What You Must Know Before Hiring A Photographer
Guest Blog by Alex Morrison
Camera technology on smartphones has improved leaps and bounds with each iteration. The built-in sensors and processors now do all the heavy lifting. With a simple tap of a button you can take gorgeous images that beautifully capture any moment. You don’t need to lug around heavy or expensive equipment either as most smartphones can easily fit in a pocket.
There are many situations where a smartphone camera is perfectly adequate: Capturing everyday moments of the kids or taking a simple picture you can reference later. But for portrait shots or special events like weddings, a smartphone just won’t cut it.
With a professional photographer, you’re not just hiring someone with an expensive camera. You’re working with someone who has the artistic ability and technical skill to craft memorable images that make snapshots pale in comparison. Once you decide to hire a professional photographer, there are few things you should know first to make the process smoother.
Hire Based on Specialties
Not all photographers share the same skill sets. Portrait photographers are more experienced in capturing a subject’s personality while advertising photographers are able to bring products to light with effective lighting and backdrops.
When looking for a professional photographer, you want to hire based on specialties. A professional photographer who specialises in what you’re looking for (e.g. portraits, landscapes, fashion, etc.) will be able to deliver far better pictures than someone with a general skill set. As the old adage goes, “you get what you pay for” and this is absolutely the case when working with someone who has a more defined skill set.
View Portfolios First
One way to judge a photographer’s ability is to view their portfolio. Professional photographers all keep a collection of their best work from previous clients. Ask any potential photographer you’re thinking of hiring to see their portfolio which they’ll likely have on their personal website or social media page.
Even in content specialties like portraits and signage, photographers all have their own unique photographic styles. Viewing portfolios will allow you to determine if their style matches with what you’re looking for. If a photographer doesn’t have a portfolio, you have two choices: Either move on or ask to do a test photo shoot.
Ask About Fee Structures
Pricing can vary based on different factors. Some photographers charge an hourly rate for their services while others charge for a whole package. Find out how much a potential photographer charges for their services and what it includes. For example, signs and other extras like printing and flash drives with a backup of your photos may incur additional fees.
When discussing pricing it’s also important to ask about usage rights. Generally, photographers maintain the copyright of their creative property while the paying client can use them for personal purposes. If you plan to use the images in other ways, be sure to share those details with your photographer so they can factor that into the quote. Agreements need to be established ahead of time to protect both parties and prevent any miscommunication.