You are probably wondering how to find the perfect photographer? Or how to find a wedding photographer. I hope these Tips for Choosing the Perfect Photographer will help you with your search for the perfect match.
HOW TO CHOOSE A PHOTOGRAPHER
Choosing a photographer is like choosing any other professional to do the job. Everybody who has ever organized a photo session knows how hard it can be to find the photographer that best suits your needs and is able to realize your idea or project. There are many photographers that offer their services, and since they all work in different styles and genres and use different tools and equipment, not everyone has relevant skills or experience that will help them do the task. When hiring a photographer, you want the final results to be perfect. After all, these memories will be forever frozen in time, images that represent a moment in the life of your child, family, or loved one. Especially when choosing a wedding photographer as you can only create your wedding photos once. So what should you pay close attention to when choosing that one photographer who can do the job just right?
It’s not an easy task, so I decided to write this blog with 'Tips for Choosing the Perfect Photographer' to make the process of choosing a photographer more comfortable for you. Please use this guide to enhance your knowledge of what to ask, what to look for and what to avoid when doing your research.
There are two types of photographers: novices & professional photographers.
Beginning / Novice photographers often change their style, price, and attitude to work. This is the category of photographers who lack the experience and strong portfolio. Therefore, every new client for them is the opportunity to learn and grow as a professional, so their rates are lower and good result is not guaranteed. Nevertheless, many of them can produce good results.
Professional photographers have a sufficient set of skills and guarantee a stable quality level. Such photographers have substantial experience and know what they are worth. The cost of their work does not fall below a certain level, they do not photograph just anything, and have a certain reputation in your city. They have a high-quality portfolio, a personal website, and they manage social media. Professionals spend their free time on training and further improvement of their skills.
Many photographers claim that they have a lot of experience and call themselves professionals. But how can you tell whether they are truthful? From this blog article, you will learn key elements you need to consider and which questions to ask the photographer before booking a photo session.
Choosing the perfect photographer ensures the finished product is exactly what you had in mind.
Here are tips to help you select the best person for the job.
Tips for Choosing the Perfect Photographer
Do your research. Ask your friends and family for recommendations, scour websites, and find reviews. The more photographers you compare, the better chance you’ll have of finding a gem. Do not ask in a Facebook group; you will likely be disappointed.
Hire a true professional. We all know someone who “takes photos”, but taking great pictures on vacation and understanding how to set up a great shot, engage with clients, provide perfect lighting, and edit photos are skills that require training and experience. Don’t just hire someone who thinks they are a photographer; hire a professional photographer who has an established track record. Look at their websites, their portfolios, and their reviews. Real photographers have a website.
Check credentials. Along the same lines as number 2, check the photographer’s work for consistency, credentials, education, and experience. Everyone has to start somewhere, but for the best results, it’s essential to have someone with experience in the field. Ask if the prospective photographer has any education in art, photography, or photo editing as this can make a massive difference in the quality of the finished product.
Read reviews and talk to former clients. If you can find reviews online, be sure the read through them thoroughly. You may ask about contacting previous clients to ask about the experience. Satisfied clients will be able to tell you precisely what they liked about working with the photographer. This will give you insight into the creative process. You can learn a lot about a professional photographer from talking to clients.
Find someone whose style you love. Visit the photographer’s website and social media pages and review their portfolio. Does the photography style match your vision for your final images? Do you like the change in colors and the edits? Are the whites white and the blacks black? Do you prefer natural lighting or flash lighting? If the style is entirely different from your own, you’re not going to be pleased with the results. Be sure to choose a photographer whose photos you think are stunning that way, you’re more likely to love your photos as well.
Interview the photographer and test your comfort level. Once you’ve narrowed down your search to a few prospects, ask for a consultation. You should be able to communicate freely and easily with your photographer, so speaking to candidates in person or over the phone will give you a feel for how your personalities mix. If you feel comfortable chatting over the phone, you’re more likely to be entirely at ease during the shoot. Be sure the photographer is relaxed with you as well. Use this time to explain what kind of photos you would like and be sure the photographer is comfortable with kids, babies, and pets if they’ll be in the shots. Ask to see full galleries that they have to deliver to their clients.
Focus on the photographer’s specialty. Just like other professions, photographers tend to specialize in one or two areas of photography: weddings, maternity, newborns, families, portraits, landscapes, nature, etc. Wedding photographers, for instance, might not be the best choice to take your newborn’s photos. Find a photographer who specializes in the kind of pictures you want.
