Why a Professional
In this day in age almost everyone has a cell phone on them that can take pictures that look amazing on Facebook and Instagram, so you might be wondering why you would pay to use a professional photographer. Quality is one of the many reasons, cell phone pictures look good on social media sites, but have you ever tried to print or blow one up? Most of us look at photos on social media sites from our relatively small cell phone screens, which can make even a low quality picture look good. Once you send these types of photos out to be printed in a larger format you will really see a degradation in the photo quality. Below is a photo I took with my cell phone in San Diego. I really like this photo and on screen it looks pretty cool, but click on it and look at how badly it degrades once it is blown up to a larger size.
Now click on the photo below which was taken with my quality camera gear.
As you can see there is quite a bit of difference in the quality of the two shots.
More than just a good camera...
It takes more than quality gear to make a good photographer. Talent is an extremely important attribute of any good photographer, but a talented photographer with the right gear and the knowledge to use it can make a great photographer. Stephen Spielberg is a extremely talented producer but he is not out making movies with cell phones or other cheap camera gear. Photographers who are serious about the craft make large investments into quality gear, and I am not just talking about the camera and lenses. There are other tools like lighting, modifiers, computer equipment and editing software that can be used to create that amazing shot your after.
Having a properly calibrated monitor is extremely important when it comes to having photos printed. I recommend High Desert Frameworks in Bend for your printing needs. They make high quality prints using the ProPhoto RGB color space and since my monitor is properly calibrated I can be sure the photos sent to them will be represented properly on the print.
So, when that next big life event happens and you want to document that memory in pictures, do you really want to rely on your buddy with a cell phone, or do you want to get beautiful quality images that truly will last a life time?
I use a combination of Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop to edit my photos, but a tool I rely on heavily to make sure the colors in my edits come out correctly, is the Spyder 5 Pro by Datacolor. The Spyder 5 Pro calibrates my computer monitor to make sure that all the colors in the photograph are be represented properly. Look at the two photos below, the one on the left I edited before I had the Spyder 5 and the one on the right I edited after I started using the Spyder 5. You can see the left one has an excessive red color cast which I didn't see until after the monitor was properly calibrated.