10 Tips for Hiring a Photographer

Whether it is a wedding, birthday party or any event that’s worth capturing, they all require a professional photographer that can save those happening moments with the click of the camera shutter. The most obvious way to scale up your event’s photography is hiring a strong photographer and it is much like finding the perfect hair stylist or barber. Unfortunately, there are no regulations, licenses, or restrictions that are necessary for the photographers to hold which means there won’t be any guarantee on the quality of their work. For that purpose, we are sharing some of the tips that you can follow in order to hire the right photographer for your special event.

1. Consider Specialties

The most important thing to look for when hiring a photographer is his expertise. Different photographers have different content specialties, for example, photojournalism, architecture, wedding shoots, portraits, product photography etc. The photographer may utilize the existing lighting condition or work in artificial lighting. It all depends on the type of event you want them to cover. If you want a person who can capture people-shots in the best way, then you may want to consider the one who works well under controlled lighting situation.

Travel photographers have an eye for architecture, people and personal moments because they are experienced in capturing the hidden beauty– it ensures that they can capture remarkable photos of your joyful moments. Perhaps you might need an all-rounder photographer who can generally capture almost everything you throw at him.

2. Get Some Recommendations

You can ask your friends and family members for recommendations of quality photographers that can capture your moments in a much exciting way. It is the easiest way because you can also ask for their reviews and get to know about the photographer’s work nature without even seeing their work. You can also filter out the best photographer and hire them at scoopshot.

3. View Their Portfolio

The common way to judge a photographer’s photography skill is viewing his past work. Professional photographers must have a collection of their best work from previous clients. They might also have an online portfolio in the form of a website, blog, or a social media page. You can then view the photos from an occasion they previously covered that is similar to the one you want to hire one of them for.

4. Check out Their Photographic Style

Just like the content specialties, photographers have their own photographic style they work best in. It is your duty to decide what type of photographic style you would think is best for the event. Some clients may prefer shooting artistic and natural looking photos and others may look for more posed, traditional and formal pictures.

Again, the portfolio can really tell you everything about the photographer’s eye and his style of capturing.

5. Interviews

Once you go through the above points, it is time to interview some candidates in order to know more about them. If you have any questions in mind, don’t hesitate to ask them because one of them will be working for you. Don’t treat photography as an assignment where the photographers are asked to shoot by themselves and come back with the pictures, instead work in collaboration so the person saving your moments can know better what you want. If you have a specific shot list and ideas in mind you can let him know about it in the interview.

You can ask the following questions in the interview that can help you decide who to hire.

  • Will you be photographing alone, or do you have some associates as well?
  • What kind of equipment do you use for covering such events?
  • How much experience do you have in this field?
  • What is the turnaround time to deliver the pictures in digital or printed format?
  • Is photography your primary source of income or is it just a side job/hobby?
  • How many events like this have you covered this year or the previous year?
  • Would there be a written contract?

After asking these questions, if you find the candidate suitable for the job then you can ask him for an estimate for the shoot. Ask him to provide detailed estimates about the traveling, shooting, processing and other accommodations.

6. Focus on the Questions the Photographers Will Ask You

If you have the right to ask them questions, they do have too. Pay attention to what they ask because they will be getting photography and budget information out of your answers. Make sure they ask the right questions and understand what you really want. If they are asking about the most important moments you want them to highlight, types of photos you want i.e. close-ups, general shoots etc., discussing delivery deadline and other important stuff then you have a professional in front of you. If they are just throwing a bunch of random vague and general questions at you then don’t hesitate to schedule an interview with some other photographer.

7. Select the Photographer with More Experience

Photographers who know how to operate a camera without much experience are just like new drivers that can get distracted easily and make many mistakes. If you are hiring them for covering an important event like a wedding, then the photographer should have 101% accuracy in selecting the right settings at the right moment to click the perfect shot which all comes with a lot of experience. You cannot expect newbies to do that. Well, they might click some amazing shots but when it comes to working under stress and managing different type of shots, they will simply fail because they haven’t attended enough weddings to know what angle to look for and where to point the lens at.

It is recommended to choose someone with experience of at least 5 years. The more you speak to them, the more idea you will have about their experience level.

8. Beware of Heavy Editing

Many photographers use Photoshop and Lightroom to make up for a lame photo and call it a style. Beware not to fall for it. An experienced and quality photographer would never do heavy editing to make his photography great. An average person won’t be able to easily point out any difference between a heavily edited picture and a normal one because he doesn’t have that trained eye. To see if the photographer takes help of heavy editing to ask him to show some unedited versions of a shoot and compare it to edited versions. A confident and experienced photographer would show you some samples without any problem and the one who will be too hesitant or straight up turns you down isn’t a true professional.

Photo editing is not quite a big deal if the photographer is enhancing an already great photo. A bad photo will still remain bad no matter how much post-production work you do on it. The key here is that even the unedited photos must be able to stand on their own as perfect photos.

You should also understand the difference between two major aspects of post-production i.e. Digital Imaging and Basic Color Toning. Consider digital imaging as fixing the structure of your body part, hair transplant etc. and basic color toning as applying makeup, color correction, color balance, and dust removal etc.

9. Compare the Cost/Pricing

Price for the photo-shoot depends on different things i.e. time, equipment, photographer’s experience level, traveling costs, etc. Get at least 3 to 4 estimates from different photographers and compare them according to their specialties. Also, take into account the hidden charges that may exceed your budget later. The photographer may not include the cost of CD/flash drive, prints, editing, or other extras so it is better to ask about it in advance.

The budget is mostly decided by considering the following points:

  • Time
  • Type of event
  • Staff required
  • Equipment required
  • Number of extras included
  • Props (if required)

If you want to hire a highly experienced and professional photographer, then you have to compromise on your budget and increase it to get some exceptional pictures.  

10. Don’t Hesitate to Negotiate

Negotiation is your right as a client. Make sure you negotiate on price if you think it is more than your budget, but never compromise on quality as it is crucial for a remarkable photo-shoot. If you are on a low budget, then get the extras out of the list and focus on the shoot only. Most photographers tend to state a high budget for the complete photography but you can bring them to your budget by negotiating in the best manner possible.

Conclusion:

Make sure you follow all the above-mentioned tips to hire a strong photographer who can manage everything from quality to end product, being in your budget. Don’t just go for only experience or only good equipment rather make sure that the person you are hiring has both enough experience and equipment to bring the best out of your event.