There is one sentence in the Seattle Bride Magazine’s article Pros Of Hiring A Pro that says it all.

“I now disagree more than ever with the digital-age adage that “now everyone is a photographer.”

This coming from an amateur photographer that is doing pretty well as a travel photographer – he has had a few cover images, so he knows a thing or two about photography.

The assumption right now is if you have a camera, love taking pictures, you can photograph anything any time. And I don’t just hear this from the consumers; I hear it from seasoned professionals as well. So many people have bought into the theory that if you have a camera, you can be a professional.

Isn’t that just like saying if you have a plunger, you can be a professional plumber? Or if you have a toothbrush you can be a dentist?

Having the love, desire and passion for photography is your starting point. Then it moves up from there.

You have to know your camera inside and out, be able to shoot in any condition without thinking about it – you just know how to set your camera/flash to get the best image possible.

You have to have the best equipment possible for your circumstances. Multiple professional grade bodies, multiple lenses, flash units – whatever you need to do the best job possible.

You have to know the business side of photography. You have to be good at everything – photography, production, sales, marketing, planning. It all makes you a better photographer, and presents you that way to your potential customers.

And you have to be willing to keep learning along the way. I talk to photographers all the time that swore they would retire before they ever had to use new technology (i.e. digital, social networking, website marketing, etc) and now they are some of the best in the industry. Things change. And you have to change with it. That’s just the way it is.

And finally, you have to be willing to pay for the best, and know when to call in an expert to help you get exactly what you want. Just like you would never have a friend put in a crown over a broken tooth, you should never call in a friend to photograph one of the most important days of your life.

As the amateur photographer in the Seattle Bridal Magazine said:

“My fiancé and I are on a tight budget and had planned to take a gamble and hire an amateur photographer friend. Now? We’re determined to find a way to get a pro.”

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