How you may pick your photographer
When looking for a professional photographer, you usually know what type of picture you want – are you interested in a family portrait? A business headshot? A fashion shoot? A life event? Secondly, you may have an idea of the location you would like for your portraits (studio VS in location, flash VS natural light). The location and lighting makes a huge difference in the result.
I would love if all my clients chose me for my style alone. However, there are other things to consider, which I am going to list below. Do you have other reasons you would like to mention?
– Photographic style
Every photographer has their own style, which is defined by the way he or she takes and edits images. A photographer’s style is what sets them apart from the competition. This is all about the personal touch.
Style includes the overall look, the choice of colours, the feeling shown in the photos, the composition. In addition, it includes the choice in details like the sharpness, the blur, the vintage look, etc. The way the images are taken is also important: is it a glamour style, lifestyle, documentary, traditional… Style is not what makes you a better photographer, but why people like your photos.
– Custom work & print
This is the final result. What are you looking for as a final product? Final products include: prints, canvas print, souvenir books, aluminum prints, digital images, custom invitations or greeting cards, etc. The result is as important as the photography itself. How did you want to use your picture? Are you looking to print the pictures yourself, or do you want professional prints of your professional images (I will come back later on the importance of professional printing). Consider also the rights and model release that come with the contract.
– Photo skills
Some photographers may consider this to be the most important criteria. Of course, it is imperative that a photographer has the required technical skills, but I don’t believe they should be the number one thing to look for when picking your photographer.
Photo skills include all the photographic skills such as: technical knowledge of the equipment (camera, lens and flashes) as well as knowledge of how to work with lighting (natural light, incandescent, fluo, etc.). It also includes proficiency with postproduction programs such as Photoshop. I also include in this category “correct posing” or “How to make your models pose”.
– Budget, of course!
Of course, we can’t forget this important factor. A good photography session may be seen as an investment, as you will have souvenirs that will last you a lifetime, and can even be passed down to your children. Remember, a good professional photographer is worth his price.
– The experience
If you’re having an important moment like a wedding, you may want someone who has already done a few other weddings. You can evaluate a photographer’s experiences by reviewing his portfolio.
– Customer services
We all know and appreciated good customer service…! 🙂 It is the way the photographer acts during the photo session, the way he answers the client’s needs…
– Don’t forget the location! (and other concerns)
Other concerns include: the city you live in, wait times for appointments and photographer availability, photo processing times, is the photographer a member of a professional association, is he legal… Personality can also be a big deal, especially for big life events such as weddings, when you spend one of the most important days of your life with someone you may not know; you want to feel comfortable and yourself around your photographer.
Tips–To make the right choice, I encourage you to take a look at the photographer’s portfolio and check out the diversity and the creativity his work… visit his Facebook page (or 500 px, behance, etc.) look at the comments, reviews and the way he answers. For your wedding: meet the photographer! Most of the time, the first meeting is free (for me it is, and it allows you to ask all your questions and see how I work). Also, keep in mind that your final result is never going to be the same as what you see in the photographer’s portfolio; it’s going to be as good, but with your personality infused within. Each person is different, and so is each session.
I hope this can help you find the perfect professional photographer for your next session. There are many talented photographers available, each with their own different styles. The decision is now is up to you 🙂
PS: This is my first long article in English, which is not my first language. Thanks for reading me. A huge thank you to my cousin Elena, who took the time to revise and correct my text.