It’s rare that amateurs can really get the same results as professionals in their field, but this is an extremely common thing for businesses to attempt. Whether it’s intended to save money, time, effort or all of the above, it’s a cost cutting measure that can sometimes work out for the best. Unfortunately, it’s often a false economy since the results can be so sub-standard, and we’d argue that photography is a major area where this is almost always true. Here are a few reasons that amateur photography should generally be avoided for any project that really matters to you.
1) Lower sales potential
A very common mistake among e-commerce businesses is the decision to use an amateur product photographer (usually someone in-house) to take pictures of products to be used on their sales website. The result is often a set of poor quality images that don’t make your products look attractive or demonstrate their key benefits, so it’s not surprising that these items aren’t likely to sell well.
2) Unprofessional results
Whether you’re looking for product photography or you want pictures of your employees or even events, professional results will reflect much better on your company. Images to post on your website and use for marketing purposes should not look like they were taken by an amateur, or people will get that impression of your entire brand. It’s much better to be associated with high quality, professional-looking photographs if you want to come across well.
3) Sub-standard equipment
Even if an amateur photographer is using a DSLR to take their pictures, it’s more likely to be an entry level model. The digital images you get as a result are simply not going to be as high quality as those from a professional event or product photography specialist. This limits the uses of your images later, for example if your images are too small to allow online viewers to zoom in on details.
4) Too much focus on equipment
This may seem like a contrast to our previous point, but there is a balance to be found. Of course the camera you use matters, but what’s probably much more important is the skill level of the photographer. An amateur is highly unlikely to have mastered the settings on a high-end camera, as they are usually highly complex and offer different solutions for different environments.
We’re not talking about simplistic preset filters here, but real professionals know how to subtly edit their photos to maximise the results. This requires shooting in the appropriate format, followed by plenty of technical expertise. An amateur photographer might be able to apply basic effects, but probably nothing on the same level.