Professional Photos Or Buy Pro Camera ? - General Discussion - Contractor Talk

Professional Photos Or Buy Pro Camera ?

 
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Old 11-28-2017, 10:30 PM   #1
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Professional Photos Or Buy Pro Camera ?


So I want to start show casing more and more of my projects. The few times I did professional photos, the bill really added up, almost costing 450-500 for the shoot. Incredible job however.

Im thinking investing in a Mirrorless Sony camera, something in the 800-1000 range , and probably use 1 of those companies online to do the editing and touching up . Could be great for my instagram and web portfolio.



Am i setting myself up for a headache or should i go for it ?
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Old 11-28-2017, 10:41 PM   #2
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Re: Professional Photos Or Buy Pro Camera ?


800-1000 can buy you a camera. But what about lighting? And skill to use everything? And you're still going to pony up for editing?..........

My advice..: continue to hire the pro. Turnkey operation which allows you to concentrate on what you do best.

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Old 11-28-2017, 10:45 PM   #3
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Re: Professional Photos Or Buy Pro Camera ?


Buy the camera. Learn something new. It's addicting. Get GIMP for your editing software, it's free. Personally I'd go with a mirrored camera. You don't always need lighting, but if you don't, you'll need time to wait for the lighting to come naturally.

It'll take time to learn to use it and get good results.

And you'll have more posts for the TBA thread
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Old 11-28-2017, 10:48 PM   #4
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Re: Professional Photos Or Buy Pro Camera ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by 480sparky View Post
800-1000 can buy you a camera. But what about lighting? And skill to use everything? And you're still going to pony up for editing?..........

My advice..: continue to hire the pro. Turnkey operation which allows you to concentrate on what you do best.
Good point... but Im trying to post consistenly and wanting to turn my portfolio up a notch . If I seriously had to hire a pro for every time i want to post a picture, id go broke quickly.

For a major project, sure, why not, hire him. If i wanted to show off a kitchen backsplash, i doubt id be calling him. I would want to use my camera, (Not my cell phone camera) and go from there .
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Old 11-28-2017, 11:04 PM   #5
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Re: Professional Photos Or Buy Pro Camera ?


I'd have a hard time recommending a current gen high end camera to a novice. You might get identical results with something for $100 on ebay.

Remember to budget for an ultra wide zoom and software.
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Old 11-28-2017, 11:06 PM   #6
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Re: Professional Photos Or Buy Pro Camera ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by 480sparky View Post
800-1000 can buy you a camera. But what about lighting? And skill to use everything? And you're still going to pony up for editing?..........

My advice..: continue to hire the pro. Turnkey operation which allows you to concentrate on what you do best.
Are you using lighting for interiors? I was using a fuji gx680 with tilt shift, lots of lights, gels on lights for color correction, Polaroid backs, then shooting 10 second exposures.

I get much better results on my phone these days.
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Old 11-29-2017, 06:36 AM   #7
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Re: Professional Photos Or Buy Pro Camera ?


honestly, just use a camera phone. but you want to get a LG V30 which is the only phone with a wide angle lense, which is real great for indoor shots.
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Old 11-29-2017, 07:17 AM   #8
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Re: Professional Photos Or Buy Pro Camera ?


Buying the camera is easy. Taking good pictures is something else. Everyone can take a picture. Not everyone can take a good picture. A picture good enough to represent your business.

As said above, a camera is only one part of the picture.
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Old 11-29-2017, 08:31 AM   #9
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Re: Professional Photos Or Buy Pro Camera ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by plazaman View Post
Good point... but Im trying to post consistenly and wanting to turn my portfolio up a notch . If I seriously had to hire a pro for every time i want to post a picture, id go broke quickly.

For a major project, sure, why not, hire him. If i wanted to show off a kitchen backsplash, i doubt id be calling him. I would want to use my camera, (Not my cell phone camera) and go from there .
For 3-digit projects, sure, a mirrorless like a Sony a6500 would be fine. But for 5- and 6- digit builds, you'll be able to justify hiring a pro.

Plus it's all tax deductible.
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Old 11-29-2017, 08:39 AM   #10
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Re: Professional Photos Or Buy Pro Camera ?


It's wallet deductible too.

So when are you giving up your camera sparky? Since it's not worth it for the normal joe to go out and try to take snapshots.
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Old 11-29-2017, 08:46 AM   #11
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Re: Professional Photos Or Buy Pro Camera ?


Quote:
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.............So when are you giving up your camera sparky? Since it's not worth it for the normal joe to go out and try to take snapshots.
Stop chugging the egg nog, Leo. I never said anything like that.
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Old 11-29-2017, 08:47 AM   #12
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Re: Professional Photos Or Buy Pro Camera ?


It's been a while since I bought any photo equipment but the money was always in the lenses. I shot a medium format Bronica for a while but film and developing costs were a killer. I had to drive 25 miles for the lab!