Ask about the editing process. The best photographers also know how to edit photos to perfection. However, not all editors are created equal. Ask about the photographer’s editing software and skill level, and make known your expectations. Are you looking for minimal editing, lots of editing, or somewhere in between? You want to ensure that the photographer you choose can meet your needs both behind the lens and during editing. Every photographer has a different style of editing they provide to clients.
Check the fees. It might be tempting to choose the photographer who charges the least, but often this lower price reflects a lack of skill and experience. Photographers charge what they’re worth and what is required to run a business. Also, be sure to ask about any hidden fees: does the upfront cost include editing, prints, and other services, or are each of those extra? You don’t need to break the bank to afford a quality photographer, but you should be willing to invest a fair amount to ensure you get the best possible result.
Technical Proficiency. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got the best camera, lens and other photographic technology if you don’t know how to use it. Today’s photographic equipment comes with many features and options, often more than most wedding photographers would ever require. It feels good to have the latest equipment, but often an incompetent or inexperienced shooter doesn’t quite get to grips with how a feature works or when or why they should use it.
Creativity. The cause of many a heated debate and infinitely open to interpretation, the creativity used to produce an image can be the difference between an average photo and an amazing photo. Creativity comes with knowledge, experience and desire. Rarely does an exceptional photograph come from someone lacking in one of these three areas. I’ve seen shooters who have plenty of knowledge and experience. Still, their desire is non-existent, with little or no interest in pushing the boundaries of their creativity. They only do the bare minimum to create what would be an average photo. And desire alone is nothing without the knowledge and experience to put that thought into creating the photo. A great shooter yearns to develop and improve their craft. Continual learning and seeking new ways to be creative is a way of life for the best photographers, even for those at the top of their game in the photography industry. Sitting back and thinking you cannot improve is rarely in the mind of the best.
A few questions to ask when looking at photos:
Are the images sharp or blurry? Too sharp or blurry in the wrong places (think eyes and face)? Is the sharpness or blur deliberate or the result of poor technique?
Is each photo well-lit, or do they look muddy and dull? Good use of natural lighting? If flash is used, does it look obvious, or is it subtle, controlled and enhances the image?
Do the colours look right – does white look white, and does the face look overly orange or a natural pink? Does the costume/dress colour match the actual colour of the costume?
Is the composition, framing & posturing good enough? Does the photo attract viewers eyes in the right spot/place of the frame?
Does this photo look like an experienced professional created it? Or do you feel the picture looks slightly odd? Can you tell me why you feel this way?
Does the photographer show artistic flair over and above pure technical ability?
Is the photo trying to tell me something, not just a snapshot that an amateur took?
Does the photographer's portfolio of images show a consistent style and level of creativity?
Look at a wide range of photographer's portfolio photos, compare, and consider what went into creating each photo.
You’ll know a great photo when you see it, and remember to follow your heart when you see a collection of images that you like.
Contact the photographer by phone or meet him in person for a consultation. When you consult a photographer, describe in detail what you want to get from the photo session. Find out whether he has the equipment that is required for this photo shoot, and whether he has relevant skills. A professional photographer will give recommendations on how to prepare for the session, will help you choose the clothes, offer you the appropriate locations and time, and explain what and why he will need to realize your idea, e.g. an assistant or specific equipment.
Choosing a photographer / wedding photographer can be a tricky business. I think one final important thing to consider is your budget.
It’s not a guarantee of comprehensive quality service. Still, certainly, you improve your chances of getting the supplier that ticks all the right boxes if you can budget more for your photographer. The cheaper you go, the more likely you end up with a part-timer who might let you down. The less you spend, the more likely they will use lower-specification equipment to try and create your beautiful, once-in-a-lifetime photos. The best in the business tend to be full-time professionals with lots of experience. They cost more because they invest in training, and equipment, promoting themselves, and only sourcing the best quality printing and albums.
Decide how much you can budget, then shop around and see what you can source for your budget.
Ultimately it’s for you to judge whether they offer everything you want at a price you can afford.
Taking the time to research your chosen photographer can make all the difference. By following these tips, you can be sure that the person you hire is professional, qualified and will provide you with the best memories money can buy. Using your good sense, personal taste and a few tips and advice from my guide on choosing a photographer, I hope you get the professional you want and deserve for your photoshoot.
Please do contact me if you would like to find out or learn more.
A Moment duringan E-Commerce | Product Photography
Ranjan KM-Professional Photographer, Deoghar, Jharkhand, India.