The Better Equipment
We use a combination of Canon (7D Mark II and 6D Mark II) and Sony (A7 Mark III) cameras for photos, most of which were released within the last two years. These have industry-grade image processors, upgraded autofocus systems, and are combined with their professional grade lenses, Canon-L and Sony-GM, respectively. Optical zoom lenses we use also mean we can capture the intended close-up shot but from a distance away so as to not disturb your event. We also use diffused flash which produces softer lighting and either helps direct a viewer’s eye to the intended subject or fills in darker areas of an image.
By contrast, phones use whatever light is available, which in most event settings, is generally dimmer to help build atmosphere. When taking photos, they often slow their shutter speed to compensate for a lack of light which produces motion blur. Because lighting control is not optimized nearly as well as a professional who knows what they’re doing, phones will frequently take high contrast images either adjusting for a very bright or a very dark section of lighting, but seldom for both simultaneously.
If not adjusting shutter speed, phones will artificially brighten an image and use digital processing to compensate for the increased noise that results from high ISO? Too much tech talk? If you ever see small randomly-colored spots on an image or if an otherwise sharp photo looks a little soft, either can result from artificial brightening of an image. The images may look decent on a phone, but put them on any larger screen and the differences between professional and phone photos will definitely become more evident.
Lastly, professional photos receive professional editing from Adobe software, most often Photoshop or Lightroom. This means a photographer is going through and making little adjustments to ensure color, exposure, and other attributes of a photo are at their best.