HOW TO SELECT A PHOTOGRAPHER FOR YOUR PROJECTS
Selecting a photographer for your project or event is no easy task. There are many criteria that should be used to make sure you select the right person for the job. Just like no 2 people are the same, no 2 photographers are the same either.
Know Your Requirements
Before you even set out to talk, hire or get estimates for jobs, sit down and figure out the following:
- What kind of coverage do you want?
This means you should determine the duration you will need a photographer. Do you want them all day or only for a specific time? Also, do you want coverage of the whole event or only a certain part. You may also want to think about a type of style. Do you prefer a formal portrait type shoot or a more relaxed, photojournalistic approach.
- What type of deliverables you will need?
Do you need digital files, do you want digital negatives, prints only? Do you want delivery on a CD, Dropbox, online purchase through a secure storefront? Specialty items may also be something of interest, like books, mugs, etc.
How much money are you willing to spend. Remember that there are varying levels of skill, experience and price ranges to match. While it holds true most of the time that you "get what you pay for", pricing varies depending on a lot of factors. Determine your budget, but be open because you may have to pay more to get what you are looking for.
Finding A Right Fit
Not just any photographer is going to be right for you. You should line up and see if the photographers philosophy and style match up with your goals.
- Shooting style
Look at a photographers portfolio and see if they specialize in what you are wanting and shoot in a style that you like or prefer. Hiring a photographer that does only product photography for a wedding might not be the best idea. Same goes for hiring a photographer who's portfolio is filled with high end curated portraiture and you like gritty street photography.
You should have at least one or two meetings prior to your event or shoot. In those meetings, the photographer should secure all the information needed to make the shoot a success. The photographer should get directions, dates, times, important contact information.
- Always get a contract
Regardless the size of the shoot, always make sure to secure a contract. This is to protect both parties and make clear exactly what is expected of the photographer and what you desire to have delivered. If a photographer does not offer a contract or refuses to provide one, think long and hard about securing them for your project.
- Go with your gut
You should feel right when interacting with the photographer. Don't ignore your instincts. If i doesn't feel right, it might be best to look elsewhere.