How to find the best Photographer for you?
I know it can be challenging looking for a good fit with any skilled professional. There are so many questions and which are the most important? Price is important but is it the most important? Is experience? How about the personality of the person you will be hiring and spending time with?
As a former actor, I have had many headshot shoots and have met many photographers. I have had many conversations in my head about how great it would be if Photographer A had the price point of Photographer B and if Photographer B could just have the same personality as Photographer C and if that person had better artistic vision and so on. I wanted to take the best traits of everyone I met and mold them into one super photographer. That didn’t happen, but it did shape how I look for and find the best photographer for me.
First check out their website, if the photos on the website speak to your aesthetic sense, that is a great start. Lighting is very important, angles are very important. But don’t just look at whether the people in the photos look good, because that can be misleading. Also, unless you know them, it can be hard to tell if that is a good shot of that person or not. Look to see if the people in the photos look interesting to you and whether you would want to know them better. Because that is the best indicator of whether the photographer understood and liked his/her subject and was able to bring out and capture what is unique and special about them. That is the best indicator of what they can do for you.
Next, read a little. Is there a bio? Does this person sound like someone you want to spend time with. Whether for the year, the week or the day, we always want to hire someone we like that will be a joy to be around. You may think this doesn’t apply to photographers, as they are people you will know for an hour, maybe three. But that is not correct. I have often said that I photograph my relationship with the subject. If you do not like your photographer, it shows in the photo. If the photographer doesn’t like or get you, it shows in the shot. It won’t be glaring. You may not even be able to put your finger on it. But you WILL see it and so will others.
I recommend meeting your photographer for so many reasons. If the photographer cannot meet you, or speak with you prior, that is a red flag. Some photographers are “too busy”. BUT, busy does not mean they are good.
Experience. When you hire a photographer, think about what specifically you are hiring them to do. Make sure that they specialize in this specific thing and do it often.
Price. Price is important. Of course it is. The above list is of my making. These are characteristics that are important to me as a subject and as a photographer. I hope it helps you but it may not. You may have an entirely different set of guidelines by which you decide. But, if the photographer hits all your points, expect to pay a little more than the photographer that doesn’t. You will typically get what you pay for. When you consider that you may be taking time off from work, you may be getting your hair and or makeup done and, if in natural light, you are subject to the weather, then getting it right the first time is important and cheaper even with the more expensive photographer.