The photographer highlights the fact that they’ve worked professionally for many years.
While this can simply be presented as a fact, the typical reason to mention years of experience is to impress you. Often years of experience are an indicator that a person is very good at what they do.
While sometimes this is the case, it’s not always true.
It is simply a fact that some photographers are better than others and the “years of experience” just doesn’t make up for raw talent.
Also, the digital photography revolution has changed the playing field. Some photographers may not be as skilled behind the camera as they are with digitally processing (touching up) their photos.
Others may not post process their photos at all — instead outsourcing the work to retouching professionals.
In the end, it doesn’t matter so much as long as you are happy with their work.
Years of experience goes, it’s really all quite relative. Some people start their professional careers providing work that is barely adequate, and over time their skills improve (we hope). Other people can start their professional careers with a natural talent and an eye for taking great photos. And over time, their skills improve as well. Photographer “A” with 20 years of experience doesn’t necessarily take better photos than photographer “B” with 2 years of experience.
Taking a great photograph does not require years of experience. In fact, many people who wouldn’t even call themselves photographers can get lucky and do it, too. But taking great photographs with consistency is a sign of strong skills and an adequate amount of experience to make it happen. For some that could mean 6 months of “experience”. For others, 6 years.
What years of experience often provide over those who don’t have it, are problem solving skills and certain tricks and techniques that come about through trial and error. They also, over time, establish relationships with other industry professionals which may prove beneficial to you in some direct or indirect fashion.
It’s not always what you know, but who you know that’s important. Many photographers do improve with years of experience, but years of experience are no guarantee for improvement.
Sadly, there are photographers who have been doing what they do for 25+ years and their work is no more noteworthy than those who have been doing it for one.
So don’t necessarily be impressed by someone boasting about the years of experience they have. It’s more important to be impressed by the work itself. It’s the results of their experience that matters most.
Also keep in mind that people who have been working for 25+ years are often much older than folks who have been working for only 2. Depending upon your age, personality and preferences, this may be exactly what you want.
When you work with a photographer, you’re working with a person. And getting great shots can often be the result of having a great connection with the person you’re working with. For some, the age, and certainly the personality, of who they’re working with can make a difference.