Why I need to hire a professional photographer if I have a smartphone? No one really asked me that question but I saw a lot of commercial photos taken by small business owners that I’m pretty sure they asked themselves why.
Just because Apple added the word “Pro” to their latest iPhone doesn’t mean that you have a professional camera. It is like that if you drive a car, it doesn’t turn you into a professional race driver or if you make a nice pasta at home, it does not turn you into a chef.
A phone with a camera definitely is a great tool for selfies and fast trip pictures, but for commercial proposes is useless. I’m not going to write about all the differences between cameras because there are many videos on YouTube and blogs that will explain much better the characteristics between each one, just let me tell you one, that for me, is the most important thing: the sensor.
The digital sensor is the eye of any camera and determines how much light it uses to create an image, and as many other things in life… size matters.
A sensor size in a professional camera is about 35mm (Medium format pro cameras uses bigger sensors) in a smart phone is about 5mm. Those 30mm create sharper, colorful and contrast images.
Taking a picture is not just about pushing a button as many people think. The composition of the image, what kind of light will use (natural, flash, diffusers), how hard you want a shadow cast over the subject, which lens is better for that shot, the final use of the image and what do you want to express are essential questions before taking a picture and like any other job, you need to study, learn new and different techniques, practice and as a photographer, update yourself and your equipment.
The only valid answer to the question of my blog is the price. There is no doubt that the phone option saves you money but your service or product deserve it. A professional photographer will charge you between one hundred to thousands of dollars even for just one picture. All depends of what you need and of course how much you want to spend.
Always keep in mind that a professional photographer, before he takes your pictures, has had years of practice and has been learning about posing, composition and techniques. We capture the image first in our brains and have a very clear concept before pushing the camera’s fire button. We invest money not only in cameras, we buy lenses, studio and speed light flashes, light modifiers like soft boxes, reflectors or umbrellas and finally, when we take the pictures then comes the post production process in high speed computers with special software to give you the best image possible.
To finish, let me share with you this fictional conversation between Ernest Hemingway (writer) and Ansel Adams (photographer) form the Digital Photography School blog I read last week.
Hemingway: Mr. Adams I love your photos, which camera do you use?
Adams: Ohh Mr. Hemingway, I love your writing. Tell me, which typewriter do you use?