So there is a special moment of your life coming up? And you’d like to memorize it in a series of stunning photos you’d share on your Instagram, and send to your family and friends. This is one of the most common reasons for people to search for a photographer. Second most popular reason is business. When you need to photoshoot your products or create content for your advertising campaign, or want to document your company party. Well whatever the reason is, you want to find the right professional for your needs.
So here are 4 steps on how to choose the right photographer for your needs.
Search on Google and Instagram
Of course, if you have colleagues/friends/family members who had experience working with a photographer and you loved the result, check with them first. If you don’t have the right contacts within your primary circle it is time to do the search.
Google is obviously a great way to begin, and you’ll find a bunch of great portfolio websites. But there are way more photographers you can find on Instagram, just search by a hashtag #[your city]photographer, i.e. #amsterdamphotographer. Go through the results, and check out their work on Instagram.
What to check on Instagram:
- Quality of work, obviously
- How diverse the work is. Unless you are looking for a photographer in a very particular niche (like product photography, food, interior, etc.), otherwise the more diverse their portfolio the better. Why? Because it means they are constantly learning, trying different things, and can improvise since the experience is way broader.
- Comments, especially if there are commercial shoots shared, are there any comments from their customers? How engaging are they with their audience?
- Profile. Do they have a website? Is it clear how to get in touch?
Make first contact
Whatever is your preferred method and specified ways of communicating (email, phone, DM on Instagram, Whatsapp), get in touch with several photographers. Pay attention to the speed of response. If it takes several days for them to get back to you, chances are you’ll have issues with getting your results fast enough, communication might be too slow and frustrating.
Of course, many photographers can be very busy during the day (while they are at the shoot, on the go etc.), but they should check their inbox/phone/IG at the end of the day and start their day with the same routine as well. If it takes more than a day to get a response – you probably dealing with not the most professional photographer.
Discuss your requirements
Share as many details as you can. What do you have in mind, find some images that you like, so it is easier to explain your thoughts. Typically you should get a few questions in return to clarify some minor details or offer you something extra (for example for a love story shoot, maybe to invite a stylist or a MUAH, for your wedding – may be a videographer). It is good to see if the photographer has a team to assist him/her if necessary, and enough connections to help you with extra services if necessary. It literally can be anything, starting from a dress rental, to finding a location, hiring models, or hosting a posing workshop for your team.
The way the photographer communicates with you can tell a lot about their experience and professionalism. Sometimes we think that conditions do not matter, like the height of the ceiling in your house, or the strength of the sun in the middle of the day. But these are the things that a professional would always pay attention to and would either adjust the setup and necessary preparation or discuss with you any potential concerns and together would work on an alternative solution.
So if you get no questions and no advice based on your initial idea for the shoot, most likely you are dealing with an amateur photographer.
Always discuss time frames and payment methods. If you need pictures on the same day or within 2-3 days after the shoot, make sure to mention that and check whether this is realistic.
When it comes to payments, make sure you can pay with a bank transfer, Paypal, or credit card. If the only accepted payment method is cash, it raises some questions. If you need a commercial photoshoot, check that the photographer provides an official invoice and has VAT and chamber of commerce registration number. If your photographer is in charge of hiring models for the shoot, make sure that release forms are prepared and signed.
It is quite a few things to pay attention to. And yes, sometimes things don’t work out as you expected. But with the right approach, you’d either find a great professional or a talented individual who would learn on the fly and do their best to deliver the best results.
At FashipnPhotoLab we always try to provide edited pictures on the same day or maximum within 3 days after the shoot. We understand how important it is these days to share your moment with your audience right now, especially if we talk about events like weddings/proposals/corporate parties.
And we have a whole team to support you in whatever needs you might have. We can arrange stylists, MUAH, help with location search and reservation, transportation, and hire models and videographers. Well, literally everything you might need for a professional, hassle-free photo shoot.