We got a 10 minute chat with our Creative Director & Photographer Simon Woolley to find out the differences between hiring a professional photographer and an amateur/yourself.


Phil: So Simon, We’ve been asked by a few clients about photography and the importance of hiring a professional photographer verses going down the DIY route with a smartphone camera etc.. I just wanted to find what your views are on the differences and maybe the pros and cons of both?
For example, can phone cameras be as good as thousands of pounds worth of professional camera equipment?


Simon: With the increase of quality of smartphone technology, images taken with a phone have never been higher quality. I mean, millions of pixels from something that fits in your pocket! Although images taken on a mobile phone have their place on websites or social media, when you hire a professional photographer you aren’t just getting a photograph as the end product.

A good professional photographer will have a large understanding of lighting, environment and how to organise a photoshoot, and this should look effortless in the final shots.


P: Is it a case of using a professional photographer for main images on a website or print materials for example, but using a mobile phone for social media posts or blogs?


S: Absolutely, it would make sense for a restaurant to hire a professional photographer to organise a photoshoot to take hundreds of images of the restaurant, food, cocktail making and day-to-day staff activities these images would aim to draw in the viewer’s attention.

If that same restaurant wanted to write a blog/social post on a charity fundraiser – a camera phone image would be appropriate.


P: Are the photos the same then? It’s just the person clicking the button that changes?


S: I wouldn’t say so, a professional will have visualised your theme or style for each shoot, this would be taken into account when selecting camera equipment; lenses, lighting and tripods or support not to mention the setting used on the camera itself. The real bonus of hiring a professional is the experience and understanding they have – You would hope when you hire a professional plumber, they know how to fix a blocked pipe!


P: Some people can feel uncomfortable in a photoshoot, does this come across in photographs?


S: Part of being a professional photographer is learning how to work with your subject matter, making people feel comfortable as possible is very important! Personality comes across in photographs and if someone is enjoying themselves, this give a relaxed feel to the finished images. Your photographer will also be able to make small edits if for example, if a rogue bottle of cleaning product is visible in the background, this can be taken out using some Photoshop wizardry.


P: Well, not that I am bias but Hoggett’s Designers can do some great things with Photoshop! Why is photo editing an important part of the process? Will the subject look like the original?


S: Due to the unpredictable nature of photoshoots whether it’s an overcast day or simply how people are feeling, not everything can be 100% perfect every time! We try to edit the photos to enhance them, rather than completely change what’s been taken. Sometimes images may need certain items lightened/darkened or completely removed altogether. This is something that cannot be done easily on a phone but is Hoggett Creative’s bread and butter work. A professional photographer should have a decent knowledge of Photoshop or other photo editing software, and should be able to talk you through these changes easily.


P: But surely if you have someone who knows how to use a camera but hasn’t been trained they can do a good enough job?


S: If say, a friend or family member has a digital camera with the correct equipment and enjoys photography as a hobby, they may be able to get some very nice images but a professional photographer will have a portfolio of images and testimonials from previous jobs guaranteeing you get the correct shots and the whole process goes off without a hitch.

Having a professional also means that their job is completing the work on time and within budget (something that could be an issue with a part time or amateur photographer). The level of service with a professional photographer tends to be higher also.


P: Well, thank you Simon, I’m sure our readers will now understand why hiring a professional photographer is important and maybe think twice before seeking to take on the challenge themselves!
Anything else you’d like to add?


S: Thank you! Well, if I could just let everyone know that if they want to contact me for a Photoshoot, whether it’s product shots or an on-location shoot they can contact me via the Hoggett website and book a meeting online!


If you’re interested in booking a meeting with Simon to talk about Photography or any other of Hoggett Creative’s services, please visit our contact page.

Have you had a positive or negative experience with amateur photographers? Has a photoshoot gone wrong?
We’d love to hear your stories, let us know on social media!