I had a conversation today about what really defines who is a photographer. Just because you have a camera and charge for your services doesn't make you a professional photographer. There is much more to that!
First, you need the right skills. We study new methods and we know how to angle you to show you at your best. We won't just line everyone up like bowling pins. We can make an arrangement of people like a bouquet of flowers. We can make you look twenty years younger with just the right lighting and without photoshop! You just do not set the camera to take automatic exposures. Sure you might get some photos that are acceptable but a professional gets the majority of them right as far as exposure and composition right in the camera. We know how to compose a technically correct image. Not too dark or light which over exposes. We can get white to be white and still have the detail in a wedding dress. We can pick up the camera and use our equipment of which we have multiple cameras, lenses, batteries and memory/film with us all the time to make sure we don't miss a shot. We can adjust our cameras to blur backgrounds or get things very sharp. And we not only have duplicates of everything, we have the right equipment for the job from lenses, lights, umbrellas and modifiers. if we don't own them we rent them or borrow them. We like perfection in our art. Wedding shooters know just when the sun will set to be able to capture that ultra blue sky and vivid color. If the sun isn't cooperating we know how to make and shape the light ourselves. Then we have multiple copies of every photo we take in multiple locations so we can't tell you we lost your photos. We have a list of great places to take you to capture the perfect image. We know what paperwork - permits and insurance we need for the places we're going to take you. And we have insurance in case something fails us: Cameras break, get wet or get stolen. Light stands fall or people fall over a wire, stand or the wind picks up an umbrella and sends it flying.
A professional photographer has figured out appropriate prices. If we charge too little, we can't buy the next round of technology from cameras, lights or software. We have taxes to pay and insurance and for the car to get us to the location. We might have studio rent and if we have a studio we have props and backgrounds and display items.
There is much to being a professional. Even a conscience effort to have ethics and be business people in the true sense of the word. We know how to make those images last 100 years and speak your message, capture a moment in time and make it forever. We guarantee our results. We won't just hand you a disk of photos to sit and wonder what you want to do with them while they sit in the bottom drawer of your nightstand or desk. What we did will last for generations - Forever. We're not going to make you guess. We want you to enjoy our work. Always.