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Thread: Help advice needed "Why use a professional photographer?"

  1. #1
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    Default Help advice needed "Why use a professional photographer?"

    Hi All -
    After 30 years of amature photography, it took me 2 years to use to the term " professional" for myself. The Nikon D-70 helped. It's like a media pass hanging around my neck. People ask who I work for. Once I had a few dozen photos in print and had businesses purchase photos it was easier to say I am a professional. I think when I see more photos by other professionals, that I can improve on by framing, exposure, and subject angles I feel more professional as well. So, I was not only surpised but offended when the when a local city manager said " we dont need professional photographers now with digital camaras." It was a gallery opening and not the time for debate, but this is a guy that holds the purse strings for several facilities that use photography.

    I have photos of various places and facilites that are clearly better than those supplied by the city, taken by employees.

    How do you explain the reasons for a professional to people who do not see? Without getting defensive?
    I continually take photos of local sites and activites, all year round, to archive for visitor and civic publications later. Maybe post or direct the decision makers to my galleries? Any advice?

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    Good or bad, it's always the photographer that makes the photos. It's not the equipment one uses to take them. The move to digital medium has not changed that one byte. Snap shooters still take snapshots, and quality shooters still take quality shots. If the end user cannot tell the difference, they deserve what they settle for.

    People who appreciate quality will continue to pay for it. Schmucks never have, and they never will. This has nothing to do with digital either.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Linda View Post
    Hi All -
    After 30 years of amature photography, it took me 2 years to use to the term " professional" for myself. The Nikon D-70 helped. It's like a media pass hanging around my neck. People ask who I work for. Once I had a few dozen photos in print and had businesses purchase photos it was easier to say I am a professional. I think when I see more photos by other professionals, that I can improve on by framing, exposure, and subject angles I feel more professional as well. So, I was not only surpised but offended when the when a local city manager said " we dont need professional photographers now with digital camaras." It was a gallery opening and not the time for debate, but this is a guy that holds the purse strings for several facilities that use photography.

    I have photos of various places and facilites that are clearly better than those supplied by the city, taken by employees.

    How do you explain the reasons for a professional to people who do not see? Without getting defensive?
    I continually take photos of local sites and activites, all year round, to archive for visitor and civic publications later. Maybe post or direct the decision makers to my galleries? Any advice?
    Hey Linda,

    This is a tough question because this is a photography forum, but what you're asking is a 'selling/advertising' question. What I mean is that, if this local city manager doesnt see the difference between the pictures, its going to be difficult to convince him.

    If you tell me who these pictures are being shown too, or where they are being displayed, I might be able to help you because Im am in sales and advertising. What is the target market?

    Im a photographer myself, so when someone tells me they cannot see much difference between a pro and a point and shoot, the photographer in me thinks: "shmuck...shmuck...shmuck..."
    The salesman in me thinks, how am I gonna get this shmuck to understand that the target client will see the difference.

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    There are cases where folks who are not professional photographers take outstanding pictures a company can use. Some picture takers have been doing so for years. Some sell their photos, while others give them away to family and friends, just like painters have done with their paintings through the years. With todays' technology and cash, photographers are a dime a dozen, so a good advertisement is the only thing that separates one from the next. There are photography students at school who take beautiful photos, some which could sell well if brought to the market.

    That said, I would use a professional photographer for a wedding or any other event where I don't want to put-up with the hassle of having to take the photos, print them, or even having to answer to a lawsuit for photos that didn't turn out well.

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    Default Quality in the image

    Quote Originally Posted by sodabiscuit12345 View Post
    Hey Linda,
    Im a photographer myself, so when someone tells me they cannot see much difference between a pro and a point and shoot, the photographer in me thinks: "shmuck...shmuck...shmuck..."
    The salesman in me thinks, how am I gonna get this shmuck to understand that the target client will see the difference.
    Soda- That is funny and Thats what it all gets down to. I just spent the weekend in a trade show booth for a client. She does beautiful landscaping but gets stuck at the "schmuck" part forgetting the sale. "If they dont get it Im not going to fight with them" she thinks. I guess we just have to show it from a visual standpoint. I'm taking her photos this year and they will see the difference next year.
    Here is another standpoint. When I heard the first spring Geese in the inlet on Friday morning at 5:30am my first thought was "I should be down there now". A pro or serious hobbiest doesnt settle for the high noon shots,they go when the light is right and patiently wait for the moment. Is the local government going to get an employee out before 8am to take pictures?
    After sitting on the Palmer Hay Flats this mornng at 6:30 watching the geese I had to come back and look at few Fred Herschmann photos. Hemmmm. I dont even have to download mine to know, Im not there yet. Gotta get up earlier. The flocks come in heavy for a week or so and then they are gone for the summer.


    Thanks

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    Linda

    I don't believe your going to convince a short order cook to sell caviar, so my advice to you is to look for the market that is not only going to sell your images, but also will know the difference between a professional photographer and a weekend pick-clicker. I will also added that you should never allow any one to dictate what you are, as long as you have the passion for this art we call photography. Remember the difference between a professional photographer and an amateur photographer is the sale of 1 photograph.

    "Buck"

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    I kinda hate the term "Professional Photographer" and cringe when people ask me if I am one. I can not think of any other career choice that people put the term "professional" in front of the career.
    Who cares what we are called? Speaking from the business sense, the only thing that matters to me is if my work sells. There isnt a day goes by when I am in my booth that at least 10 other guys (men are more typical in this sense than the ladies) tell me they have better photos than I do.
    I just smile, point them in the direction of the person renting the booths and suggest they purchase all the required inventory and set up equipment and sell there art as I am doing.
    What separates a "professional" from an amateur?
    Marketing, marketing, and marketing.

    I still think a lot of "Pro's" are missing a great place to sell there work by not setting up at places like Saturday Market and at all the various Craft Shows in the local area's.
    Tennessee

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