How Cheap Photographers Cost You

May 5, 2017 | Tips & Advice

Using a Cheap Photographer Costs You Money

Everyone is a photographer. Everyone has a camera in their pocket at all times and the DSLR market has driven down prices in recent years, making semi-pro equipment much more attainable. As enticing as it may be to hire someone who is part time or new to the photography industry, or even to run down to the local camera shop, snag a “good” camera and put it in the hands of a college intern, you should think twice before going that route. Using a cheap photographer costs you money in the long run. When you can’t use the imagery created to market yourself to the fullest extent that is possible with that content. Every missed marketing opportunity is money down the drain.

Why do you need to take pictures? To share on social media? To put on your website? To showcase your event? To boost your brand and speak to your audience?

Manly tooth fairy with wings and wand captured for a halloween ad campaign

Manly tooth fairy shot for Goodwill Halloween Billboard Campaign


Stop and think for a minute about what you are going to capture. Think about the effort and time you are putting into it.

For example, if you have an event that you are putting on you likely spent lots of time coming up with programming, sending invites, branding, decor, food, staffing, reminders, follow ups, etc. It’s a big production! You clearly take your job seriously and care about your mission. But if you hire a green photographer, the only thing you will have to show to anyone who wasn’t there is mediocre work. Their work is a reflection of your work. Their quality is a reflection of yours.

Woman speaks at non-profit gala in Milwaukee by Front Room Photographers

Speaker at podium captured by Front Room Photography


The photographer you hire needs to know how to use light to make the room look great. How to use the proper equipment to capture important moments and portraits of VIPs. How to handle fast-paced programs, changing conditions and unexpected moments.  You only have one chance to capture this moment and to show it off in it’s best light to the world. That is how you will tell your story and grow your event. More attendees will come if it looks like an exciting, fun and well-planned production.

Matthew S Levatich, Harley CEO for United Way Live United by Front Room

CEO of Harley Davidson, Matthew S Levatich, captured for United Way by Front Room

Or another example, you are tasked to get new headshots of your team. Often headshots are the very first impression people get of your team. Are you serious lawyers? Or goofy creatives? People look for your headshots to match your brand. (It is, after all, about your people and your team and what they do for others in the marketplace.) They should be lit well with a look and concept that matches that brand. They really should be retouched so your team looks their best.

If you don’t take your team seriously enough to invest in good quality pictures of them, why should potential clients invest with your company? Because people put such an emphasis on personal connections in business, they will feel like they know you if your headshots convey personality and brand. If they don’t get that from you, they might mosey on to your competitor who has professionally produced images.

Professional headshot of a woman in red by Front Room

Professional headshot with a warm & modern look

Think of your own work – your own industry. If someone came in, brand new to what you do, and said they could do the same work for half the cost – you would probably laugh. Because you are professional and you know that you charge a fair rate for the amount of work that goes into producing the quality product you put out into the market. You’d probably see that person either struggle and go out of business or eventually raise their prices to be in line with you and your main competition. It’s the same with photography.

Anyone can show up with a camera and take some pictures. But your brand deserves someone who takes their job as seriously as you take yours.

It’s small things in business that make all the difference. Don’t learn the hard way. Often a couple hundred dollars on inexperienced photography is money wasted. Working with an experienced photographer who understands your brand and mission is worth the investment in the long run for your brand.

celebrity chef speaker at Grain Exchange Bartolotta event by Front Room

Chef speaking at a Bartolotta event at the Grain Exchange

Disclaimer: We love newbie photographers – everyone starts somewhere! We did once. We even have a program at our studio that starts new photographers out as assistants, moves them to second photographer status and finally to a lead role. It takes time to develop talent into a photographer that can think on their feet, react correctly in any given circumstance and produce high quality work consistently for clients. 

See more of our work here!