Have you ever booked a photographer only to be disappointed with the final results? If so, this is for you. As a photographer, I always get randomly tagged in tons of those Facebook posts by people searching for photography services. Although these gestures are pretty gratifying, it kinda sucks when I have to turn them down because I know I'm not the right fit. So after continuously upsetting people because of incompatibility, I decided to write this blog to help you find the photographer that works for you. Think of this as kind of a best practices list. So let's get down to it. 1. Understand that photography is not a transactional service, it's an investment This part is critical because shopping for a photographer is not like going to a fast-food joint. When you go to McDonald's, you're chomping down on that Big Mac because you're hungry, and the benefit of it is that it curbs your appetite, that's it, nothing more. That's what a transactional purchase is, kind of a one-off deal. You have to think of photography as an investment, like buying a car or a major appliance. You want it to be something of value. Working with a random photographer will not give you that.
2. Envision your idea
It's best to have an idea of your ideal photography experience. Think about the mood, theme, color scheme, location, apparel, etc., to serve as a basis for your photos' look. You don't have to be a creative director or anything, but even the roughest ideas can make a difference when searching for your photographer. This part helps when it comes to the next step. 3. Determine the type of photographer you need You don't want anybody with a camera to help with your project. Every photographer doesn't shoot everything. Photography is a broad term that encompasses many types, such as wedding photographers, portrait photographers, event photographers, etc. Although most photographers are pretty versatile, each has a niche that makes them unique, such as a pet photographer who works explicitly with dogs or a portrait photographer who shoots mainly at night (wink, wink). To avoid any headaches, I highly recommend trying your best to identify what kind of photographer you need. It's that much more beneficial to you and far less stressful.
4. Make of list Once you determine the type of photographer you need, then it's time to make a list of photographers within that type. Again, your old friend Google comes into play here. You can also use social media and platforms like Thumbtack to find out where all of the photographers are hanging out. Then you move on to the next step. 5. Research Now here is where you begin the process of elimination. Here is where you check out your list of photographers' portfolios'. Here is where you get to see all of the different styles they offer to see what fits your ideas best. You can access their portfolios on their social media pages or their website if they have one. From here, you note what you like or dislike about their styles. Maybe you like the angles they use, their lighting techniques, or their use of colors. Use whatever you find aesthetically pleasing about their work as a catalyst to narrowing out your list. You can also read reviews from previous clients about their experience. 6. Communicate Now it's down to the nitty-gritty. This is the next round of elimination. You'll want to talk to whoever you have left on your list to determine what you want to book. Most photographers are eager to have a consultation session with you to see if you are a good fit for each other. It's like going on a first date or participating in a job interview. This conversation is essential because you get an idea of that photographer's personality, work ethic, rates, and whatever pertains to your project. Be sure to use this time to ask the questions you need to determine if you ultimately want to seal the deal. And then finally...
7. Book The Shoot Now it's time to set the date and enjoy your shoot! You will be at peace by now, knowing that you took a meticulous approach to find the right photographer. Your time and money are valuable, and neither should be wasted by picking just any photographer to do the job. You want someone who can vibe with you and provide you with a comfortable experience resulting in the beautiful photos you desire. Remember, you are investing in something valuable, so make it worthwhile.