1. Education-Those YouTube tutorials can be pretty darn informative. I use them myself for new ideas. However, a person would have to log a lot of hours on the computer to equal a college education. Many professional photographers have bachelors or associate degrees specializing in photography. (I earned a bachelor of arts in Photo-Illustration with a minor in Art History from Kent State University.)
2. Equipment-You can get a pretty awesome camera at a big box store for $500. I'm sure we all know "that guy" at the kid's soccer game with the sweet Nikon. How many of us know a non-professional photographer with $10,000 worth of lenses in their camera bag?
3. Personality-I don't know many people who truly enjoy having their photo taken. A huge part of becoming a quality portrait photographer is learning to put your subject at ease. If you feel uncomfortable and awkward during the photo session, how do you think you will like the photos?
4. Computer Skills-Ansel Adams performed his magic in the darkroom. Today's photographer uses the click of a mouse. From file management, to archiving of images, to color calibration, to image manipulation, a professional has a lot of time and cash invested in the technology of post-processing.
5. Finishing-I don't think we, as a society, print enough photos. There is real value in a print. A professional has network of companies providing cutting edge professional products for their clients.
So, is it still necessary to hire a professional? Yes. I know, I'm a little biased on this one...but trust me, you won't regret your decision.
PS This cold weather (it's 4 degrees right now!) has me craving comfort food. We had braciole (beef rolls braised in tomato sauce) with home made pasta for dinner last night. What's your favorite winter comfort food? Share it on our Facebook page!