5 Tips on How to Choose the Best Portrait Photographer
Choosing the best portrait photographer to capture your team is not as simple as just picking the first name that pops up on Google. It takes careful planning and research if you're to find the right person for the job. But how do you decide which to pick? There are so many great photographers in London, how are you supposed to choose between them! Well, I'm here to help!
As an experienced portrait photographer in London, I'm very familiar with the experience clients have when searching for my service. Today, I thought I'd share some useful tips based on my years of working in the industry, that'll help you select the right photographer to capture the essence of your team or family.
How to choose the best portrait photographer
1. CHOOSE A PHOTOGRAPHER WHOSE STYLE YOU LIKE
First things first: If you don’t like the style of the portrait photographer, there’s no reason to continue looking at their work. Everybody has a style they like or are looking for, even if you can't name or put your finger on it. Make sure to take a good look through the photographer's portfolio to see whether their style is consistent, and also matches what you are looking for.
Settle on a style: It is important to consider the type of style you're searching for. Do any of the following appeal to you?
Instead of a series of posed photos, these are candid or spontaneous pictures. This style tends to be photo-journalistic. You'll very rarely see people staring at the camera as the photos capture moments exactly as they happen, and together they tell a story. These photos also tend to have very minimal editing. This style is great to capture raw emotions.
These tend to be more classic and traditional portraits. If you like posed team or family members, make sure you are choosing someone who shoots those specific types of photos vs in-home/in-office lifestyle photos. Even within studio portraiture, there is a lot of room for creativity.
In fine art portraiture, the artist's vision plays an important role. This style is similar to documentary photography, however with Fine Art, the photographer has greater artistic licence. Thus allowing them to input their particular perspective and style into your photographs. This style of photography is generally more stylized, offering a signature look. Take a look at this interview with Bill Gekas to get a better understanding.
Edgy and Bold
When you see images shot from different angles, or a surprising view (i.e., a photo shot from overhead). This is an offshoot of fine art photography, and is marked by its 'outside-the-box', tilted angles and unconventional framing.
2. CHOOSE A PHOTOGRAPHER THAT SPECIALISES IN THE TYPE OF SHOOT THAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR:
This may sound obvious, but it's not something that clients always consider. If you are looking to have some outdoor portraits, it may be a good idea to go with a photographer who mainly does outdoor photography, and is therefore an expert in using natural light. If you are looking for portraits of your children, it makes sense to choose someone who specialises in family photography (rather than say, landscape or pet photography).
Do your research to ensure that the photographer you select is good at the type of photo shoot you're looking for.
3. CHECK THEIR PORTFOLIO, LOOK FOR CONSISTENCY.
Start your research by reading any reviews on LinkedIn or by checking the photographer's website portfolio. Have they got some testimonials on their website? What are the reviews like? This will give you an idea of how the photographer is as a person, what kind of work they have done, and how their clients felt about it. The wording and design of their website, will also give you a glimpse into the photographer's personality and sensibility.
Another important factor is the portrait photographer's portfolio, is it consistent? A lack of consistency can be a red flag.
Are there enough photos on their website for you to make an informed decision? Is the quality of the photos, style, creativity, and editing consistent? I spend hours going through my work to perfect it, and I undertake continuous training to be the best I can be.
4. INVESTMENT, HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
Realistically, this should be the last thing on your mind, but usually, it's the first. If you want someone literally just to snap photos – you'll find that easily and cheaply. But is that what you want? Good photography is not cheap.
The best portrait photographer's take their art very seriously and will go above and beyond your expectations. They will want to offer you artwork to hold and be proud to share with their clients, and extended network. A good photographer will invest time and money to ensure they elevate their skills. It's important that your photographer communicates with you and hears about what you want from your session.
How much will it cost you? Is the portrait photographer upfront about their prices? Do you know exactly what you’re getting from them? Every photographer has a different way of working. Some will do viewings and in-person sales, some will offer all-inclusive packages.
Don’t forget, the cost of your photos is not just down to the moment they press the shutter and take your image. You are paying for their knowledge and experience, processing, and equipment.
5. CHOOSE A PHOTOGRAPHER WHO IS COMMITTED TO YOU FROM BEGINNING TO END.
A photo session is more than just showing up and having photos taken. Choose a photographer who is involved beyond just taking a deposit for a session, shooting and mailing on your images. Your overall experience will be enhanced if you pick someone who works with you every step of the way. From initial consultation, to choosing a session date, helping you pick out outfits or backgrounds, to finally designing your session.
Personality: Check for recommendations. Are they good with children? Are they relaxed? Having your photographs taken in front of a stranger can be very daunting, you want someone to make it as relaxed and fun as possible! I have a lot of experience capturing portrait photography for schools and this is because my relaxed, friendly and unobtrusive approach works perfectly within this environment.
I hope this post how to find the best portrait photographer for you has helped and if you feel my work represents what you are looking for, please feel free to get in touch using the contact info below.