How to Pick the Perfect Professional Photographer
What you need to consider before you pay that photography deposit.
Christmas is just two months away (Ack!) which means photographers are booking up fast as family portrait sessions for holiday cards are always in high demand. If you’ve started the search for a photographer then you’ll know just how many options there are. Before you go ahead and book a professional photographer for a shoot though, there are a couple important things to consider:
What style are you looking for?
Figure out what kind of style you want by saving images that inspire you to Pinterest. What do those images have in common? Some features to look for are:
1. Feel: Are the images soft and dreamy, modern with high contrast, scenic, close up or traditional?
2. Props: Do your inspiration photos have a lot of props and accessories or are they minimal in that area?
3. Location: Do you prefer the beach, a park or go indoors?
4. Cropping: Do the images show a lot of background? Not much background shows but the head-to-toes of the subject is visible? Or are the images close up shots showing mainly faces?
Photographers have different styles and preferred locations for shooting, so you need to figure out what you want and then find someone who can help you achieve the end result you are looking for. While I am speaking primarily about family holiday photos, this applies to everything from wedding and maternity shoots to family and corporate shoots. Ask the photographer for some examples of their latest work to evaluate whether they can cater to your needs.
Research and review.
Before you invest in a professional photographer you need to do your homework. Get online to find a few customer reviews, browse around their website to view their latest work and have a look around their social media pages to find out what others are saying about them. These platforms will also give you a good idea of their personality and style. Some other important points to consider when researching photographers are:
1. Budget. Do their services fall within your price range?
2. Expertise. Are they experienced enough to give you the results you are looking for, consistantly?
3. Location. Are they based in your area and are they willing to travel to a specific location if need be?
4. Quality. Is the quality of their photography good enough? Look at details such as sharpness, exposure, saturation, color casts, flyaway hairs, etc.
Create a short list.
Once you have done your research, create a short list of professional photographers that stand out for you. Get in touch with each of them to discuss your needs and to ask any questions that you might have. It’s important that you chat with the photographer over the phone (or even better yet, in person) as this is the best way to get to know them and find out whether you’ll be able to work with them. Lets face it, some people just don’t click. If you end up feeling uncomfortable or stressed out around your photographer, that makes for bad photos no matter how talented they are.
It’s important that you pick a photographer that you have confidence in. So just like you research a hair stylist by word of mouth before paying for a a cut, color and highlights, it’s best to research an experienced photographer so you’re confident in the results you’ll get even before the session starts.