These days, everyone seems to be a “professional” photographer. Let me tell you a secret that no one else is willing to say…
Having a “big camera” does not make someone a professional.
So what does it mean to be a professional photographer? Ken Rockwell says: “A professional photographer is a photographer who earns 100% of his income from photography. This is the definition required for entrance into the secret Nikon and Canon factory support organizations.”
We’re really fond of this list from a blog on Petapixel as well:
A professional photographer…
- Approaches a project in a manner that shows respect for both the subject and the client’s goal.
- Works with a client to achieve that goal under specific budget constraints.
- Delivers the end result, as agreed upon, on time and in a manner that shows the client’s most critical needs are understood.
- Finds ways to make a client’s life easier from the beginning of a project to the end, including saving them time and making them look like a hero.
- Is prepared to face any problem with a creative solution, from the most dire to the off-the-wall.
- Takes criticism and adjusts (quickly) in order to get the job done.
- Can completely pivot among all kinds of changing circumstances.
- Presents, negotiates, agrees, executes, invoices, and follows up with consistency and personal pride.
- Knows how to pitch and market oneself with accuracy so the promised service is what’s delivered.
- Researches the subject of a story and contributes insights and vision that make the end result better.
- Builds rapport with a subject in a way that gains unique access, makes them more comfortable, or exposes their personality.
- Keeps one’s composure while dodging bombs, borders, and mobs, linebackers and foul balls, sharks, elephants, horses, and bees, roadies, divas, tornadoes, and brides and any other incoming threats or obstacles, and still gets the job done.
And to the final one (#13) I’ll add – there’s nobody I’ve met on this planet who can tell stories like a professional photographer can. Period.
Having Professional Images Makes a World of Difference
You’ve seen that website that makes you cringe when you look at the photos. Someone’s neighbor took them with their iPhone and applied an instagram filter and voila…you’re cringing because it’s crazy blurry and weirdly colored. But think for a minute about what that means to your perception of that business. Does it instill confidence in their ability to do the job you need them to do for you? Or does it make you wonder if they didn’t care enough to use quality images, that they might be cutting corners elsewhere?
When we launched the new website for the band Damn Skippy people immediately contacted their fearless leader, Robb Todd and asked him, “Did you guys get signed to a record label??” Having the amazing images created by Steven O Photography took them from “fun party band” to “major players” in the blink of an eye.
Our Promise to You
We will never put crappy pictures on your website. We promise to work with you to deliver quality images that will let people know how AWESOME you are, and what a great job you’re going to do for them when they hire you!