When planning a photo shoot, there’s a lot to consider. One of the main things to think about is whether you’re going to shoot it on a phone camera or hire a professional photographer. This can be a daunting decision with many potential challenges and outcomes, so let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons.
If budget wasn’t an issue, I would tell all business owners and online brands to hire a professional photographer to capture their visual content. The technical and artistic expertise that a pro brings to a photo shoot cannot be underestimated. It would take too much time to go into the details of all of the benefits but simply put: professional photography is the best way to nail your content creation and visual communication.
However, for a lot of businesses, especially startups and small brands, hiring a professional photographer for all their photos is simply impossible. In that case, I recommend business owners to take their own photos to fill the gaps between the professional photo shoots.
This is why your iPhone camera becomes your best friend!
You don’t have to buy a DSLR camera, multiple lenses and editing software. In fact, I find that when non-photographers pressure themselves to buy “fancy gear” in order to improve their photography, it actually backfires.
Having fancy gear doesn’t automatically make good photos.
If anything, owning fancy gear and not knowing how to use it is overwhelming and quickly leads people to give up entirely.
I 100% recommend turning to the best camera you already own. That’s the one that’s on you: your phone!
Almost 100 years ago, a very wise photographer said: “To photograph: it is to put on the same line of sight the head, the eye and the heart.”
Every good photo starts with your brain connecting what you see to what your heart feels, and responding by taking a photo. That is the most important part, and that is what gives your photos impact and connection to your audience. No one else sees and feels the same way you do, so whenever you engage that part of your brain and your heart, you are creating art that is unique to you.
And when you create images that bear your own unique voice, people notice and people are moved by that.
Embracing this is the start of becoming a good image maker.
The next part is using good light, composition and finishing the photo with some good, basic editing. (Yes, there are free apps for this! I recommend Lightroom Mobile. There’s a free version and everyone should download it.)
This is why I created this blog: to inspire others to get in touch with their inner artistic side and use that to create better photos with any camera. Everyone is capable of taking a good photo!
WHEN TO HIRE A PROFESSIONAL VS. WHEN TO TAKE YOUR OWN PHOTOS
So how do you decide when a photo shoot should be hired out to a professional photographer and when it can be just shot DIY-style on a phone camera?
The rule of thumb is to allocate a minimum of one to two professional photo shoots per year. Plan them out so that they are shot on one day, covering as many different elements and capturing as much variety in content as possible. Photographers usually charge by the hour of shooting, so make sure you pre-plan everything so you can maximize shoot time. Also make sure to allocate time to get headshots taken of yourself, as well as candid and lifestyle photos of your products or service to add an extra warm touch to your collection of images.
Beyond these annual professional photo shoots, commit to improving your phone photography skills and developing good, daily photo habits so that taking your own photos becomes second nature. It doesn’t have to be perfect when you start, but it’s important that you do start wherever you are at. Your photography skills and creativity will improve over time if you keep at it and continually commit to taking photos daily.
The benefit of developing good DIY photography habits is that you’ll have the freedom to take photos any time you need to: whenever you launch a new product, whenever you have a new event to capture, whenever you are inspired to create a photo on the spot. The beautiful thing about knowing how to create strong visual content regardless of the camera or gear you have is that you can communicate your message and self-express at any moment. It’s an incredible feeling and the good news is that it’s accessible to all. All you need is your phone camera!