I need some photos…. fast!
You need some photos, something which is going to make you look great for a press release, or your web developer needs something to fill that website..
Where do you start?
Be honest – do you get a few photographer’s “day rates” and plump for the lowest?
Or do you just ask a few friends and go with what they say?
Well the second one of those is actually a good step – but just because they did a good job for your friend, will get the right shots for you?
The bad news…
Not what you want to hear!
It’s like hiring a band….
If you’re into 70’s rock and a friend recommends his “son’s mate’s band“, because they are “brilliant“.
They turn out to be a Brit Pop act, play really well, but leave you and your fellow “70’s rock lover” mates a little bit disappointed.
It’s the same with photographers.
You may throw a shout out on LINKED IN asking for a photographer to shoot some photographs for your new website.
How do you know that the ones recommended are right for you?
3 Vital Things to Consider
1 – Have they the “Ability”?
So you really need to know whether they can do the job
- have they got the technical know – can they actually take a photo
- do they have the right equipment for the job, or will they turn up with an iPhone?
- can they deliver when they say they will, or will you be waiting for weeks?
- will they interpret the brief correctly, or go off at a tangent?
A photographer with experience and ability can usually adapt to most situations, dipping into that pool of knowledge when things “develop” differently to plan. They will know how to set up lights if they’re needed. They’ll know what they need to get “in the can” before they leave.
Less experience will (almost inevitably) take longer, you’ll be waiting for them to set up. Then waiting again for them to diagnose the usual issues by trial and error – rather than instinct. They may need to re-shoot if they get stuck. Everyone has to start somewhere – it’s how you learn. But can you afford the extra time it may take? You will probably save a few quid though!
You can find much of this out from their website testimonials page, asking people who’ve used them and just looking at their portfolio…
2 – Are they the “Right Person”
The biggest one is probably the one most people miss – are they the right person to photograph you?
- Will they chat, engage, encourage you and create the right environment for you (and your team) to relax and enjoy the shoot?
- Are they the quiet type who are great at shooting products and things which don’t move?
Think of it this way…
The best “widget photographer” in the world will be fantastic at setting up widgets and studio lights – their photos may be in every magazine in the world. They get recommended to you on this basis, you hire them to photograph you and your team….
They turn up and are quiet, shy, never talk to anyone, are constantly tweaking their lights and looking at the camera back – leaving everyone in your team feeling left out and bored.
A week later you’ll receive perfectly lit, beautifully sharp photos of you and the team looking bored and ready to kill someone!
Photographers are all different…
Remember that photographers are all very different – you will get the:-
- detail obsessed people who will make your latest phone look amazing, or
- the fun and outgoing, who will have you laughing and enjoying the shoot
- the diligent type who will sit for days waiting for the perfect light to photograph your buildings
- the arty type who will take photo then totally transform them in Photoshop
- and many others…
All are fantastic at what they do, you just need to get the right one for your needs.
Meet them before you shoot – you’ll understand their personality better, and see if you get on with them.
3 – Do they have “Style”?
The quintessence of photography is “style”.
Style is a consistent, recognisable feel to their portfolio. When you work through their website (or “book”), each photo belongs there – it will have a look honed by years of work.
Simply put –when you see a new photo and say “that looks like Fred’s work”, that’s style.
When a photographer has a style, you know what you are buying – they will bring their style to your job, so you don’t have to worry about the results, they will have the same “style” as those in their portfolio.
Conversely, if their portfolio is seemingly random, with no consistency in lighting, processing, posing, feel or form, then how can you predict what you will receive? Which “photographer” is going to turn up – does it depend on the moon phase or how much coffee they’ve consumed? It is unpredictable – a gamble. You may get the best photos ever, or you may get something totally inappropriate.
Glamour poses may not be ideal on your team page, so if all a photographer’s portraits seem slightly risqué, they may well do the same with YOU!
It’s not “All About The Money, Money, Money…”
So yes – there is a big difference between pricing, from the new person who will work for days for £100, to the £10K a day studio in London.
You photos are hugely important investment – they tell the world so much about your business.
Do all you can to stack the shoot in your favour, find a photographer who you get on with and has the right style – the impact on how your business is perceived could be massive!
Check out our Photography…