In the previous blog post I talked about why it's important to have a professional business portrait but how on earth do you choose a photographer when a quick Google search shows you have many to choose from within your own area?
As with any service personal recommendation can be a good place to start but it's important to note that the photographer who was perfect for your friend's headshots may not be the right fit for you, there are a few things to think about before you make a choice.
Every photographer has their own style and this can be a good starting point. Have a good look around their website and social media, does their style appeal to you? Spend some time reading their blog and social posts, do you get the impression that they are knowledgeable and that you would get along well? You need a photographer who will help you feel at ease on your photoshoot so personality matters too.
If you are happy with their style and online presence it's a good idea to really think about your requirements before you make contact. A good photographer should be able to guide you on the most appropriate style of portraits but is there any other photography you need? If you have products to photograph or services to document engaging a photographer for a longer shoot can often be less disruptive to your business and may turn out to more cost effective too. Now you are fully prepared and it's time to make contact. It's always good to talk on the phone if possible but it may be wise to email and arrange a convenient time, many photographers work alone and would need to arrange calls around photoshoots.
What to discuss with your photographer:
There's nothing more awkward than knowing you need to have a conversation but not quite being sure what you need to ask so hopefully these pointers will make your conversation easier.
- Have they worked in your sector before? It's not strictly necessary since skills are very transferable but it's important to get a sense of whether you think they can understand your business and brand.
- Do they have the necessary facilities? If you need formal headshots you need a photographer with either a studio or a portable studio set up. Similarly if you need white backgrounds or have complex products such as jewellery you'll need to check if they have the appropriate equipment.
- Can they style the shoot for you? Not all shoots need styling but lifestyle photography is increasingly popular and often benefits from some added styling. Some photographers will offer this as part of their service, others may recommend a stylist.
- Can they work as part of a team if needed? Do you need your photographer to be able to work alongside an art director or to consult with your graphic designer or website developer, if so it's worth having the conversation sooner rather than later to ensure they are willing to work alongside a team.
- Are they within your budget? If you speak to a selection of photographers you may find that the prices can vary quite considerably so it's important to have an idea of your budget in advance. If possible try not to let price be the deciding factor when choosing your photographer, their style and whether you feel you can work together need to be one of your highest priorities. If a price seems too good to be true be extra diligent in your research, make sure that you feel confident that the photographer is consistently producing the style and standard of work that you require.
If you are currently looking for a commercial photographer I hope you have found this post helpful. If you would like to see more of my work you can have a browse through the Portfolio section of the website, if you feel my style might suit your needs feel free to use the Contact Page to get in touch and we can discuss your requirements further.