Pictures You Can Take With Your Phone vs. Pictures You Should Take With Your Photographer

One thing all entrepreneurs have in common is the classic coffee shop photo. Is there anyone out there who hasn’t snapped a picture of themselves at a cafe, laptop on the table, with a cappuccino in hand? 

Nope…we’ve all been there done that!

You may have even taken your photographer to your favorite cafe to snap a few shots of you for your About page on your website. 

But…do we all really need shots like that? And, how do you know what to have a photographer take vs. what you have your Insta – spouse take?

Well…I am going to break it all down for you. 

Because the truth of the matter is, you need both professional photos and everyday phone photos to clearly convey your brand. 

First, let me say this: There are certainly times when using your phone is the better option, but make sure your phone’s camera is sharp, quick, and good in low light settings. Investing in a phone with a great camera is really important as a business owner. 

Second, make sure your phone has apps that can edit effectively. Some great ones to check out are Lightroom, VSCO, Photoshop Express, and Snapseed.

I am totally fine with you grabbing some great shots with your phone, but make sure they still look legit!

Now … what should you hire a brand photographer for, and what should you do on your own?

When to use a brand photographer

Twice a year headshots. 

Do not— I repeat—do not count on a random friend to take your headshots on their phone in front of an off-white wall in their spare bedroom.

Don’t do this by yourself in your dining room with a self-timer either. 

Good lighting and composition can make or break the quality of a photo. Both of which are difficult to achieve indoors or by yourself.  

If you’re too busy worrying about getting in the frame before the timer is up or your friend is just snapping away without giving you helpful direction, your face won’t reflect professionalism and you won’t end up with what you were envisioning. 

Live Events.

Book a photographer for your events. Trust me. You can encourage everyone to take pictures and you may plan to have your phone in your hands to try and catch the candid moments, but I can bet you the quality of these photos won’t measure up to be proudly displayed on your website.

Hire a photographer, someone whose priority it will be to get the perfect shots that highlight all the best parts of your event. <<if you’re in the Phoenix area, hit me up!<< (hit me up??)

You’ll be able to focus on networking and actually enjoying the event while someone else captures great photos that you will be able to proudly showcase on your website, in your office, and social media accounts. 

Quarterly Branded photoshoots.

You are a business owner. You are a brand. Showing a sense of professionalism, even in more casual settings, helps you establish authority in your industry and helps your audience build trust in how you present yourself as a brand.

Photographers are trained to see the details and make sure you’re staying on-brand throughout your session. They are skilled to take your vision and perfectly capture the image you want to portray to your audience.

Doing a quarterly branding shoot should supply you with enough professional photos for your social media, course/product launches, and your website updates. 

When it’s okay to use your phone

The spontaneous everyday life moments.

A walk on the beach, bustling city streets, grabbing brunch with friends. These are great opportunities to snap an in-the-moment and relatable shot for your social media followers. 

Make sure to focus the camera on the most interesting part of the photo. If your phone allows you to turn on gridlines, keep the “The Rule of Thirds” in mind by aligning the focal point of the shot where the grid lines intersect. It takes some practice but can help you balance a photo and capture more interesting shots.This will help to draw your audience’s eye to the subject of the photo.  

Simple things you find interesting or beautiful.

You’re out and about in a cute outfit with your hair blowing in the wind, and you’ve just come across a stunning mural downtown.

Get the shot. Ask a friend or a friendly passer-by to get a quick shot of you in front of the art. Having a variety of photographs for your audience helps with engagement. 

Photos like these really resonate with people on social media because they’re spontaneous and personable. You can also help build your photo bank with these. Keeping nice photos you’ve taken throughout the week will allow you to mix in more natural, engaging photos alongside the professional ones you post. 


We all take selfies. Admit it. When you’re having a great hair day and managed to apply the perfect winged liner on both eyes, you’ve got to show it off, am I right?

Take the selfie. Use it on your story — post it on a Saturday morning when your audience is relaxing on their couch and scrolling through Instagram.

Some say they’re obnoxious or out of style, but they’re very personable and resonate with your audience when you share vulnerability and confidence.

So, now that you have the okay to use your phone for taking certain photos, give yourself the gift of a branded shoot to help build your bank of professional photos your audience will love. 

Grab a spot on my calendar here if you’re in the Phoenix area!

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Pinterest Strategist & Brand  Photographer. Based in Arizona.