Choosing a photographer for your company, event or personal benefit is never an easy decision, and with each photographer carrying different photography specialisms, different photo packages and most importantly different tariffs, the decision is made increasingly tough. With a little prior research however, it can be much easier to choose the right photographer for your needs.
Who do you need to take your photographs?
Photographers are like doctors; some have a specialism whilst others cover many areas. If you’re looking for a photographer for your wedding, look for one with extensive experience in wedding photography. Similarly, if you’re looking for professional work photos, you want to look for a snapper that is good at portraiture. Whatever your needs, choose a photographer whose history lies in the field of imagery that you’re after – you’ll get much better results than asking a wedding photographer to do headshots of the office!
If you’re commissioning a photographer for an event, consider it a ‘big purchase’; much like a car or conservatory. Photographers don’t work cheap for the most part. Some will charge per the hour purely for their services before the charging separately for the prints, whilst others will offer a fixed-price package that is all-inclusive. Be realistic about your budget, and choose a photographer that offers high quality for a good price.
What do you need from your photo-shoot?
Ask yourself this: what do I need from my photographer? Do I just need digital prints? Do I want an album and selection of accompanying prints? Do I need them in different formats suitable for flyers and pamphlets? If you have a specific outcome in mind for your commissioned photography, you need to be sure that your chosen photographer can provide it and for a cost that it suitable for your budget.
When it comes to buying any product, we tend to spend a lot of time looking for the best product at the best price, and choosing a photographer should be no different. Don’t just commission the first photographer you come across. Be sure to spend some time looking at each photographers website; look at their existing portfolio of work and the testimonials of past clients to gain a feel for their personal style of shooting – each photographer is different. Read about their history and experience to see where their love for photography has come from. You should also consider their location, and if they’re willing to travel. Finally, do they offer a suitable package for your budget? If none of these points fulfil your needs, the photographer is probably not for you.
Meet them before the shoot
If you’re in the midst of choosing a photographer, and still aren’t sure if your shortlist contains any suitable photographers, ask for a consultation with them. During this, you will be able to learn more about their services, their style of shooting, and what to expect on a shoot with them. You could even ask if it would be possible to do a test shoot or, for weddings in particular, arrange an engagement shoot. This is a great opportunity to see if you are comfortable with your potential photographer, and to see what your final photos could look like.
All external service providers offer different benefits from one provider to another, and photographers are no different. A couple of hours research can not only offer oodles of inspiration, but can also ensure that you choose the right photographer from the off. Good luck.