I am sure you have seen many a post or article by a photographer about what you should look for in a photographer and why you should hire them – guess what?!?! I'm not a photographer!!!! But I do work with them all the time and this list is what to look for when you don't know the industry, the jargon, or the nuances of photography but you want amazing, timeless, and creative photos to cherish.
I got ya back my friends 😀
Just as there are various styles in fashion, there are various styles in photography too. Have a look around to see what you like. There are a number of places such as Instagram, Pinterest, Google, and Facebook groups to name a few. Jump on and start collecting in ONE place the images (and links to them) you like. As you do this you will start to see a pattern or similarities between the images then you will be able to discuss them with your potential photographer.
For me, when I was deciding on a wedding photographer I noticed many of the images I liked were outside. This meant I needed to look at photographers who take good photos outside. Which leads us to our second thing…
Look up photographers online, ask in a FB group if you want, but whatever you do – make sure you check out their portfolio.
Whilst you are perusing the photos they have displayed, look for the elements you liked in point 1 – can they take photos outside? Are they good with detail and close up shots? Is the colouring/lighting to your liking? Do the images evoke emotion? Are people candid or posed? Are there repeats examples of the elements you like? If you can't see what you like evidenced in the portfolio, there is no point heading to number 3.
This point is key! If you don't connect with the photographer you can basically write your photos off then and there. Feeling awkward, judged, intimidated, uncertain, nervous, or annoyed will all show through in your images. But if you get along with the photographer then you will feel more comfortable, at ease, happier and relaxed which will result in better photos. I have noticed many wedding photographers offer engagement sessions as part of their wedding packages and I think this is fabulous because you get a chance to shoot with the photographer and get a feel for each other BEFORE the pressure of your wedding day. Smart… so smart.
There we are! 3 things to look for when choosing a photographer that do not involve crazy jargon terms, deep insider industry knowledge, or a network of contacts.
You could be looking for a photographer for a variety of reasons – weddings, headshots, parties, corporate events, editorial, anything really! And these three points will help you make the right decision for your images.
Remember to consider the STYLE, their PORTFOLIO, and the combination of yours, and their, PERSONALITIES.
Trist me, this will make all the difference.
To start off, I would recommend checking out:
Happy Photographer Hunting!
NB: in regards to point 2, it is not to say a photographer should not be given the chance to build a portfolio of work – Just be sure you are ok with the worst-case scenario, which would be having no photos that you like. If you are paying for a photographer they should be well practised in the imagery you are paying for. There is TFP (Time For Photos / Trade For Print etc essentially freebie shoots to hone, practice and experiment creative skills) for the purpose of portfolio building. Are you willing to sacrifice your once in a lifetime wedding day photos for “practice”?
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