How to Choose Your Photographer

With the advancement of the digital age, there are probably a lot of photographers in your area. Most of them are probably willing to take professional photos of you and your family. But how do you know which photographer to choose? Sometimes narrowing down the right person can be difficult!

First, you want to choose a photographer that specializes in the type of photoshoot you want. But wait… don’t all photographers “just take photos?” Well yes, they all take photos, but there are many different types of photo sessions out there. For example, there is pet photography, wedding photography, family photography, event photography, landscape photography, senior photography, etc. Most photographers have an area or two that they specialize in. Another similar example that might make more sense would be healthcare. All healthcare providers have experience in healthcare, but they often have specific areas of expertise such as cardiology, neurology, sports medicine, nephrology, etc. You wouldn’t want your orthopedic surgeon to be treating your heart disease just as you wouldn’t want a landscape photographer to take your family photos.

The best way to determine which kind of session a particular photographer specializes is to visit his or her website or reach out directly and ask. Typically photographers showcase their favorite work on their website. If you don’t see any photos of families and you’re looking for a family session, that photographer may not be the best choice for you.

Next, you want to choose a photographer who’s style matches your preferred style. Photography is an art just like painting and sculpting. Professional photographers dedicate a significant amount of time after the session to give their photos a specific look. Their images should be consistent from one session to another and should reflect their personal editing style. Again, this style is often reflected on their website or social media pages. Some examples of editing styles are dark and moody, earthy, light and airy, or classic film looking. I tend to describe my own photo style as bright and bold which should be reflected clearly on my website. Odds are good that if you like the general look of their photos on their website and social media pages, you will probably like your final edits as well. Of course, the opposite is also true. Bottom line, review their website!

Thirdly, you’ll want to match your goal photography products with that of your photographer. What do I mean by goal photography products? Specifically, how do you want your photos? If your goal is to hang your photos up in your home, you should probably find a photographer who works with a professional print lab. Yes, places like Wal-mart and drug stores can do prints and canvases, but they don’t typically have the same professional quality as an actual print lab. If you’re going to pay a professional to take photos, you should probably make sure you get professional products as well! If you goal is to use them as your phone background and share solely on social media, then a photographer who focuses on digital products is sufficient. Make sure you and your photographer are on the same page!

Additionally, you want to choose a photographer who is a good fit personally. If you don’t get the vibes you’re looking for, chances are higher that your photo session might be awkward. Awkward photo sessions generally lead to “stiff-looking” photos. And who wants that??? Again, if you’re not sure, reach out to them and see what vibes you get through their messages and emails. First impressions can sometimes be difficult to assess, but it is always safe to go with your gut reaction. If your photographer seems genuine and invested in working with you, they’re probably a good choice.

Now, how do you find this particular person that meets your needs in a sea of many? A good starting place is by asking trusted friends. Many people use photographers and can often give you some insight from their prior experiences. If that isn’t helpful, you can turn to local Facebook groups or Instagram searches. As previously mentioned, make sure to review the recommendations and websites. Don’t be afraid to reach out to photographers to get an idea of their business flow and personality.

Again, the most important take home point to choosing a photographer is to do some investigation prior to booking! Photography styles, business models, and photographer personalities can vary quite significantly and you’ll want to make sure you choose the best fit for you. Good luck, you got this!

September 4, 2023

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Baileyana Rose