Tip Tuesday: How To Choose the Right Photographer For You

I've had the privilege of working with dozens of talented photographers and have seen the best of the best document amazing weddings and fantastic events over the years that I've been working in the events industry. With just one glance at a client's Pinterest boards I can recommend two to four professional event photographers that would fit their style and jive with their personalities. Recently I decided to update my professional head shots for the Kai Squared Events website and was faced with choosing a photographer that fit my own style much the way that my clients have to. So here are some of the things that I considered when searching for someone that I could trust to capture the correct tone and style that I was looking for. These might be some of the same questions that you ask when searching for the perfect wedding photographer for your big day.

1. Shooting and Processing Style: Do you like the photographer’s style? Each shoot should have the same “style”. In the process of developing their portfolio, a photographer should think of a few words that they want their clients/viewers to think or feel when seeing their work. These words may change over time, but as a whole, is the photographer’s work cohesive?

2. Processing Style: Do you like the processing of the images? Will it match your personal/family style? Does every shoot/sneak peek have the same feel as the other? Is the processing consistent? Is the style of processing cohesive? While some people love B&W, others clients prefer color, vintage, ethereal, hazy, etc. The photographer’s portfolio should reflect the style that will be delivered to the client so that there aren’t any surprises.

3. Quality: Is the quality consistent? Are all of the images in focus? Does each session feel fresh and new? Most customers are not going to be experts at critiquing the technicalities of photography, but as business owners photographers should be displaying work that they can be proud of and would pay for themselves.

3. Investment: Can you afford custom photography? Pricing is all over the place in photography so making sure that your photographers pricing is in your budgeted range is important. As the client, you will want to know how much to expect to pay for what you would like. How much are prints versus digital files? Can you purchase prints? Can you buy digital files only? NOTE: Expect to spend 10% to 15% of your budget on photography

4. Location: Will the photographer shoot on location or consider new locations? Is there a traveling fee for longer distances?

5. Website: In this age of technology, an easy to navigate website is essential. My personal preference is simple. This allows the images to take center stage. If as a client, you cannot quickly and efficiently locate portfolios and pricing (or a way to obtain pricing quickly–as some are not published), keep searching.

6. Photographer/Client Relationship: Does the photographer put the you at ease? Are there rescheduling fees/cancelation fees? Are they easy to converse with and does he/she respond in appropriate time frames? Is scheduling convenient?

7. Specialization: Does the photographer specialize in the type of photography your looking for? Maternity, Newborn, Seniors, Weddings, Family? People are good at what they love! If a photographer shoots only seniors, it is probably because they enjoy it and are good at it! When looking for a wedding photographer, you'll want someone who loves shooting the dynamics of one of the most important days of your life and is skilled at doing so.

I had the wonderful privilege of working with the talented Gina Petersen on my head shots and was so thankful that her demeanor and professionalism put me at ease in front of the camera (not where I like to be) and delivered photos that were high quality and communicated exactly what I was looking for. Thanks Gina![gallery type="rectangular" ids="1947,1945,1946,1948,1950"]

Happy Planning! Xx Danielle