So, you need a professional photographer. This can be much harder said than done. While there is a myriad of photographers to choose from, most will not be worth your time. These days, there’s practically no barrier to entry for becoming a photographer. Someone who picks up a nice camera from Amazon can pose as a real professional in a matter of days. It can be hard to identity the amateurs from the pros.
To ensure that you choose the right photographer for your photography job, here are a few rules to keep in mind. These rules will help you avoid regretting your decision.
Look at the Portfolio
One of the worst mistakes you can make is to hire a photographer without analyzing his or her work. You want to see quality work that is consistent throughout the portfolio. You want to look at sessions that are close to what you’re looking for—if you need photography for a wedding, for example, look for wedding sessions in the portfolio. It’s important to note that many photographers have a specific niche that they specialize in, and you will want to find photographers that will fit within your niche.
Shooting and Processing Style
Every photographer is unique. Take two skilled photographers who use the same exact equipment and who work in the same niche, and you will have two very different portfolios. This is because skilled photographers have a developed eye and a sense of style. A photographer’s style is determined by their angles, composition techniques, editing and a willingness to think outside-the-box. Look for a cohesive style in the photographer’s portfolio. Take it an extra step and have a conversation with the photographer about their style. If they cannot convey their style in a simple, clear way, or if their description of their style doesn’t really match with the portfolio, you should have second thoughts.
Chemistry with the Photographer
Do you feel comfortable working with the photographer? Does the photographer respond in a timely manner? If your photographer makes you feel a bit uneasy, it’s best to look elsewhere. Chemistry is important, and if you don’t feel comfortable putting trust into your photographer, it will be hard to shoot a successful session.
If the photographer has experience as a professional, you may be able to request references from past clients. If references are provided, contact them to inquire about their experience with the photographer. Some photographers won’t feel comfortable giving out the contact information for some their clients, which is understandable, so try to find honest reviews or testimonials on the service.
You want to work with a photographer that is organized, punctual and thorough. A true professional will be clear on pricing details, turnaround times, and the overall session details. You should fully know what to expect before you pay a dime to the photographer. In this industry, there are loads of pretenders who don’t fulfill their promises. You want someone who is ironclad to their commitment of providing a great service. It’s best to use a written contract that includes all these details so that you’re legally protected in case something goes wrong.
Choosing the wrong photographer can leave a sour note on your event or project. Follow these guidelines when choosing a photographer, and you’ll make the right decision from the start.