June 9, 2024

Why You Should Hire Professionals

A screengrab of the Instagram sidebar
A screengrab of the Instagram sidebar
A screengrab of the Instagram sidebar
A screengrab of the Instagram sidebar

Caydie McCumber is a commercial photographer specializing in fitness, wellness, and healthy lifestyle. She recently posted to her LInkedIn page something I think is worth sharing. Here's the post from Caydie:

"I thought we were done with this practice of hiring photogs based off of their Instagram, but I had a conversation with some creatives recently that made me realize we need to do a PSA:

Every week I have to talk at least one of my photographer friends off the ledge of quitting the business. Some weeks I wonder if I'm giving good advice by convincing them to keep pushing.

These are photographers who are true career pros. They've dedicated the majority, if not the entirety, of their adult lives to this craft, this BUSINESS.

The thing that irks me the most to hear is that creatives are still hiring photographers they found on instagram. There are still some creatives who see a good instagram feed and think that this person can do a photoshoot. Let me say this clearly and loudly for anyone who is hiring this way or considering hiring this way; THERE IS A HUGE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER AND SOMEONE WHO CAN TAKE A GOOD PICTURE.

A professional photographer has put in the time to learn what it takes to get the shots your creative is asking for, within the time frame allotted so that you don't go overtime and over budget.

A professional photographer knows how to direct talent and pull the emotion out of them, rather than hope the talent instinctually knows what to do.

A professional photographer is prepared to troubleshoot any and all technical problems that WILL come up on set.

A professional photographer has 2-3 alternative ideas in their back pocket in case plan A doesn’t work for any given shot.

A professional photographer knows how to tell their crew what they want and delegate tasks, rather than relying on their crew to make choices for them while making pennies on the dollar.

Most important, hiring a true professional photographer means you won't be wasting your clients' time and money on reshoots.

So ya'll, if you're hiring for a shoot and you think Instagram-Sam (just made that up, quite proud 😂) can do it because they have a good feed, do your due diligence. Ask a photographer or elder creative that you trust what they think. Anyone with enough experience can spot the difference between a pro and someone who will blow your budget.

Just sayin'."

What she's saying applies across a large swath of the creative industry right now. Between AI encroaching on our work, costs being cut at every opportunity, and regular civilians with an iPhone who can put a pretty Instagram post together, we are facing more of an uphill battle as creatives than ever before. It's important that we learn to see the difference between actual professionals, and Instagram Sam.