Professional Photography - 5 tips to recognize a good picture

If you Reading those lines, you probably already know the importance of good Photography in your Marketing efforts and you have taken the decision to hire a professional. However, just like there are 10,000 dollar cars and 2 million dollars cars, all photographers are not worth the same. Since it is not so easy for a rookie to compare 2 portfolios and determine which one has the best photography, we are giving you a few tips to recognize a good Photography and what are the few mistakes that a semi-professional photographer would make.

Color Balance

Colors are probably the most predominant part of the picture. Therefore, it is crucial that they are as close as reality as possible in order to give a natural feeling. Indeed, we wouldn’t like a human skin be too red or a white wall showing off orange-ish. An easy trick to recognize a professional from an amateur is to determine how close from the human eye is the photograph you are looking at. If reflections caused by light transforms how colors show up, it’s an amateur or semi-professional job, if not, the guy knows what he is doing. A bit more on color balance and how to have it correctly can be found reading this article: http://www.geofflawrence.com/photoshop_color.html

 

Profesionally edited photography with color correction
Semi-profesionnal photography without color correction
Semi-profesionnal photography without color correction
Profesionally edited photography with color correction
Los Veneros, Punta Mita, Nayarit. – Before/after color correction and edition.

White Balance

Just like colors should properly be shown on a picture, whites must be white and not grey, orange or Green. A correct white balance can be set up directly from your camera’s settings. They can also be adjusted in post-edition with softwares like Photoshop or Lightroom. Temperature is what you are looking for to balance your white properly. It is measured in Kelvin and allow you to “warm up” or “cool down” the ambiance depending on the effect you are looking for. Here is a complete tutorial on how to become a master in White balancing: https://photographylife.com/what-is-white-balance-in-photography/

 

Profesionally edited photography with white balance adjustments
Semi-profesionnal photography without white balance adjustments
Semi-profesionnal photography without white balance adjustments
Profesionally edited photography with white balance adjustments
Fiesta Inn, La Isla, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco. – Before/after white adjustments and edition.

Composition

Composition is when the artist replaces the photographer and puts his soul into the image. A professional photographer will know when to take a photograph of details to provoke emotions and when it is necessary to photograph the whole. For every product or place to photograph there are endless shot possibilities and angles. Even though there is no such thing as a perfect shot, there are a few rules and techniques that helps while composing a picture. Here are a few tips if you are looking to improve your photography https://petapixel.com/2016/09/14/20-composition-techniques-will-improve-photos/

 

Profesional photography well taken
Semi-professional photography - wide angle
Semi-professional photography - wide angle
Profesional photography well taken
Villa del Palmar, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco. – Photography of the whole tennis court versus Photography of detail

Staging

When taking Photography for an architect or a real estate agent, staging will help the photographer to bring spaces to life. Depending on the client, a professional photographer will use the adecuate effect. Are they for a broker? In which case it has to sell and show off the property’s most attractive features. Are they for an architect? In which case they need to explain the architect’s vision when designing spaces. They both can be achieved by several techniques, here are two examples:

  • With moving people – We use in that case long exposure times and use a model to create movement and bring space to life. This effect is mostly used in architecture photography.
  • With day-to-day objects – Flowers, magazines, Books, food, beverages, etc. The list of objects a professional photographer will use to better up a room’s image is long. The cost of those items is usually absorbed by the final client with the advice of the professional. If needed, a professional photographer will also re-organize furniture to create bigger open spaces and to make a nicer feeling for the potential buyer. Sabrá también re-organizar los espacios, en caso de que sea necesario, para que el lugar se sienta más agradable.

 

Profesionally staged photography
Semi-professional photography without staging
Semi-professional photography without staging
Profesionally staged photography
Villa del Palmar Flamingos, Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit. – Non staged Photography versus Staged and edited one

Using artificial light

When taking a picture, the key-role of the photographer is to determine which are the zones that need additional light in order to have every area covered. Ideally, a picture should be taken when every object appearing receives the same amount of light. In real life, it almost never happens! That’s when flashes, strobes and reflectors come into account. The hardest part of using those artificial lights is to not create any “fake” shadows that will look un-natural.

While the use of flash will be preferred when photographing real estate, most architects will simply refuse their use for their creations. Natural light must remain un-touched so that we can feel the architect’s vision through the photograph. If we really need additional light, we will use reflectors to gently guide natural light towards the darkest areas of the room we are photographing. In this article, both techniques are discussed with pros and cons: https://digital-photography-school.com/natural-versus-artificial-light-which-do-you-prefer-working-with/

 

Profesionally lit photography
Semi-professional photography without lighting
Semi-professional photography without lighting
Profesionally lit photography
Casa la Playa, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco – Photography without artificial light versus Professionally lit Photography

Perspective correction

One of the easiest way to recognize a rookie from a professional photographer is: Did he/she correct the perspectives and align lines? If the answer is no, you are dealing with a semi-pro or a rookie. In architecture Photography lines must be parallels at all time – except if the effect you are looking for is to make your subject bigger than it really is. This can be achieved using tilt-shift lenses – that every architecture professional photographer should use – or during the edition with softwares like Photoshop or Lightroom. This article will help you see why it is an important step in professional photography https://photographylife.com/straightening-the-horizon-and-aligning-lines/

 

Profesional photography with perspective correction
Semi-professional photography without perspective correction
Semi-professional photography without perspective correction
Profesional photography with perspective correction
Villa la Estancia, Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit – Photography without perspective correction versus Professionally corrected Photography

Conclusion

We hope that this article will help you find your ideal photographer and to understand why some are more expansive than others. Following is a photograph taken by a semi-professional that took 10 minutes of installation and 10 minutes edition versus a photograph taken by a professional that took 30 minutes of installation and over 40 minutes of edition.

 

Profesional architecture photography for hotel
Semi professional photography
Semi professional photography
Profesional architecture photography for hotel
Villa del Palmar Flamingos, Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit – Semi Professional Photography versus Professional staged, lit and edited Photography

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