Is a Professional Photographer Worth a Few Hundred Dollars?

close up headshot image for entrepreneur in northern mississippi with tunnel in background tan suit and beard by danielle jacqueline photography in olive branch ms

I normally don’t like to seem salesy – but this topic has really gotten me thinking. If I didn’t know what I know now, would I pay a professional photographer a few hundred dollars? In all honesty, it would be hard to appreciate or value the service if my husband and I didn’t do this for a living. So I thought I’d try to explain the worth in what I do.

The Worth of High End Photography

Today, nearly everyone has a smart device and knows somebody with a decent camera. So why would anyone pay more for something that can be done cheaper? I can hear my husband saying, “What’s wrong with our $800 smart phones?” Or, “Just use the $350 to buy a camera.” He might even suggest going to the Memphis Zoo instead. I can’t say I wouldn’t disagree haha!

Like most large families, we’d probably find something else to spend our money on. Taking pictures with a bunch of littles isn’t exactly our idea of a good time. Especially if it costs a lot of money. But what if my husband and I knew a professional photographer could do more than just develop a photo? What if we thought of it more as a memory?

The thing is, the time you spend with a pro is much more than an amazing capture. No matter the purpose of your pictures, understanding the benefits is important. With that being said, here are some of the things that make a professional photographer worth every penny.

bride to be putting on makeup in bridal party suite before ceremony begins for personal wedding photographer session by danielle jacqueline in memphis tn

1. Experience With People.

If you’ve ever tried to orchestrate a photoshoot before, it’s not the easiest of tasks. For whatever reason, most people don’t like taking pictures. Some will do almost anything to avoid it. Whether you’re planning a session with immediate family or for work, getting everyone together can be a real drag. The last thing anyone wants to be is the nag.

This is where the social skills of a professional photographer really come in handy. From the get go, they understand their service is an experience. So they’re eager to ask a lot of questions and incorporate suggestions everyone will enjoy. In other words, building a relationship is important.

Nagging or barking orders isn’t necessary because they have a plan and everyone is on the same page. Patience makes them easy to get along with and their commanding presence keeps the shoot moving along. 

A Seasoned Photographer Has Skills.

If the mood during a shoot happens to turn sour, a pro knows how to improvise or respond accordingly. Their ability to ease tension or stir up natural laughter during awkward moments is second to none. This makes the camera a lot less intimidating – causing people to open up more often than not. To many, this is extremely valuable.

When you hire a professional photographer, you’re not just paying for high quality photos. Direction, attention and comfort is included in every package. So don’t be surprised when you received an agenda and shot list. This is a good thing. 

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2. Creative Assistance.

Personality isn’t the only trait worth mentioning when it comes to photography. Creativity is just as important. In all honesty, it should be a requirement for the profession. Every single one of my clients have asked me for help with their ideas. Without any certainty, it can be easy to overanalyze locations and second guess themes. 

Working with someone that knows when, where and how to take pictures really takes a creative load off your shoulders. Aside from settings and placing individuals, and professional photographer understands the power of angles. Capturing certain features in different lighting or using objects to create perspective certainly makes a big difference.

Many people are surprised to see how captivating a portrait from their own backyard can be. While a point and shoot photograph might get the job done, a unique capture might look better on your wall. Whether that’s worth it or not is up to you.

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3. High End Equipment.

The last thing that makes a professional photographer worth the money is their capability. It may not seem like that big of a deal, but premium cameras and lenses drastically improve the quality of the photo. There’s a reason why they cost thousands of dollars. 

When a photographer is able to tell you what type of equipment they plan on using and why, it gives the client peace of mind. Unique backdrops and props only add to the experience. Whether you’re on the beach in Gulfport during the middle of the day or enjoying company at dusk, a pro will never miss a moment. 

Besides an increased ability to manage a camera and freeze a frame, a professional photographer also uses high end editing software. I personally use Lightroom and my husband works a lot with Photoshop and Illustrator. This gives us much capability! 

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