There are tons of photographers out there, especially now that digital technology is so prevalent in society. Anyone who owns a camera can claim to be a “professional” despite their lack of experience, equipment, or desire. I think photographers are blooming now more than ever as a result of the down economy. People are finding any way they can to make a buck or two (check out the website “You Are Not a Photographer” to see what I mean.)
Before you decide on a photographer for your particular need, I have a few suggestions that may make your search a little bit easier.
- I urge people to look online, however, people can be deceiving. Ask around to see if your friends have any recommendations. You can also then see what their photos look like. It is important to see the photographer’s portfolio(s) and to have someone vouch for their quality of work.
- Take your personality into consideration as well as the photographer’s personality. Are you looking for fun lifestyle photos or serious posed studio shots? You want to match your needs with the style and personality of the photographer to get the best photos possible. Matching a photographer with a subject is much like matching a shirt with pants. Not all of them are going to match up!
- Do your homework. Does the photographer have a website? Are they trying to make a name for themselves? While this may not always depict whether a photographer is “good” or not, it gives you an idea of how serious they are.
- Professional photographers are probably not going to be cheap. Just remember that you get what you pay for.
- Be careful! Unfortunately, we’re in a world where not everyone can be trusted. If the photographer has a home studio, make sure you bring someone with you. I suggest you get references from a photographer’s previous clients if he/she doesn’t have a studio outside of the home (assuming that you would need to be in a studio environment and not outside.)
- Avoid department store photography……if you can. This is more of a personal preference, however, I have seen way too many department store photographers whose subjects fall off of the back drop and look completely robotic. You want to show the person’s personality….not hide it behind a cheesy facade that they are uncomfortable with. No offense to department store photographers. I know there are good ones out there.
There are tons of other things that people could add onto this but these are the ones that come to my mind. I know people won’t always agree with me on these, but that’s ok. I am certainly interested in hearing the opinions of everyone else. Good luck on your search!