When it comes to choosing the right photographer it can seem a bit of a minefield. Especially when your neighbour, boss and best friend are all now self-proclaimed professional photographers. Good photography is more than just a fancy camera and I have spent years perfecting my skill set to become the photographer I am today.
I often hear stories of individuals who have paid hundreds out for professional photography and the end result is rather disappointing. I really hate hearing this and I think it is crucial you know exactly whom you are booking and that there are indeed a professional. I have decided to put together my top 5 things to look out for ahead of booking your photographer:
This may seem a rather obvious one but with over half of ‘professional’ photographers working without any qualifications at all, I feel it is an essential piece of criteria. There are many different types of qualifications they may hold but the main ones to look out for would be a Bachelor Degree or a level 4 diploma. If they hold either of these then they have already set themselves apart from the rest.
Terms and conditions can seem rather boring for you as the customer but in reality, they can say a whole lot of things about the photographer. If a photographer provides you with T&C’s then it shows that they have not only invested their money but also their time into protecting themselves and you. T&C’s outline your rights if you are not happy with the photos and they also protect the photographer from loosing money due to wasted time – everyone is a winner!
Nowadays it is one thing being able to use the camera but this must now be combined with quality editing skills. Anyone can get their hands on software such as Photoshop or Lightroom but it is having the knowledge and skill set to be able to use it, is what sets the professionals apart. Capturing the image is 60% of the process, the remaining 40% is spent enhancing and editing the finer details to add the individual touch.
4. Familiar with the project
Unless you are after something extremely obscure then you can pretty much guarantee that most professional photographers will have previously shot something similar to your requirements. If they have then it is crucial to ask to see some photos from that particular shoot. In doing this you can identify the qualities you particularly love and some you may dislike. This provides extra security for both you and the photographer. Asking this will also help identify any amateur photographers who do not hold the skill set you require for this shoot.
There is no better evidence of a photographers work than their portfolio. It is so important for you as the customer to have an idea of their style and feel before taking the plunge and booking them. Even if you have been recommended to this photographer that does not mean that you will necessarily like their style. I share my work with others continuously, on my website and via social media to showcase my style and love for what I do.
Whatever the reasons behind wishing to book a photographer, always take the time to get to know them and keep this list handy! If you wish to take your photography to a more professional level then my photography course is the perfect place to start.