Here are some tips to help you navigate your search! There are all kinds of photographers out there and the thought of finding someone that can deliver exactly what you need can be daunting. Here is what I have learned after shooting for 8 years.
-What you see, is what you get. Some photographers specialize in only one thing and one style, and it is often un-removed from who they are as a business. Does their specific style match with your vision?
-Other photographers dabble in many things- from portraits, weddings, events, to creative projects. A well-rounded photographer can deliver any style/aesthetic you seek. From conception to post production, you can be intentional with your needs as a client. A good photographer asks A LOT of questions; they can also anticipate what your needs are when you simply -don’t know-, (and not knowing is completely ok!). A good photographer is able to narrow it down to the essentials, but it takes work on both sides and conversations to reach that place. A photograph can look many different ways depending on who created it, which leads me to my next important point.
-Don’t see what you want? Provide examples. Create a Pinterest board, or a collection of some kind and make sure your photographer feels capable and comfortable with your needs.
-A good photographer wants to continuously improve and is excited about every shoot. How do you spot one? A good photographer treats every client like their only and most important client because they don’t take their clients for granted!
-What level of editing do you need and want? Color grading and editing with presets is very trendy right now (think Instagram filters for editing softwares). A lot of these images end up looking Instagram ready. This can be great, it’s with the times and feels nostalgic. However, one thing to consider is how the images will feel in the long term. A good photographer does not compromise the quality of an image with extreme editing. Consider how much editing you would like. There are simple adjustments, then comes additional color adjustments. There is a healthy balance of both.
-Consider if you want to print these images someday and how large. Professional photographers shoot RAW. This file format captures the most detail in images and can salvage an over-exposed or underexposed image.This also means you can print the image very large, up to 24x36”, sometimes even larger depending on what camera your photographer is using. Make sure your photographer provides large resolution JPGS (3000x5000 pixels or so), plus you can also request social media friendly copies to throw on your phone to share with your friends on Facebook. These will take up less memory space on your phone and fulfill its purpose just the same. :)
-Look at the photographers portfolio and make sure they have examples of what you want. What you see is what you will probably get. For example, I don’t specialize in newborn photography and I don’t offer that service. You are probably better off finding someone that is a newborn photography expert.
-Most times, photographers only show their best work. You should ask the photographer to share with you complete galleries. You can check for consistency and quality upon review.
-A good photographer asks a lot of questions before providing you with an appropriate estimate. Some questions you should expect: How many locations and where? How many outfit changes? How many hours? They should be able to break down the estimate and account for every single dollar.
-Eyes are the windows to the soul.*~ A good photographer can capture someones best angle, best smile, find the most wholesome representation of their subject. Which is why a good photographer shoots continuously, moves slightly in place for the best composition and provides you with the best option. A generous photographer gives you all the good options.
-A good photographer has multiple batteries and memory cards, a backup camera and flash. A good photographer is over-prepared, backs up their work in separate hard drives.
- A good photographer bounces the flash, which means they can capture ambient lighting and good lighting simultaneously. A good photographer can shoot in any lighting situation.
I hope this information helps you!