How to decide if professional photography is worth the investment.

Once upon a time
In 1999, DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) cameras hit the market. The photo industry was revolutionized by the promise of taking a two- or three-megapixel photo. But not for nothing: just the body of a DSLR came at a whopping $5,000, not to mention the cost of lenses and additional equipment. That’s definitely not what one would consider accessible pricing. Flash forward almost 20 years, and now we’re all walking around with 10+ megapixel cameras in our back pockets.

Technology evolves, and updates and adaptions make precursors obsolete. DSLRs are rapidly going the way of the dinosaur in our increasingly DIY world where low-cost, high-quality photography is now widely available on cell phones. It follows that businesses would wonder if professional photoshoots are still a sound investment, or if the cameras they have on hand will do the job.

DIY or go pro?
We can look at this issue through two lenses (haha, get it?): you can set up a professional photoshoot with the highest-quality equipment and trained photographers, or you can strike out with an in-house vision and your cellphones or consumer cameras.

Here’s a quick analogy to help with your decision: while most people have access to a kitchen, not everyone can cook well. Some people may make a passable meal that won’t give you food poisoning, but you wouldn’t ask them to cater your holiday party. If you’re going to be doing the photography yourself, make sure you have a darn good cook on your team. Otherwise, go hire a professional chef.

What’s at stake.
Keep in mind, photography often acts as the first visual impression your organization presents to the rest of the world. People are making instant judgements—conscious and subconscious—about your brand: its trustworthiness, value, professionalism and personality. It’s setting the tone for the rest of their brand experience and contributing to their decision of whether or not to invest in what you are doing.

Answer the following questions:

Keeping it casual.
Don’t let the high stakes scare you out of a more casual approach. There are several good reasons to use the cameras you’ve got on hand:

Act professional.
Committing to a more professional production with high end equipment is good if you want:

At the end of the day, it mainly boils down to time, place and purpose. A professional photoshoot is worth it if you’re designing your homepage, crafting national ads or sharing media that will represent your brand for the foreseeable future. You don’t, however, need one for every photo you want to take and post. If it’s more of a casual Friday type of social post, DIY is an acceptable way to go. Ultimately, “Why not both?” is a good way to go to make sure you cover all your bases.

"Need great photos for your website or business? Learn how to decide if the cost of professional photography is worth the investment with this guide from The James Agency."
Get The Latest Updates

Join our email list

The latest in marketing news delivered in a bite-size monthly email.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Related Posts


Share On

Treat that fear of missing out.

Join our email list.

The latest in marketing news delivered in a bite-size monthly email.

I'm interested in: