“Everyone’s a photographer.” – simply, no, they’re not.
In this day and age everyone can be a photographer, professional equipment is no longer the only way to achieve high quality images and YouTube tutorials are making photography easier to learn. Instead of having to go to college and university to be educated in the field, people can now hop onto Pinterest or Instagram, join some Facebook groups and follow some Twitter accounts and they can pick up enough information to create interesting images.
However, hiring a qualified professional will always be a better investment than asking your friend with a DSLR to document your wedding because it isn’t a hobby for us, it’s something we have dedicated the majority of our lives to becoming one of the best at rather than just to have an aesthetically pleasing Instagram account.
Social media is an amazing thing, as are smart phones, they do help with business as well as hinder it. I can now advertise on websites like Gumtree instead of having to put an ad in a newspaper, I can post images I’ve taken on my Instagram account or Facebook page and my followers and friends can see the level of professionalism I photograph at, they can share my albums to gain an even wider audience and that’s how I end up getting most of my clients.
I am indeed still a student yes, but I have been advertising myself as a self-employed photographer since I was sixteen to photograph events either for the experience or at a very low price to get a varied portfolio together for when I do become self-employed and start charging a higher rate.
Everyone starts somewhere but don’t think you can photograph your wedding on a smart phone and won’t regret it in years to come when you wish you’d hired a professional. We go through a lot of shitty jobs, scrimping and saving and not going on holidays (to name a few sacrifices we make) to bend over backwards for our clients and make sure they’re happy with the person they’ve entrusted to document an important event in their lives.