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Four Tips for Choosing a Photographer Finding the Right Photographic Collaboration

Introduction

One of the most exciting and important parts of planning your photo shoot is choosing your photographer, at least in my opinion!

The only lasting memory of your day will be your photographs -- unless you hire a videographer, too, of course -- so it's essential to get that right. Your photographer does much more than just snap away the whole day; each photographer also brings their own style of shooting, editing, and telling the story.

Tip #1: Evaluate the Style

Pick a photographer with a style you love.

Do your homework, visit lots of websites, read their blogs, testimonials and 'About Me' section. Get to know them through their online presence. Figure out what draws YOU to their images and how YOU would like to be photographed. Their work should sing to you and make you feel some. In years to come, you'll want to look back on your pictures and remember how you felt at that moment -- the confidence, the beauty, and your unique essence.

If you're booking someone with a dark editing style, don't expect them to know how to edit your photos in a bright and airy style. Photographers generally do not give customers unedited images, nor will they re-edit images more than once or twice. Don't just book a cheap photographer and expect to edit/dictate what they're doing. Make sure you speak with them beforehand and really understand whether or not your styles match. That way, you both know what to expect.

Three different styles of headshots. Most photographers may shoot the same subject with a slightly different style based on the collaboration. Communication is key to getting what you want.

Tip #2: Communicate Expectations

As in all relationships, communication is key. Tell them what you want during the consultation. If you have any ideas about theme, color scheme, location, let the photographer know so that they can do their best to accommodate your needs. Or more importantly, let you know if they're not the right photographer for you. For example, if you want underwater shots and they don't have the right equipment for that, or maybe they don't shoot weddings.

It also helps if you have examples of the type of shots, poses, and lighting you would like to discuss with the photographer. Although a good photographer isn't going to copy the work of another, they can get a better understanding of what you want, and together you can come up with something totally unique!

Tip #3: Read the Contract

Not a fun part, but an important one -- make sure you reach the contract thoroughly before signing. Contracts are legally binding between the photographers and their customers. And in today's world of posting everything on social media, it's too easy to violate copyright for the photographer or come to a misunderstanding of how the images can be used.

The contract should also outline expectations on when you can expect your picture to be delivered, payment deadlines, and the number of pictures you can expect to receive.

Aerial Artist: Sommer Panage

Tip #4: Prepare for the Shoot

As the day approaches, make sure to stay in contact with the photographer. Depending on the type of shoot and set-up required, your session will likely be within a week up to several months out. However, during the entire time, you should maintain communication with your photographer and they should maintain their contact with you.

You want to make sure you confirm dates and location as the day approaches. And if you have other ideas that might have inspired you during the intervening time, you should definitely let your photographer know right away

Conclusion

Hopefully these tips can help you as you try to find the right photographer for your needs. The tips are pretty simple to remember:

  1. Evaluate the Style
  2. Communicate Expectations
  3. Read the Contract
  4. Prepare for the Shoot

Credits:

All photos credit: Amoa Photography

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