How to choose your photographer?
Going on a trip or preparing for an important event in your life you may want to hire a photographer. On the one hand, a photo shoot is a product that can be evaluated due to its technical parameters, but on the other hand, it is a service that largely depends on the personal characteristics of a contractor. Let's look at the main points that will help you to find your photographer.
Stage 1. Search by portfolio
Using the search you can easily find personal websites of photographers and catalogs of photographers in your area. What you should pay attention to:
- The style of the photographer's shooting and your overall impression when viewing the portfolio.
- Portfolio level. Everyone strives to place their best works in the portfolio. I.e. this is their best. If portfolio is rather poor in terms of variety — too little photographs or photographs just from one shooting are a red flag.
- Style of photo processing. The presence of all kinds of treatments can show that the photographer is still "looking for himself" or just experimenting. At this stage it's common to overdo with editing presets, sharpness and saturation levels what makes pictures look dated and unnatural at best. Although you might prefer a certain style of professional editing, e.g. natural and airy or dramatic and film-like.
- Be sure to check out the gallery or blog of photographer. Most likely you will be able to find there full shooting. After all, even novice can produce one great photo from 5-hours shooting. But only experienced photographers are able to maintain high level of quality throughout entire shooting.
Stage 2. Reviews about the photographer
Many services allow you to leave feedback about the business or public personality. Most often, it is impossible to "clean up" the comments, leaving only good ones. Take a look at the photographer's Facebook page or his business on Google Maps. Look at the reviews. Pay attention to the reviews reliability. I always leave the contact details of my clients in my reviews. So on is always able to contact any of them and ask “Is he really that good?" Very often you don't have to ask anything. My clients post their pics by me in the feed of use it as userpic. I think that's the best recommendation.
Stage 3. A Budget
So, the list is composed and you're ready to contact the photographers. And of course your first question will be "how much do you charge?»
The cost of photography is of course an important parameter. It's easy to do a mistake and select a photographer based on the price of his basic package regardless of what is included and general level of proficiency.
Each photographer offers different options of packages / sets of services. In order to correctly compare the cost you need to get the cost of the work as close as possible to what you want. Agree it is not quite correct to compare the cost of shooting 2 and 8 hours, wedding and casual shoot. Be careful.
Stage 4. Communication
The personality of the photographer, his manner of communication and attitude to work are visible only in personal communication. At the photo shoot, your mutual respect and trust to each other is very important, so be sure to communicate with the photographer personally before shooting. Even being on the other side of the globe, you can set things up via the Internet. You'll see how much he understands the situation and how he is ready for unexpected situations, such as rain or urgent photo processing. What really matters here is not what he answers, but how.
So, in my opinion, you should form a list with the names and contact details of photographers, based on 3 factors:
- How much you're into his style.
- What are his recommendations.
- How much his services fit your budget.
- How much you liked the photographer in the manner of communication and as a person.
I hope after reading this article it will be easier for you to choose a photographer. And of course, if you have comments or disagree with my opinion, I will be glad to discuss it.
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