When choosing a photographer, there are various considerations to bear in mind. While some of these may seem obvious, when considered carefully as a whole they can drastically improve the choices that clients go on to make.
Naturally, most people will start off by considering their budget. While this will always bring certain limitations, we would always advise to go for the best that you can afford. And how do you decide that? Select a few options and think about their strengths. Different photographers bring different skill sets to their roles, depending not only on their experience but also on their personalities. Some photographers are more used to working with people than others, for instance, and some photographers are more used to studio work than others. These differences bring further implications with them, too. Composing a shot with care in a studio environment is a completely different skill to framing a shot in a split second as a documentary photographer may be used to doing.
For this reason, we recommend contacting a variety of photographers and asking them for samples of their work. This benefits everybody, maximising choice for clients while minimising the risk of a photographer being commissioned for a job to which they are unsuited. This also applies to recommendations. Getting a recommendation for a professional is great in any industry, but making sure that they are suited to the particular task ahead is vital in ensuring the best quality results. No photographer is good at everything – and if they do have more than one area of expertise, they can often have differing strands to their business, as is the case in this studio, which houses commercial and advertising photographer Mike Harrington as well as this product photography business.
There are also a few considerations after a photographer has been selected. This depends on the industry, but it’s always worth checking for any additional costs beyond initial quotes. Some packages might include post-production retouching, for instance, while others might restrict the number of final images made available. Value for money does not necessarily correlate with the cheapest quote.
Finally, we recommend meeting photographers as far as possible as part of the decision-making process. A one-to-one meeting is always best for outlining the strengths of a photographer and working out whether they will work well on the job in hand.
So, to recap:
2) Contact multiple photographers and ask for samples
3) Consider specialisms
4) Consider value for money
5) If possible, meet the photographer beforehand.