Guide: How to choose your photographer
When choosing a photographer it is very important that you look at the work a photographer has produced. While doing that you need to ask yourself a few questions.
Do you like the style of the photographer?
This one seems obvious but for some, it isn’t necessarily so. It is very important when you are going to spend money on a photographer, that you will like the outcome. If you thought that you wanted one thing but the photographer creates something in a completely different style, you may not have looked hard enough at the photographer's style of images. In order to ensure a positive outcome, look through the photographer’s portfolio and decide which images you like. Make sure they are within the category of photography you desire – if it is portraits you want, choose examples of the photographer's portrait pictures. Show these pictures to the photographer and tell them that this is the style you like and want to have done yourself. You can also use pages such as Pinterest and Google Images to browse pictures you would like to have as inspiration for the shoot. Make sure your idea for the shoot aligns with the photographer’s idea.
What are you willing to spend?
Again, another very important thing to consider is the pricing. You need to ask yourself what you would be willing to spend and furthermore if you would be willing to go above budget for the right photographer.
You have probably heard this before, but photography isn’t free and there is a reason why the good photographers are pricey. Years of experience, education, reeducation, the right equipment, insurances, hours of editing, etc. all adds up. So when you set out to hire a photographer, you need to take all these things into consideration. Your photographer does not just show up, snap a few pics and are done with it. There is the preparation, the shoot itself and the post-processing that all are part of the number you get on your bill. It is kind of like the analogy with the iceberg. You only see the tip of it, but in truth, there is a huge mass of ice underneath the water. It is the same with photography. You only see the “right here and now” but for the photographer, the work is far from done when you go home. That being said there are excellent photographers within reasonable rates, some doing it as a side thing others just not wanting to charge a lot. This is where you need to look back at your first question; “Do I like the style of the photographer?” because there is also the old saying “You get what you pay for” to take into account. You need to ask yourself, if the photographer you are thinking of hiring is worth the money you will spend on your session and prints. So if you decide that you only want to spend a little money, that is absolutely fine. Just be prepared that you might not get the top notch, super fashionable pictures you expected.
I am not saying you necessarily should go out, and throw a ton of money after a photographer, because there are some really great ones that aren’t too expensive. I am saying that you need to take everything into account when deciding upon the person you are going to hire.
There is also the question of what you get for your money. How many pictures will be provided? Will there be prints? Will you get all the pictures from the session?
And you need to decide if you prefer quantity or quality. Do you rather want a few top-notch pictures or do you want many decent ones? Or do you maybe want both? Either or it is completely fine, but just make that clear when you make your decision and know that everything affects the price.
Do you think you will like the photographer?
While this might not be important for some people (you can just scroll on), for others this is the all-important question for when they decide on their photographer. You might ask: Why? Well, for safety of course! Having your picture taken can feel very intrusive on your personality and private-sphere even though you decided yourself that you wanted it to happen. So having a person you feel like you can trust can be just the right step you need in order to make your decision.
Of course, you cannot know if you like the person if you haven’t met, but it is possible to get an idea of whom the person are. For example, you can look on the photographer's website. Does he/she have a blog, an in-depth description of themselves and their views and ideas or the photographer provide the opportunity to meet before the session? Many photographers have blogs where they share their ideas and expertise and this might help you to indicate what sort of person you are dealing with. The same goes for the website description.
Some photographers even offer non-binding meetings before your session, where you can get a feel of the person behind the camera.
This might be the right way for you to go if you feel camera-shy and awkward with the whole situation, but still want to have an amazing picture of yourself showing just how beautiful you are.