Guide to Hiring a Photographer
Whether you’re hiring a photographer for a wedding, a portrait, or an event, there are many factors in determining which photographer to hire. Three of the biggest things to consider are the photographer’s personality, portfolio, and price. Besides those three things, here are some more tips to help you ﬁnd the right photographer for you.
1. Decide on your Budget
Think about how much you are willing to pay for professional photography services. A good photographer will respect your budget, no matter what it is, and tell you what services she can provide at that price.
2. Identify the style of photography you like
Every photographer approaches assignments and events with a unique eye and infuses their creativity into the final product. You may want photos that are traditional, artsy, photo journalistic, natural looking, posed, shot in a studio, shot on location, blurry, etc.
3. Ask yourself whether you want prints, digital files, or both
If you’re hiring a wedding or portrait photographer, do you want prints, an album, or digital ﬁles? Photographers often base their price on the ﬁnal product they are expected to deliver, so it helps to have some idea of what you want.
4. Have an idea of how you want to use the photos
If you’re hiring a wedding or a family portrait photographer, the “usage” is fairly straightforward: you will hang the photos on your wall, give them to friends as gifts, and print albums.
Talking to Photographers
You have probably already looked at photographers’ websites and found some that you like. This is a great place to start — portfolio is key! Assuming you like their work, move ahead with contacting them to discuss speciﬁcs. But while you may be desperate to ask about price, there are lots of other questions you might want to ask. Here are a few to help get you started.
1. Are you available on the date(s) that I need?
It’s sort of a no-brainer, but if he or she isn’t available or can’t produce the photos on your deadline, then there is no point in continuing the conversation.
2. Have you done this kind of photo shoot before?
If they don’t have any experience with traditional Indian weddings, group shots with 150 people, or photo shoots involving live animals, then you may want to keep looking.
3. How would you approach a shoot like this?
Keep in mind, you’re not asking for a literal answer here. What you’re looking for is a reasonable and thoughtful answer that shows this person has experience, is creative, can solve problems, and makes a plan.
4. Are you familiar with the venue or location where the photo shoot will take place?
If you’ll be working at a speciﬁc location, it helps to know if he or she has been to that place before. You may also ask if he or she would visit ahead of time to get a sense of the place
5. Do you have clients sign a contract and if so, can I read it ahead of time?
Contracts are designed to protect the photographer and to protect you! It’s wise to agree on terms of a contract so that you and the photographer understand cancellation policies, terms of usage, limits of liability, overtime fees, travel fees, etc.
Don’t Forget Personality!
Nearly as important as everything else is finding someone who you like, who is professional, and with whom you feel comfortable. Her work may be amazing and beautiful, but if she comes across as bossy, disorganized, or impatient, you won’t enjoy working with her. Only you can judge if someone’s personality suits you, so take the time to get to know each photographer you are considering before making a ﬁnal decision.
I hope all of this information helps you find exactly the photographer you are looking for, no matter what special event you’re planning or photo needs you have. If you want to know my answers to any of these questions, please get in touch! I would love to hear from you and would be honored to make beautiful photos that suit your needs.