Reasons to engage a Professional Photographer
There are many reasons why you should engage a professional photographer instead of getting just anyone to do the photography job. You should read through these reasons before you decide whether you should invest the money on professional photography.
You Cannot Turn Time Back
Most people cannot tell which photo is good or bad unless two photos are being placed side by side for comparison; yet, you may feel a photo is better but cannot tell what is exactly wrong with the less appealing one. If you are someone who does not really know how to judge photos, you may not see the need to engage a professional photographer, while you are likely to regret in future.
When I start using better cameras, I also start feeling that I have wasted chances to keep my memories better with clearer photos. I have regretted not beginning professional photographer earlier.
While the prices for cameras are falling, you are probably owning a DSLR camera with a basic kits lens. Kits lenses are good but they cannot help to create effect like bokeh (background blur!) well. That means, you cannot focus on a subject (human or item) while keeping the background blur to avoid distracting the main subject. At places where the light is dim, you probably cannot get the subject lighted up properly without increasing the ISO until your photos become noisy and ugly. Sometimes, even the ISO cannot help and professional lighting equipment may be required.
Of course, a good photographer can do a good job even with a basic set of equipment, however, he is very likely able to produce much better work with better (and essential) equipment.
Correct Exposure (lighting)
Hobbyist photographers who have been using auto mode of the DSLR are likely to get the wrong exposure much more frequently. There are always some parts of the photo you want them to be brighter or darker. The cameras are smart but not smart enough to know how and what you actually want to shoot. The common problem when using auto mode is that human's faces are frequently under-exposed.
It is not the case that professional photographers who use manual mode would definitely get the perfect exposure, but getting it somewhere near is good enough with the help of PhotoShop for minimum adjustment as to minimise loss of quality. If a photo is over-exposed, the result is you would probably lose too much details to be retrieved even using PhotoShop. Whereas, under-exposed will cause more noises on the darker parts of the photos when you try to brighten it.
In some cases when the photos taken by hobbyist photographers are properly lighted is just pure luck when lighting is too nice.
Nicer Colour Tone
DSLR cameras are good but not good enough to tell what exactly is the correct colour tone. Most likely, the photos' colours will be leaning towards one colour, most commonly, yellow or blue. There are preset white balance inside each DSLR camera, such as daylight, cloudy, shade and sunset. However, none can correctly set the exact "correct" white balance. Even if you manage to get a close white balance for a shoot, once you move away to another location or spot, the white balance may change.
A professional photographer may set custom white balance to match the exact setting, while he can also adjust the white balance inside PhotoShop during post-production. Some photographers and photography companies may also have their own unique preset colour tones applied and they will adjust accordingly to present the kind of mood they want.
Lastly, a professional photographer may also use colour gels on their lighting equipment to change mood or match the existing colour of the ambient light. This is something that you are likely unable to edit in PhotoShop, or may take ages for each photo. Unless, you are going for black and white photos, it will make a big difference in the quality of photos, although most non-photographers may not be able to pinpoint it (mixture of colour temperatures).
Professional photographers are likely to catch better angles than normal camera users; they have taken more photos than you do and thus have already taken enough of bad photos to understand what are good. There are some parts of a human body that you should not "cut" or "crop" off from a photo, and a professional photographer can probably frame the photo better, especially in bad situation.
Unfortunately, many people (clients) do crop the photos when they upload the professional work to their Instagram accounts due to the limitation of resolution.
Knowledge in Sequence of Events
Professional photographers are more likely to know the common procedure of taking photos during events such as ROM and actual wedding. While rules are meant to be broken, it is good that the photographers know what good things need to be retained.
When you are paying a professional to do a job, he is likely to do it well for his passion, or at least to keep his reputation.
I had experienced handling a client who told me he was pleased with my quotation for his engagement party but he suddenly chose not to engage my services. Just an hour before the commencement of the event, he approached me because his friend who was supposed to be shooting for him had something on and could not make it. I was, unfortunately, not available to help him. There are also many clients who have approached me quite "last minute" because their friends (hobbyist photographers) have a change of plan.
Honestly, eventually it depends a lot on your budget. My advice is to set a higher budget if it is a once-in-a-life event. Professional photography may cost you more money but good things do come with a price tag.