I can't tell you the number of times I've been complimented on my "expensive camera" and been told what great pictures it takes. Um. Gee. Thanks. I totally understand what my friends or clients are saying when they say that sentence; they do not mean it in a unkind way. But let's put it into another perspective here, another field of talent, if you will. Imagine you are invited to a dinner party by a local chef. The food is wonderfully prepared and presented and tastes amazing. Would you tell him what an expensive, great stove he must have to have prepared such a wonderful meal? Probably not; because you would realize that it is the chef's experience and skill that helped to make the meal so delicious. The same goes with photography. Yes, a better camera in knowledgeable hands can usually produce better images than a basic beginner camera in knowledgeable hands. But. Overall, you will find that the quality of the image is directly related to the experience and skill of the person creating the image. A few weeks ago an aquaintance of mine asked me a very simple question: "I have a fancy camera, why would I want to hire a professional photographer?". It got me to thinking and I decided to write a blog post about it.
A nice camera isn't enough to take good pictures. If you haven't mastered the exposure triangle, if you aren't shooting in a mode other than "auto", if you don't know how to create sharp images...the camera won't magically know how to do it for you. Taking pictures in auto modes and relying on the camera to choose the right settings will give you randomly good shots....and a lot of randomly bad ones, too. Hiring a professional photographer is hiring knowledge, know-how and experience.
2. Professional Retouching
In the digital era, photographs need a bit of editing to get a "wow" factor. It doesn't mean they have to be heavily edited. Having a photographer who understands how to add the right amount of contrast, the ideal amount of brightness/darkness in the right places, remove color casts from skin, correcting skin tones, or make a perfect black and white conversion can change an image into an beautiful piece of art.
3. The Artist's Eye
Ask 3 different people to photograph the same subject and you will get 3 different photos. Photography is an art, a vision, if you will and it's highly subjective. Hiring a professional photographer is trusting his or her vision and trusting that he or she will help you to create images you will love.
A professional photographer with experience has learned the safest ways to photograph your newborn and baby. They will not do "just anything" to get a certain type of shot. Whether it's someone they employee or the newborn's parent, they use spotters at all times for the utmost precaution. This is especially important with newborns and with babies who are just learning how to sit. They would much rather get the shot safely and clone out a spotter's arm/hand/etc than to risk injury to the newborn or baby by not suporting the newborn's head, or the wobbly, just-learning-to-sit 6 month old.
5. Finally Be in the Photo!!
That's an obvious one: hiring a professional photographer is the best way to finally be in the photo with your loved ones....thus documenting the love and interaction/emotions between you and them...which is priceless gift for the whole family!