Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What To Look For When Selecting a Photographer/Studio(op - 1-2-2009)

**Originally Posted on 1-2-2009**

Hi all, thought that I would spend some time and give you some things to think about when looking to hire a photographer or studio to take pictures.

Regardless of what type of photography you need, these tidbits will apply:

More after the break....

1)  Experience.  Everyone needs experience, and it is great to give the starting photographer a break if you can.  However, if you are looking at a one time only event and need to get those critical pictures, experience counts.  A photographer/studio is there to provide you with a service, do not be afraid to ask them what types of past experience they have or what jobs they have completed in the past.

2)  Portfolio.  Ask to see the portfolio of photographs that closely resemble the type of pictures you are looking to have taken.  Check the style that the photographer employs.  If it does not fit what you are looking for, then you might want to pass and find a different photographer/studio that can provide the style you are looking to achieve.

3)  Price.  While price is important and a deciding factor for most people, try and get the best you can afford.  Some people live by the axiom, that you get what you pay for.  Sometime this is true and sometimes not.  Again, look at the experience and portfolio and decide if this is the right fit for you.

4)  That one on one experience.  If you are getting something special, make sure that you have enough time set aside with the photographer that will be covering your event and make sure you have everything ironed out.  For example, if you are hiring a wedding photographer, they should be able to sit down with you and cover flow of the event and know what is important to you.  Not all photographers are familiar with all types of religions or rules of ceremonies.  They should talk with you and the presiding official to determine what is and is not allowed.  Also, if possible, get a list of "important" shots for the special day.  that way the photographer and you have expectations of what is most wanted.

5)  Be realistic.  Lets be honest.  A photographer is trying to make money, but they should also care to provide you with the best possible quality they can.  Sometimes, due to circumstances outside the control of the photographer and client a shot might be missed.  On the other side of the coin, photographers cannot afford to allow unreasonably demanding clients get everything they want.  A photographer should know their limitations and be able to explain them to you.  In either case, a compromise is most surely the best route.

6)  Low Pressure.  We can all be under a lot of stress during curtain events.   It might be a good alternative to be able to get some shots before or after the event.  For example, getting wedding formals a few days before the ceremony will allow the bride and groom to better enjoy their special day without the hassle of trying to squeeze in formals either minutes before or in the time between the service and the reception.  It might also allow for the photographer to exercise some more creativity without the pressure of time constraints.

7)  Help each other.  The photographer should be able to communicate to you and the subjects of the shoot what they are looking for to get the best shots possible.  These are you photographs and you should get what you want, but also be receptive and honest when hearing the suggestions.
On the flip side, the photographer is most likely only going to know the client that hired them.  If we are at a suave night event or a wedding, it would be a good idea to have a "liaison" working with the photographer.  For example, the photographer might not know that you have a special bond with Uncle Bob and would love to have some great candids of him mixing with the crowd and making people laugh, in the way only Uncle Bob can.  The liaison can explain that and much more, allowing the photographer to better customize the event for you.


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