Why go with a Professional

Why choose a Professional Photographer?

A professional can produce images that suit you needs. Whether you wish to match your décor, create a mood, create an heirloom art piece to hand down thru generations. A professional can create for you custom portraits that you are excited to share with family and friends.

They have the skills to compose, light, pose and enhance so their subjects look their best. Comfortable, relaxed, natural yet better.

The experience is fun, relaxed, and professional.


When choosing a photographer to capture the important memories for you and your family, what should you look for? What makes a photographer a “professional”?

In this day and age it seems like everyone is picking up a camera and calling themselves a professional. It was the #1 home based business in 2011. It is not difficult to create a facebook page, print up some business cards, maybe even purchasing a predesigned website. So as YOU search for the right photographer for you, please keep the following in mind.

Photographic Skill- A professional photographer knows how to create great results consistently. As with every art medium, the artist be able to control their tools to assure the desired result. A photographer must know how to use their camera correctly to produce the desired outcome. Setting the camera to Auto means the camera is making the decisions based on the overall scene. A professional prefers to make all of the decisions and have total control over the scene. 

As you look over their work please take the time to consider a few key points:

Focus- Are the main subjects sharp or in focus? Or are they fuzzy or blurry?

Composition- Are the images well composed or is the subject dead center in every image?

Backgrounds- Are they distracting and take away from the subject? What is the first thing you notice in the images?

Lighting- Does it give the subject dimension? Or is it flat? Flat being the main source of illumination is directed straight into the subject from the cameras view point. It takes all of the depth out of the features. A flash on camera is a perfect example of flat lighting.


Artistic Vision- Owning a camera does not make you an artist. If a photographer tells you they got into the business because they love to take pictures- beware! Taking tons of pictures of your own kids does not make you a professional. When looking over their portfolio, here are a few things to look for:

Is there a variety of poses, props, and color schemes? If you notice they all seem to have the pose or prop it shows they do not get out of their comfort zone. A professional strives to give their clients variety and images that are unique, not just like the session they did the other day.


Computer Skills- Award winning images are NOT straight out of the camera by any means. Though a professional will take care of as much as possible before they push the button and capture the image, there are many things that are handled with a computer. Making sure the color is correct, removing blemishes, softening under eyes, enhancing the small details to be certain the subject looks their absolute best.

Our use of high end cameras, lenses and lighting equipment is only about half of the process. The rest is done with computer time. We want every client to be thrilled with there custom portraits.


Products Offered- There are so many fun, innovative products available today. Many of these are highly customizable. This means your photographer will need the skills to work with these items or not offer them. If they are only offering paper prints or a disk of images, odds are the are still learning the skills needed or are not interested in offering custom products. Offering a disk of images requires nothing more than setting the camera on auto, pushing the button and the knowledge it takes to download them and burn them on a disc. This is not professional nor is it custom photography, and as such should not cost you very much money.


Education- A professional photographer is always learning and growing in their craft. Doing everything they can to keep up with the technology and trends through out the industry. This a key element in being a true professional. Sarah Johnston attends monthly seminars as well as her state and national conventions. She also participates in photographic competitions at every level, and has won numerous awards for her images. Being judged by your peers is a great way to learn how to become a better photographer. Sarah also has been invited to teach and judge around the U.S. as well as judge in Seoul Korea. She takes education very seriously.


Pricing- The old saying “You get what you pay for” holds true with photography. Todays true professional must include in their prices the cost of doing business. Taxes, education, equipment, (cameras, lenses, lights, stands, computers, printers, and the list goes on) marketing, packaging for their products, webhosting, phone, utilities, payroll,  well you get the idea. Also the cost of a professional processing lab. A pro lab works only with professionals and assists them in creating to quality products and prints. A professional is sending their clients images to a big box store to have prints produced without regard to color or contrast quality. We have had calls from people that have gone to the hobbyist photographer and found out the hard way that they did not deal with a professional photographer.


Your satisfaction is our reputation; this is why we go the extra mile to make sure you get what you pay for with Johnston Photography.