Good photographer vs. Great photographer

Updated: Feb 2

How to spot the difference.


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Say cheese! How often do you go out and take pictures? Maybe for yourself? For your business? Perhaps you need a new headshot for your LinkedIn profile to nail that job? Maybe all of the above plus more. So here's the next question; how many photographers have you worked with to achieve any of this? If your reply is more than one, then chances are you've been working with good photographers.


That's awesome. However, that's just it; these photographers are only good photographers. More than likely, you went out, took some photos, and you were able to use them at your disposal, and then you probably didn't think twice about them after that. I'm the same way when it comes to certain things, like potato chips or donuts. When I go to a donut shop, I'm just buying donuts to curb my appetite at that moment, and I'm not thinking about that shop anymore. At this point, I'm sure that you're wondering where I'm going with this. Allow me to explain.


Good photographers, for the most part, are generally transactional. They take some excellent photos, you pay for it, and then you're good to go. So what's wrong with that? Nothing, except the fact that in the future, you're no longer thinking about them, you forgot their phone number, Instagram, email, or whatever means of contact because the last time you worked with them didn't impact you enough to make you remember. So now, let's talk about what a great photographer does.


First, a great photographer understands that it's more than just taking good photos. A great photographer understands that you're not just paying for photos. They know that you are investing towards a solution to whatever problems you currently face. When I say problem, I don't necessarily mean something wrong; but instead, it's a reason why you need a professional photographer.


Second, a great photographer knows that your experience doesn't only rest within the duration of the photography session, but the entire process from consultation to delivery of the photos. They will ensure that you can trust them to get you everything you need to get the results you desire every step of the way. They are going to communicate with you when you have questions. They will keep a professional disposition to make sure that you are comfortable and trust them. They will also deliver your photos promptly and stay in touch if anything happens.


Finally, a great photographer will ensure that the photography session is as seamless as possible. A great photographer will not sit there and take your picture; they will work with you to create the most amazing photos. The photographer will engage with you, keep you comfortable, and ensure that you have a great time throughout the shoot. To learn more about the perfect portrait session, refer to the 5 C's of portrait photography.


So how do you know whether or not you're dealing with a good vs. great photographer? Well, it's relatively simple. First, make sure that you find the type of photographer that fits your request (i.e., maternity, portrait, sport, etc.). Then, do a little research on them, check out any reviews on their website or social media profiles. This step is crucial because it gives you insight into your potential experience. You can learn a little about their personality through a prior client's lens. And also, once you think you've found the candidate, try talking with them on the phone during a consultation to plan the session. Their tone and personality will show and will allow you to determine if they are the person for the job.


If you do this, I guarantee that you will have found your great photographer and you're experience will be once that lasts, so that they can be the one you can count on for future shoots whether they are the ones to do the job or if they refer you to someone in their network to accommodate your needs.


In closing, if you want to take pictures, then maybe a good photographer works. But, still, if you want someone who understands you, gives you the experience you seek, and can deliver breathtaking photos, then a great photographer is what you deserve.


Tony Hadnot

Photographer | Different Mind Designs

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