Then a top of the line Nikon, then digital. These days you can get great results without knowing anything about f stops, speed, etc. I would recommend learning about aperture though and getting a body that allows manual control. You can shoot aperture priority and let the body handle the exposure. That's how you get the depth of field instead of snapshots.

Learn that and composition, get a good tripod and you can shoot with ambient light, although some fill flash can help. I use Linux and there's Darktable, similar to Lightroom for raw images but Gimp might be good enough, especially if these are for the web.
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Old 11-29-2017, 10:00 AM   #13
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Re: Professional Photos Or Buy Pro Camera ?


I believe Golden View started a thread detailing how professionals do interior shots and corrections some time ago. Well worth reading if you can find it.
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Old 11-29-2017, 10:18 AM   #14
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Re: Professional Photos Or Buy Pro Camera ?


We just use our camera phones. The new iPhones can take HD pictures. The pics look pretty good on our site:
www.penncoatinc.com
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Old 11-29-2017, 10:25 AM   #15
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Re: Professional Photos Or Buy Pro Camera ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by plazaman View Post
Good point... but Im trying to post consistenly and wanting to turn my portfolio up a notch . If I seriously had to hire a pro for every time i want to post a picture, id go broke quickly.

For a major project, sure, why not, hire him. If i wanted to show off a kitchen backsplash, i doubt id be calling him. I would want to use my camera, (Not my cell phone camera) and go from there .
Looks like you just answered your own question.
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Old 11-29-2017, 10:26 AM   #16
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Re: Professional Photos Or Buy Pro Camera ?


Stick with the pro for the big stuff.

Popped for a camera and decent lens a few years ago. Cell phone was not cutting it in low lighting and didn't like the panos vs wider angle shots. My feelings today are mixed on the value of that purchase for work related images. Smart phone tech has advanced enough making that purchase almost seems foolish.

A latest gen Smart phone with an 18meg or better image resolution will do just fine for online posting and portfolio. Shooting without 'lighting' or the sense of proper lighting, composition .... the photography artisan skill set won't matter much whether it's a prosumer camera or late gen smart phone today and even more so going forward.

There are free apps that allow you to control ISO Aperture for smart phones also. There is a crap butt load of internet based videos and tutorials on how to use a smart phone to get ""Professional"" camera like results.

Wouldn't farm out the low level simple processing that'd you'd need. Sparky 480 may be a purist as close to straight out of the camera s possible, but post Processing images can take meh pics and make them good images- Adobe creative cloud, lightroom & Photoshop at 9.99 a month. Best price and you never even have to touch photoshop, for what you're doing. Hell never has to go beyond the first 5-10 basic adjustements in LR to get good results. LR is a great organizing and search tool also.

Another thing to consider; capturing, processing/making good images is a time suck. ... LOL I assure you that is truth. Put a $$$ amount on your time. You'll find a seasoned pro photographer is the same expense if not cheaper. Not to mention his images will always be better.
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Old 11-29-2017, 10:31 AM   #17
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Re: Professional Photos Or Buy Pro Camera ?


I have contemplated this myself. So I decided to talk to a few professional photographers about what the best way to do it. They have all said the same things. Just get a decent digital camera nothing high end but nothing that still has the Chinese sweat dripping off of it still.

Higher a professional on a couple jobs to get you pictures, use those as showcase pictures. Then anything else just use your own camera. Get good pictures and use those as fillers and show more work.

Considering most photographers go take hundreds of pictures in 1 sessions, then they spend anywhere from 10-45 minutes per photo for editing. And all of the sudden those 300-800 pictures just turned into 10-50
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Old 11-29-2017, 10:40 AM   #18
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Re: Professional Photos Or Buy Pro Camera ?


There is always another approach, just use what you have, but put it on a tripod or other mount, and level it. Use a jobsite light if you need some lighting. Then take lots of pics. Plan on cropping.

Least time and money outlay. The one caveat is you'll have technical limitations that can keep you from getting a good shot of a specific scene. Understanding your equipment limitations before you start shooting is pretty important.
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Old 11-29-2017, 12:28 PM   #19
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Re: Professional Photos Or Buy Pro Camera ?


The one and only question you should be asking is "How good am I as a photographer?"
If you always have people commenting on your photos about how good they are, then yeah, maybe buying a nicer camera can be worth it. Otherwise you're going to need to learn how to be a good photographer first.
The camera is just like any tool. Without knowing how to use it and knowing what you want to accomplish with it, it's just a paperweight. A good craftsman can make something beautiful with a cheap tool, but a hack can't do that even with the best tool.
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Old 11-29-2017, 01:59 PM   #20
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Re: Professional Photos Or Buy Pro Camera ?


I haven't checked in a while, but there are cell phone photo competitions out there, and some cell phones are definitely preferred.

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