How to Select the Right Photographer
Choosing the right photographer can be very difficult nowadays. With the increasing popularity of the DSLR cameras and quality of cell phone cameras, finding a reputable, reliable and talented photographer is no easy task.
I am hoping this blog will help you in making the right decision for the selection of a photographer. In this article, I will focus on my specialization: Fashion, Fitness, Commercial, Portrait (Children and Family), and Maternity. A later blog will address Weddings separately.
Portraits (Children, Family, Senior), Maternity:
When you do portrait photos, you are inviting the photographer into your life. They get to know you so that they can capture the best image of you. For that reason alone, it is important to find the right person to enter your life. You need to be comfortable with them and be confident they will capture the best image of you, your family, or your children (baby, toddler, child, teen, senior, etc.).
Please consider the following when choosing a professional photographer for your portrait photos:
Interview several photographers: Look for a photographer that will try to get to know you and listen to a story you might have to tell or come up with a great story that will represent you and make touching photos. The better the connection, the better he/she understands you, the better the photos will be. Good photos are about the story behind them.
Discuss the style of photos you are looking for: It is important to know what style you are looking for in the photos. If you are looking for a classic style for a family photo, choosing a very artistic photographer may not be the right idea. Make sure you understand what you are looking for and that it matches with the type of photographer you may choose. Also, discussing what you are looking for will avoid any misunderstandings.
Look at the Photographers' portfolio: Always ask for the photographer's portfolio and look at their previous work. Make sure the work is good quality, and that it represent the style you are looking for as well.
Discuss additional services: It is always a goo idea to understand the Photographers' skills in retouching or editing the photos. Are they editing the photos before sending them to you, are they providing other services such as printing photos as opposed to only electronic copies, are they providing photo books, etc.
Ask about credentials: Inquire whether the photographer has a Membership in a professional association, certification or a photography degree shows a certain level of commitment to the profession.
Check references/recommendations: Always ask your friends for a recommendation, check the Better Business Bureau and professional associations for information.
The photographer should always offer suggestions on location and coordinating clothing and colors and help you prepare for the photo session and make the best photos possible.
Whether you are a designer, a stylist, a make-up artist or a fashion or a fitness model, the photographer is going to be the one capturing the beauty of what you are showing. So, making the right choice for fashion photo is very important.
The same criteria discussed above for portrait photography apply for fashion and fitness as you still have to interview several photographers, discuss the style you are looking to show, look at their portfolios, discuss any additional services, ask about credentials ad check references.
However, the most important items to discuss with a fashion or fitness photographer is related to quality of the images, resolution, and lighting. More than likely, if you are looking for fashion or fitness photos, you want them published of publication quality. A designer or a stylist wants to see their clothes in magazines, a make-up artist wants the viewer to see the details of the make-up on a model's face, and a fashion or fitness model either wants a great portfolio or a comp card to showcase themselves to modeling agencies or for fitness competitions.
So, keep this in mind when searching for the photographer for your next fashion project.
Commercial Photography is defined as creating images for commercial use, whether it be for advertising, product packaging, with the intent of selling products or services.
Based on that definition, what's important to keep in mind when selecting a commercial photographer is to make sure that photographer will have the skills and ability to help you sell those products or services through the photos.
All of the criteria above for portrait or fashion photography also apply with the fact that you just need to add one dimension when following those steps: what are you trying to sell, and does that photographer have the ability, skills and equipment to create the images you need to help you grow your business?
Finally, although most people have a set budget for every project, do not select a photographer solely based on price. It is easy to just look at the price and to hire the cheapest photographer. The first step is to select a photographer based on skills and once you have a small selection of two or three photographers, then you can look at the pricing. Chances are that good photographers will have similar prices. Also, after you have selected the right photographer for your project, prepare for that day. For example, for family portraits, make sure that the outfits are ready, color coordinated, everyone has a nice haircut, etc. For a store, make sure it is clean, organized, not cluttered, etc. The more prepared you are, the better.
Contact Images by Seb, Photographer in Scottsdale for any photo needs or advice. I look forward to helping you with your project.