OHM Photography – Finding the Right Photographer
The first port of call for most people – when searching for a photographer for an event, for business or for anything else – is to complete a quick Google search along the lines of ‘photographers near me’ or ‘photographers in [blank]’.
From there, you can expect to find a list of ads, followed by an array of organic results – but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be presented with the right photographer for you.
One thing that a high organic search result can guarantee is that a photographer is well-established, and they know how to work Google – apart from that, it doesn’t say much about the style and quality of their photography, and if that particular photographer is the right fit for a particular job.
So, how do you find the right photographer for your event or project?
One route you can take to finding a selection of suitable photographers – aside from sifting through search engine results – is to use social media.
You can find photographers through Instagram.
By using hashtags specific to the kind of photography you want – and the approximate location of your desired photographer, if geographical closeness is something that’s important to you – you can find a range of photographers.
You can find photographers through Facebook.
Facebook can be difficult to navigate to find the services you’re interested in – for example, if you type in ‘photographers’ in the Facebook search bar, it’s likely that you’ll be presented with groups for those photographers, rather than finding a photographer for yourself.
To remedy this, click on ‘pages’, displayed on the left hand of the search results, then click through to ‘businesses’, ‘local service’, ‘photography and videography’ and finally to ‘photographer’. Facebook will then present you with a number of photographers, including the option to specialise your search even further by choosing options such as ‘amateur photography’, ‘camera shop’ or ‘event photographer’.
You can find photographers through Pinterest.
Pinterest is a great place to find photographers, and the easiest way to begin your search is to browse photos relating to the kind of event or project you want photographed, and hope that the photos you find are linked to the source, and the photographers who shot them.
With events such as weddings, it should be fairly easy to come across photographers that you like in this way, since wedding-themed searches are some of the most popular searches on Pinterest across the whole platform, whether it’s for a venue, dress, DIY decoration ideas or even the photographer specifically – and photographers swarm to the site, accordingly, linking their website in their aesthetic pins.
When it comes down to it, however, finding a selection of photographers that have the potential to shoot your event well is the easy part – the crucial steps come after you’ve clicked through to their website or social media page.
Figure out your budget.
Depending on your event or project, you’ll want to figure out how much the photos are worth – and you need to keep in mind any hidden costs, such as travel expenses, if you’re thinking of hiring a photographer that isn’t local to your area.
Is it a once in a lifetime event? Will you want to repeatedly flick through the photos to incite your nostalgia? Or is it for a work event? Or do you need pictures of products for your business’ website?
Based on the answers to these questions, you need to weigh up how much these photos are worth to you. Or, if it’s a business expense, weighing up the potential worth of these photos vs the cost to your business.
Look through your photographers’ portfolios.
Whether you’ve found a photographer on social media, or you’ve happened upon their website, the first thing you should do is to check out their portfolio.
While this won’t give you a full overview of their work, it will give you the chance to see if the photographs they shoot are of a high enough quality to suit your needs.
On the other hand, the quality of the photos might be great, but the personality and style of the photos might not be what you have in mind for your event, and browsing a photographer’s portfolio will allow you to decide if this is the case.
But a portfolio alone isn’t enough.
A portfolio is meant to be seen. It’s a collection of photos in the photographer’s possession which they feel represents the best of what they’re able to produce. A portfolio’s purpose is to help photographers sell their services to new clients – it doesn’t paint the whole picture.
To overcome this problem as a client – and to obtain a more accurate view of what your own event photos are going to turn out like – you can ask your chosen photographer to show you the photos for a complete event or project, so that you can see everything they photographed from the event. There could be many photos that aren’t displayed on their portfolio that you like.
Meet the photographer.
Or at the very least, speak to them on the phone.
An underrated, under-accomplished step of the photographer-finding process, is the part where the client meets the photographer, before the booking is made.
In short, you need to make sure that some sort of in-person (or over the phone) communication happens before you book a photographer, to make sure that you both gel, and that they’re willing to complete the shoot in the way that you want. Plus, any questions you have for each other can be easily resolved.
So, if you need a photographer for a big event, for your business, or for anything else, then be sure to follow these steps, to ensure you hire a photographer that’s perfect for you.
Article written by: Catherin Brooks