Reasons why you should not 'go it alone' and rather look for a professional to do your photography.
A big part of a photographer’s life is education. Yes, learning the skill of photography is a part of it. But, I am referring to educating clients on why a professional photographer should manage their photography.
In creative professions, it pays to hire an expert. Cutting corners can result in costly fixes later on. While I may be a fan of baking, especially cakes, I would not task myself with baking my own cake. Moreso, during important events and occasions such as my wedding. I would hire a professional.
Not only have they spent thousands of hours achieving a level of mastery in their chosen field, but you can rely on them due to their professional background and previous client reviews. I think the same should be done with photography.
The advent of technology has allowed everyone to explore their creative side. Most will have taken a stunning image or known a friend who can capture the beauty of their day to day lives. But most of those opportunities are circumstantial; being at the right place at the right time.
An professional photographer with years of experience, on the other hand, can operate under any condition. Whether it's a dimly lit location, or time-sensitive subjects, a professional can deliver quality images every single time. Their experience and expertise empowers them to be adaptable to varying circumstances.
How to find the best photographer
Now that you’ve decided on hiring a professional photographer, what is the best way to find the right one?
1. Professional organizations
Phone books may no longer exist to help you source the right photographer in your area. However, when searching for the right professional, Google is your best friend. It will allow you to search for photographers by location and specialty - and of course you can view their online portfolio to see if they shoot to your standards.. It’s important to remember that as you have specifications and requirements for your project, so do photographers. Find one that aligns with your project’s needs.
2. Word of mouth
Another great way to source the right photographer is through word of mouth. Speak to people you know and trust, and get their recommendations.
My only word of caution is to find out what kind of photography they specialize in. Does their work align with your requirements? Their portfolio will provide highlights of their style. To paraphrase a popular saying, beauty is subjective to the eye of the beholder. While one style may work for a particular taste, it can easily be disliked by another.
Working with a professional
Now that you have a good idea of who you want to hire, it's important to discuss the finer details. When I get calls and emails from potential clients, I ensure that I have certain details in order to give an accurate estimate for a particular project.
When meeting with potential clients, I always suggest bringing reference images, to showcase examples of the type of images you’re looking for. Google and social media sites like Pinterest or Instagram are great places to find examples.
Fine-tuning your requirements
Often, reference images along with a written brief of what the client is trying to achieve will create the final project brief. For your consideration, here are certain things to think about when writing the brief:
1. What are you trying to achieve with these images?
These could be for social media posts, increase brand awareness, marketing collateral, point of sale, etc.
2. Where are you going to be using them?
Are they for social media channels, a magazine article, a motorway billboard? The medium and platform for your photographs will make a difference.
3. What is your budget?
It's important to ask the photographer an approximate day rate so there are no budgetary misunderstandings.
4. How many images are you needing?
Every photographer varies, but generally, more does not always constitute better, and high-quality images will take more time. I would be cautious if a professional photographer offers over 50 photos a day, unless its event photography.
5. What is your timeline?
A clear outline regarding turnaround time and deadlines will allow your photographer to plan ahead and ensure everything is scheduled accordingly.
6. Do you need models, stylist, food stylist, studio, props?
While this question will be covered in a later post, know that there are pros and cons to using models, stylists, props, and a studio. The important thing to cover here right now is that these will greatly affect the budget of a shoot.
These questions are not meant to exploit information or be nosy. Rather, they allow both parties, the client and the photographer, to be upfront with the necessary details. The objective is to get the conversation started and provides the photographer with details to clarify a client’s vision. These questions also allow both parties to save time. It ensures that the chosen photographer can make full use of your budgetary constraints.
I hope this has helped a few of you to prep a bit better for your shoot and get the most out of your photographer. If you have any more questions, our team can deliver on what you need to succeed.