Finding the right photographer

It can be a cut-throat world out there, and the photography industry is no exception. There are more and more people picking up a camera and offering services in all areas. Portfolios and information are flooding the internet and a quick Google search for a local photographer can bring up  thousands of hits. 

So what to look for, how do you narrow it down to the one that is right for you and the vision of your project? Price is not the only thing to look for, the more expensive a photographer is does not always guarantee a great photo. Nor does accolades and degrees to a certain extent. Although a photographer who has studied their craft can certainly bring more of the technical side of things to the table, a self taught photographer could also bring the same. Professional vs. Amateur though is a discussion for another blog.

If you are in the market for a wedding photographer, research, research, research. That cannot be stressed enough. Your pictures will likely be the second most expensive portion of your wedding plans. Go through every picture you can find in their portfolios, ask to see more if you are unsure, read reviews from past couples if available, meet with any potential photographers and see what your chemistry is with them, and never underestimate the power of word of mouth. A good photographer will be able to catch a great shot from any angle and will be adept at posing the wedding couple and guests in a flattering way. However, never be afraid to ask for specific shots you would like. That is one of the main question I ask all my wedding clients, it’s your day and you should get the pictures you truly want in addition to the ones your photographer captures.

Family portraits are another major photographic endeavour. Make sure you are looking for a photographer who shoots in the style you like, and one that reflects your family dynamic. If a posed studio picture is for you, find a studio photographer. If an outdoor adventure is more your family’s style, find an outdoor photographer or one willing to do outdoor shoots as well. A studio photographer may not be comfortable with outdoor shots, and vice versa. This is the same for infant photos, although it is sometimes better to seek a photographer out who specializes in, or a main part of their portfolio is devoted to babies. 

A final tip, make sure your choice of photographer puts your sessions and timeline in writing. Most photographers will always have a meeting with you, decide on what you will be doing, the cost, timeline of the shoot and delivery of the pictures - it is important though to get all those decisions in writing. It protects both you and the photographer from any misunderstandings, and ensures you receive your pictures in a timely manner. For wedding photographs, it is ideal to have this stated in a more formal contract.

At the end of the day, they are your memories, your moments, your money well spent - take the time, make sure they will truly capture what you want, and you will have amazing photos for you and your family to enjoy for years.

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