One Reason You Hire A Professional Photographer

Tony Messano, a creative director who designed my logo, said one day that he would hire photographers to take his vision and improve it.

Today’s phone cameras are good enough to get some great photos. What does the pro bring that you cannot get with your phone?

George C. Griffin [NIKON Z 6, 14.0-24.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Manual, ISO 100, 1/5000, ƒ/2.8, (35mm = 14)]

A professional photographer’s biggest strength is their ability to “Write With Light.” That is what the word photography is about–Writing With Light.

The coining of the word “photography” is usually attributed to Sir John Herschel in 1839. It is based on the Greek φῶς (phots), (genitive: photo’s) meaning “light,” and γραφή (graphê), representing “drawing, writing,” together meaning “drawing with light.”

By adding light to help enhance the light on the statue of Dean Griffin at Georgia Tech, I could make the figure look different.


My friend Dave Black, Nikon Ambassador and professional photographer says, “Look for something ‘Different’ not necessarily ‘Better.’” Dave had discovered through his career that when something is “Different,” the audience will stop and look.

Dean Griffin Statue. [NIKON Z 6, 70.0-200.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Manual, ISO 100, 1/2000, ƒ/2.8, (35mm = 200)]

Another thing other than light is the composition that a trained eye brings. Notice in this photo how Dean Griffin looks like he is looking down and even has a depressing look to the picture.

Dean Griffin Statue [NIKON Z 6, 35.0 mm f/1.4, Mode = Manual, ISO 100, 1/2500, ƒ/1.4, (35mm = 35)]

By changing the camera angle and perspective, I make him look more authoritative and a leader.

By the way, the client called me needing help with their annual report cover. They wanted a photo to be “Iconic” about their foundation. They raise funds to help students get an education. I knew that Dean Griffin established and managed an emergency loan fund to assist students with financial difficulties, and he started, with his funds, Georgia Tech’s Central Placement Office. After his retirement, he operated a job placement service for alumni over forty.

I proposed the Statue of Dean George C. Griffin for their cover. I mentioned I had done something similar for S. Truett Cathy for Chick-fil-A. I sent them this photo of the statue of Cathy in front of the Original Dwarf House in Hapeville, Georgia.

Truett Cathy Statue at the Original Dwarf House [NIKON D750, 35.0 mm f/1.4, Mode = Manual, ISO 50, 1/4000, ƒ/1.4, (35mm = 35)]

They were initially looking at real people. The advantage of going with a statue of someone who is no longer here but embodies the institution’s core values is that it becomes “Iconic.”