Professional Photographers: What To Look For When Hiring One
When it comes to the thought of hiring professional photographers there are a lot of questions that come up before you make that commitment, IF you end up choosing to. Good, truly professional photographers are not cheap. Period. You want a good return for your hard earned money. And rightly so!
So how do you go about finding a good photographer? One that will capture “you”, or “your family”. You want to still be able to see your personality and who you are in the photos you receive back. Capturing the moment is one of the most difficult, but sought after, elements of good photography.
A picture says a thousand words and you want your story to be told well.
The Definition Of “Professional Photographers”
Not everyone who says to you, “I’m a professional photographer, hire me” is who they say they are. But you knew that.
The thing is, they may well be good at what they do and be able to produce nice photos, but who they are as a person may be a problem for you.
What do I mean?
Too often it can be a simple case of a personality clash.
Or they may be ‘professional photographers’, but they’re not professional in the way that they deal with you and the service they provide to you.
What to do?
Do your homework. Find some honest reviews, even Facebook reviews. Try and speak to as many of their past and even present clients as possible. Listen to the negative and the positive & then decide if they’re a right fit for you.
It’s okay to not hire someone just because you don’t think you’ll get along with them. You need to be able to get along with them! Photography is a very personal experience and you’re inviting this person into your personal space!
At the end of the day it’s you hiring them and it’s entirely your call.
Should They Have A Qualification?
Knowledge is a wonderful thing and good qualifications should give them that. That said, there’s no better teacher than experience. Just beware of those that have neither formal knowledge or years of experience. If you like the photos that someone takes and you’re considering hiring them to take photos for you, do your homework.
Their qualifications may be formal with a certificate, or simply 20 years of experience. You just need to make sure you’re comfortable enough with them to trust them with your memories.
“My Friend Wants To Be A Photographer & They’ll Do It Just For The Experience.”
Questions to ponder: What if you lose all the photos? What if the photos your ‘friend-who-wants-to-be-a-photographer’ takes are all out of focus? Or crooked? Or they’ve used some funky filter that they thought ‘looked cool’ on your photos?
Sometimes it may not be a big deal. Other times, like when you only have limited time (or attention span) with your kids, or if you go for a long drive to get to a beautiful scenic location only to find that none or at least very few, of the photos actually worked at all, and now the opportunity to find the time to get it done again is just too hard.
Photoshop: Blessing Or Curse?
This is a huge subject and one that constantly comes up. I’ll deal with this one in another blog soon and place a link here once it’s done.
Enough to say this for now, photoshop has copped a bad rap for many reasons. As soon as you say, “it’s been photoshopped” you think of a photo that’s been changed so much it barely resembles anything to do with the original.
This is not generally what professional photographers do with it – Unless that is their specific thing. Again, do your homework. It’s usually removing flies from clothing, or people in the background that you didn’t want to be there. Look at their photos and ask questions. Then decide for yourself whether you want your photos to look like the ones they’ve taken.
Your 7 Point Checklist For Choosing Professional Photographers
When considering professional photographers to use, it all comes down to what you like. But here, without trying to impede on a photographer’s unique style, try this 7 point checklist as a bit of a guide:
- How long has the photographer been taking photos? How long have they been in business? Basic background stuff.
- Focus in the photo is the number one priority. Are their photos focussed and sharp up close? At least on the main subject.
- Do you like the depth of the colour? The saturation. You know, are the colours really bright? Or dull? Do they look realistic? Do you like it that way?
- The angle the photos are taken on. I like straight horizons, otherwise, it drives me nuts. But some prefer angle shots. With the camera on an angle one way or the other. Personal preference.
- Have you spoken with the photographer? Are they friendly? Are they helpful? Do they sound like someone you can get along with? What were your initial thoughts?
- Google them like, “reviews for _______ photography”. Facebook reviews are good to check. Don’t just take the copy and pasted reviews they put on their website Homepage as gospel, though. They may be true, but they also may not give you the whole story.
- Do you like the way the people in their photographs are standing or sitting? Do all the photos look the same? Is the photographer flexible to allow you to stand or sit the way you want to?
Some people like to take their photos on an angle…
All in all a photographer can’t hide from their work, it speaks loudly for them. So do unhappy clients, so check the reviews.
Remember, they are your memories and you deserve to be able to keep them forever.
I wish you all the best.
To enquire about how I can help you preserve your most precious memories with a 75-year guarantee, please use my Contact Form. Otherwise, you’re welcome to look through my work at Jodi Byles Photography 🙂