To find the right photographer is like trying to find the perfect tie to match a suit. It is a highly personal choice with a lot of obstacles along the way namely costs, location, personality, style, speciality, age, experience and above all chemistry. If you think finding a soulmate is hard, well, I believe that the correct photographer falls into a similar realm. I have had so many people discuss their search with me and frankly their eyes speak of pure horror. I seriously feel like I need to start a Group Therapy Session to help these poor individuals. But getting back onto the topic at hand, how does one find thee photographer to capture your special moments :
- Ask your FRIENDS for their recommendations, and I mean your true friends not the random friend world on Facebook. You want honest opinions regarding great and not so great photographers.
- If your (true) friends prove to be unhelpful, then use Facebook Search function using key words e.g. photographer, cape town. Once you have some results, study their pages to see if their work would suit what you would like. Once you find some options, check out those photographers' websites to double check that those photographers are posting their own images. There have been many cases on Facebook where photographers have copied and pasted images taken by other photographers and taken credit for the image, which is a copyright infringement.
- If Facebook does not help, then use Google search and study the results.
- Once you have a shortlist, then pop each one an email to discuss their rates. This will give you a great opportunity to check their customer service (i.e. how quickly they respond to you), their personality, how they treat their clients, how they speak to you/explain things and the overall sense of what the photographer is like. If you are not 100% sure if you would like to use the photographer, then meet the person for a cuppa coffee at a cafe so you can discuss requirements further. This is a super way to check their punctuality, reliability as well as personality.
Hiring the right photographer is a highly personal choice, and either the chemistry is there or not. If you do not feel the photographer is right for you, then you are quite justified to say so, in a nice way of course. A good question to ask yourself when selecting a photographer would be "Do I want THIS person to share in this occasion / birthday / wedding/birth." If there is any hesitation, then keep on looking for the person that matches you / your family. A photo shoot should be an amazing experience that leaves you happy, stress free, inspired and eager to book another. If a photo shoot leaves you feeling exhausted and stressed out of your cotton picking mind, then maybe you need to research a new photographer ? In my mind, a photographer should be someone creative, a great listener with a passion for photography and for making people look amazing and at ease in their images. I personally love to laugh, chat and enjoy the shoot and time with my Clients.
I do hope that this post has given you some food for thought especially for us photographers looking for others to take our family pics.
Feel free to leave your comments or questions, and I shall respond soonest.