Everyone’s a Photographer Series (5/5)

In a world dominated by images and a market place saturated with “professional photographers”, it may seem like a daunting task to find and choose a photographer that’s right for you. This series of articles covers the current trends, and provides some tips to help you in the selection process.

Part 5

Summary – Making the Choice

In a world where everyone is a photographer, what are the critical things to check out before making an investment and hiring a photographer?

There are lots of photographers out there. The marketplace is saturated with photographers with a diverse range of skill, experience and competence. Choosing one that is right for you can be confusing.

There are lots of photography genres, each requiring a unique set of skills, equipment, and work approach. Selecting a photographer should not be based on equipment or price alone. In certain situations, the interpersonal skills of the photographer or creative eye are far more important.

Before selecting a photographer, there are four questions you can consider to narrow down your choices.

  1. What is my budget?
  2. What are my expectations and are they realistic?
  3. How important are the images to me?
  4. Does the photographer have all the right stuff (attitude, customer focus and technical equipment) to do my assignment?

Once you have narrowed down your list :

  • Check out the photographer’s online galleries and see if you like their style, interpretation and quality of work. Does their work match your expectations?
  • Read their testimonials
  • Make sure you fully understand the level of service the photographer will provide for the quoted fee ( every photographer will quote differently). For example, if you are expecting your images to be fully retouched, presented on a pure white background and delivered in a file size that can be used for hard copy printing, then you need to check that this level of post production is included in the service fees to avoid unexpected hidden costs.
  • If you are uncertain about anything, ask questions. Does the photographer try to convince you based on the equipment they own and using vague technical terms, or do they try to convince you by sharing examples of work they have done and explaining their work flow processes in a way that you can understand. A client-focussed photographer will take the time to make sure they understand your needs, ease your anxieties, and will explain things that are confusing to you.
  • Most importantly, do you feel confident entrusting this person with your images?

I will finish this series with some sage advice that I received in a former career as a Human Resources Executive. A world renowned expert in interviewing and hiring, Dr Paul Green, said to me : “It is not the interviewee’s responsibility to work out what you need to know for them to get the job, it is your responsibility to work out if their combined personal attributes and technical skills are the best fit for the job by asking the right questions.” Before hiring a photographer, ask lots of questions so you can have confidence that you will be able to make the most from your investment.

Insights from behind the lens, is a collection of articles, links and resources to help clients make the most from their photography investment.  We will continue to build on this library of resources and add articles periodically.
Read More in the Everyone’s a Photographer Series.

Author: Dragon Papillon Photography

Sydney based photographer offering commercial product photography, visual content for websites and social media, portrait and event photography services.