Choosing the right photographer can feel daunting. If you Google “Collingwood Photographer,” you can easily sift through 70+ results. Combing through websites, Instagram pages, and portfolios is only part of the equation.
When investing in professional photography, whether it’s for your business, wedding day, headshots, or home, you want to be sure you’re getting the right person for the job. Otherwise, you can end up with awkward poses or feeling “meh” about the final result. You don’t want meh. You want AMAZING! Here is everything you should know about hiring the right photographer for your next photoshoot.
What To Consider When Hiring a Photographer
I’ve worked with 4-5 photographers for my needs over the past few years. Truthfully – I’d recommend all of them! So why not stick with one?
Well, I hired them all for different reasons. One was to capture my brand, another was to capture boudoir photos, one for fun candids, and so on. I admire these photographers for different reasons. I had to consider my budget, the photographer’s personality, their specialty, and the WHY behind the photoshoot.
If you’ve been debating who to hire for your wedding vs your business, it can be totally normal that these are two very different people. This is precisely what I’d recommend you research before locking down a photographer.
I’ve heard this before –
Someone’s portfolio looks INCREDIBLE – but the photographer was not your vibe.
You wanted a bestie on your wedding day, but instead, the photographer took the job way too seriously, got in the way of your family connecting to demand portraits on their ideal timeline, and barely hyped you up when you put on your wedding dress.
Or maybe you wanted to feel like a goddess at your boudoir shoot, but you felt totally awkward and uncomfortable because it felt like a stranger was capturing you in your underwear…because that’s totally what’s happening.
Portfolio alone is NOT ENOUGH.
I’d recommend having a phone call or Zoom chat before you hire. It can be short and sweet, but at least you can get a sense of the vibe and see if their personality matches what you’re looking for.
You can also follow potential photographers on Instagram! I haven’t met my latest boudoir photographer yet, but I feel like I know her because of how real she gets on her stories. It’s helped me form a connection, and I love how she shows up for others.
Personality can be just as important as expertise – so choose wisely!
Consider Their Expertise
The first time I was hired to capture a person, I was freaking out.
I had become an expert in capturing homes – not people! I knew the formula to make an ordinary kitchen look magazine-worthy. When I look at my first brand shoot, I absolutely cringe. It wasn’t my expertise yet.
But I kept practicing, and I got better. Now, people know my brand work better than my real estate photos!
Weddings? HA. Another beast.
I’m so grateful I had the chance to be a second shooter to several incredible photographers. If I had been hired to do a wedding solo, I would’ve s*** my pants. But now, I’m confident about doing it alone.
The point of the story is that you won’t hire the best real estate photographer in town to capture your wedding. If you’re looking for cute feminine candids, a purely editorial photographer with “boss” vibes might not bring out that energy. Consider the expertise of the photographer you’re hiring.
Pricing Comes Into Play
I just spent $3700 on a single photoshoot that will take about 2 hours.
The expertise of the photographer and what that photoshoot means to me was worth the investment.
I’ve also paid $250 for a photoshoot I absolutely loved at the time.
If you desperately need some photos for your new business but can’t save up the funds to hire your absolute dream photographer, someone out there can meet you where you’re at.
Pricing reflects the photographer’s expertise and their offers. I may have the same price as another local photographer, but they may only deliver 30 photos while I deliver 50. Putting together a spreadsheet to compare what you’re getting vs. what you’re paying can help you figure out the best bang for your buck.
(It also doesn’t hurt to ask your dream photographer if they have a payment plan…that’s a win-win!)
Ask About Their Process
When considering a photographer’s pricing, it’s equally important to consider their process. You don’t want to hire the most expensive photographer who leaves you to figure out all the details.
Are they just showing up and clicking buttons without a plan?
Or are they getting to know you and putting together a detailed layout that includes a shot list, location ideas, inspiration mood boards, and your social media strategy?
My process includes a quick Zoom or phone call to get to know each other, a detailed questionnaire, a PDF with tips, a shot list, a prop list, a personalized mood board, and a quick check-in a few days before the shoot to see if anything has changed.
Scope Their Editing Style
Photographers are artists. You wouldn’t ask Banksy to paint like Thomas Kincaid! You are hiring a photographer for THEIR style, so don’t ask them to change it. Instead, hire another photographer who fits your vision.
Do you want dark and moody?
Light and bright?
When I capture boudoir clients, I edit in a different style than I do for brands. Ask your photographer to describe their editing style and check out their portfolio so you can get an idea of their final product.
Ask Around and Review Testimonials
Fall in love with someone’s photos on their website or social media? Just ask them who their photographer was! You should always check out Google Reviews or online testimonials to see what others say about the experience. This will give you a snapshot of what it’s like to work with the photographer and how people feel after their photoshoot.
Choosing the right photographer goes beyond the portfolio. Follow their social media, ask about their process, scope out testimonials, and get the full picture before making a final decision. You’ll be a lot more confident about your investment if you do more than a quick Google search.
If you’re on the hunt for a boudoir, wedding, interior, or brand photographer – let’s chat about your vision. If we vibe, we’ll go from there!
How did you choose your latest photographer? What would you recommend to someone who is looking to hire a photographer? Share your thoughts with other readers in the comments below.