gear (lens selection, room lighting vs. flash, etc).
- An Artistic Eye: A professional photographer will create photos of the subject, but the subject won’t be the only thing considered. Using knowledge of composition, lighting, positioning, and other studies, I’ll create images that tell a better story and bring back more memories than mere snapshots.
- Knowledge and Resources: A good pro photographer will have access to the latest professional resources including the right tools (both gear and software) to create compelling images. A professional will be able to prepare work for print at a professional lab on professional paper, or to provide options for digital image delivery. As a pro photographer, I am constantly investing in furthering my photographic knowledge.
If you don’t need someone with reliable gear, don’t care about professional printing, or you’d be okay with important photos “not turning out”, then perhaps you don’t need a pro. If those things are important, let’s work together.