by Joseph Drago / JDrago Photography
"Everyone is a Photographer"
There is a misconception sweeping across the globe that with todays smart phones and their built in cameras that "Everyone is a Photographer". Let's put that logic into perspective, shall we?
Every house has a stove in it. Does this mean that everyone is a Chef?
Everyone owns a pair of scissors. Does this make everyone a Hair Stylist?
Everyone has a hammer. Does this make everyone a Home Contractor?
Do you see my point here? Just because everybody owns the tools used in any given profession does not inherently make them a professional. Photography is no different in this respect but I'd like to take it just a step farther. Just because someone carries around an expensive DSLR and puts the word "Photography" behind their name on a business card does not make them a Professional Photographer. While todays digital cameras do make it much easier to take good pictures, the skills necessary to take consistently exceptional, high quality images cannot be purchased at Best Buy or B&H Photo like a warranty package for your gear. A Professional takes the time to study their craft. They spend countless hours perfecting their process and they take pride in the outcome for their clients. A Professional Photographer will take more pride in making their client happy than they do making themselves happy.
How do I tell the Professionals from the Charlatans?
With the seemingly endless number of people claiming to be Photographers these days you may not know who you can trust. So what's the best way to know you are hiring a Professional? Look at their work of course but, don't stop there. Look at their work and then compare it to what you think is high quality photography in other parts of the country. If what they show you doesn't measure up to the quality you see elsewhere then don't hire them! This is your hard earned money remember. Don't give it away to someone that isn't going to make YOU look good. After all when we are talking about Real Estate Photography, the images you present in a listing are not going to have the photographers name attached to them. They are going to have YOUR name, YOUR company, YOUR reputation attached to every image. These images are either going to make you look good or bad in your profession. Now let's carry that thought forward a little further as well.
Why do you buy nice work clothes to meet with a client? Why do you put on your make up, fix your hair or brush your teeth for that matter? Is it just for yourself? Or are you trying to make a good impression on your client? Believe it or not, the pictures in your listings will either add to or detract from the impression a client forms about you. Professional photography will not only make you look good to your current client base but also bright, crisp, high quality images will attract more sellers to list with you. In that aspect, it really is like making an investment in your future.
Everybody is NOT a photographer. They may think they are and they may tell you they are but if the images in their portfolio are not on par with other professionals across the country then they are not worth your time, money and reputation. A Professional learns their craft and takes pride in their work. They will work hard to build their reputation and work even harder to help build and protect yours. Hiring a Professional Photographer may cost you a little more but remember, it's an investment in your business, your future and in yourself.