The decision of buying a camera to do it all yourself vs. hiring a photographer to do it for you is all a matter of personal opinion.
As the world progresses further into the creator economy, the demand for photography services continues to rise. With almost everyone becoming a content creator and a photographer today, it is easier to assume that investments into professional photographers is no longer necessary. After all, all you need is a great camera and a few YouTube tutorials, right?
Before you jump to Google or Amazon and begin your search for the “best camera for beginners,” you may want to take a moment to consider whether it makes sense for you to invest in your own camera or hire a professional photographer.
First, let’s take a look at some Pros and Cons of each route.
You are in control of when, where, and how you want your photos to be taken. You get to experience instantaneous satisfaction when you own a pro camera. Of course, you can experience the same with a cell phone camera, but unless you have a top of the line phone, the quality of a cell phone camera won’t match the “big boys” like Canon, Sony, and Nikon.
Take as many photos as your heart desires without having a cap on pictures that photographers may require. The great aspect about digital cameras is that you can literally take up to 1000 pictures on a single 64 gig card.
Is professional photography expensive? It’s an investment for sure. A great investment! However, if you want to explore the ownership route of a brand new camera, you can invest $4,000- $5,000 on a camera and have unlimited photoshoots. I will say that there is more to creating a successful photoshoot than just the camera, but unless you want to do photography as a full time job, you probably wouldn’t be interested in that.
Depending on your level of interest in photography, once you invest in your own camera, you may choose to gradually develop your new skills into a full-blown hobby or side hustle if you want to bring in more bucks.
The cost of a standard DSLR camera can be hefty. Cameras range between $100 and $6,000. Many times, this cost is only for the body, without the lens. The lens can run you between $400 on the low end and $2000 on the high end. Accessories, if you so choose to purchase, are another story.
There is a learning curve to learning the most recent cameras. They are actually quite elaborate. Even if you are not planning on keeping up to date with the newest camera, the basics of photography (exposure, composition, aspect ratios, etc) can be very extensive.
You may have the best camera on the market today. You may have acquired the best training on Udemy for professional photography. However, nothing beats doing the experience you get from doing a single thing repetitively for many, many years that a seasoned photographer will provide.
Technical support can sometimes be a pain if you don’t have the right people in your corner. Managing your photography equipment (in this case, a camera) can sometimes prove to be too much for the hobbyist consumer, especially when something stops working properly. Youtube is often the first place to go when needing help with something, but frustration can set in often and frequently when the video starts talking photographer “lingo.”
1. Better professional-looking photos and videos: A professional simply knows how to manipulate light and shadow to get the best shots for your photos and puts years of work into his field of study.
2. Improves brand if the photographer is famous: Hiring professional photographers who are renowned in the industry can and will increase credibility of the artwork. In other words, when other’s hear of a certain photographer’s name, they can assume that your portraits will be top notch.
3. No need to worry about the equipment, handling and maintenance. The photographer handles all the essentials. I prefer to not let you lift a finger. I pride myself on making the booking process as easy as possible for you.
4. No upfront cost: The cameras that are being produced now are expensive. Not everyone can afford or may even WANT a modern high-definition camera. But for a few hundred dollars, you can have access to a high-definition camera and the equipment that your photographer will carry. Compare that to thousands!!
1. You are paying for the photographers time, expertise, editing, guidance, etc. These are factors that create the hefty price tag and depending on the expertise of the photographer, some are more expensive than others. That doesn’t mean that’s a drawback though. Often, the price tag comes with exceptional work. You’d be happy that it is worth it!!!
2. The photos are limited. Unless you are dealing with somebody who is new in the “game” you will be limited to how many images you receive. Each image needs to be edited by hand, so the idea that digitals don’t cost anything is a myth.
3. Costs over time can inflate: If you use professional photographers yearly (as some do), the cost can start to add up. It’s a good thing that photographers offer heavy discounts on repeat clients so you will still be able to take your pictures yearly.
4. No opportunity to acquire photography skills on your own: Going the DIY route is most certainly more time consuming and sometimes frustrating as most new endeavors are. There IS one drawback though to hiring a pro photographer and it is simply that you don’t get to learn it for yourself. Now this may only apply to those who WANT to learn photography. The rest of the folks might not care about learning it themselves because they are not really interested. But if you are interested in some capacity, you should invest in a camera and start photographing. You may decide to go full time with it once you determine you like it!
Well, it depends on these factors,
What are you looking for? If you’re looking for casual photography for social media, maybe investing in a camera would be better. I wouldn’t spend anymore than 300-400 for the lens and body, honestly. Amazon has a great option for a point and shoot camera. Just remember that your on your own. If you want something beyond that that, my personal opinion is to hire a professional photographer.