There are lots of events in our lives when we want to be able to capture memories or moments in time. Weddings, parties, graduations, pregnancy, the birth of a baby, birthdays, and family events are part of our identity, and without the right photography we can lose a lot of the important details. Unfortunately, finding the right professional photographer to capture these moments is not always straightforward. We are taking a calculated risk by choosing just one person to hold the responsibility of taking photos during a one-time event.
If you are looking for a high-quality photographer but are not sure where to start, this guide outlines how to find highly recommended photographers.
Ask for recommendations
The best place to start is to ask friends and family for their recommendations. Lots of people have hired a professional photographer at one point or another and your friends are likely to have a similar style preference and budget to you.
Decide on your style
Every photographer develops their own style or aesthetic and not all will be to your taste. Some favor more traditional and posed portraits while others like to capture natural moments. Browsing social media profiles (e.g. Instagram), magazines and websites of photographers will help you to identify your preference so you can create a shortlist of options. Click here to examine different styles of wedding photography.
Compare prices and packages
The price that a photographer will charge for a project will vary greatly, so it is important to contact several options before settling on your final decision. Local photographers may be cheaper than photographers who would have to travel for your event or shoot, as they will not have the same travel expenses. Some photographers will charge by the hour, while others might offer a free photography session but then charge for each image you wish to keep.
Try to connect on a personal level
You are more likely to enjoy your session and to come out of it with photos you love if you get on with the photographer. When contacting photographers for quotes or to discuss your requirements, take note of how easy (or not) it is to talk to them. Rather than sending an email, you should do this in person, over the phone, or via a video call. You need to feel comfortable with your photographer and if you have a connection, you are more likely to get the results you want.
Take a look at their portfolio
Most photographers have an online portfolio nowadays which makes it easier than ever to look through their past work. The website itself will include some of their best images, but they should also have a full portfolio to share with you so you can see the kind of work they have done before.
Request testimonials and check review sites
Some photographers publish testimonials from previous customers on their website, but if they do not, it is worth requesting them. Testimonials will give you an insight into how others have found working with a photographer and give you a better sense of whether they are the right fit for you. Of course, photographers are unlikely to publish their negative reviews, so it is also checking to see if they have a company page on a public review site as this is where you will find the good, the bad, and the ugly reviews.