There are so many photogaphers out there, so how do you choose the photographer that works for you? There are many important factors to consider; a photo shoot should be a great experience that you look forward to, enjoy and then treasure. After narrowing down you favourite photographers in your local area, or those who are willing to travel to you, here are my top tips:
Have they been recommended to you by a friend? Perhaps you've seen their images on Facebook and loved them. Testimonials are a great way to see what others thought of their shoot and their overall experience with the photographer. You need someone trustworthy and professional who is capable of engaging with you as a client to capture the images to illustrate a story. Word of mouth is so imporant when dealing with a photographer - you should feel relaxed around them and find someone you are happy to work with.
Are they confident in their area of expertise? I am an absolute animal lover - anything from a tiny guineapig up to a shire horse, you name it - I am mad about all animals! (Even spiders, well okay, I don't mind them but I have never been asked to photograph one!) Hiring someone with a knowledge and understanding of their subject is so important - good photographer whill know their subject inside out, how to react with the client/animal and ensure you get the best possible images from each shot. The photographer should interact and want to be there, asking questions about your pet and striking up a connection to make you feel confident and happy. There should be evident passion about what they are photographing and they should love their work. It will really come across if they aren't comfortable around their subject - I know alot of my photographer friends have tried to photograph horses but because they aren't familiar with their body language or behaviour they find it incredibly hard work to get the shots the owners are after. Personally, I don't feel I could photograph a fashion shoot or a newborn session, I openly admit I would find these situations quite uncomfortable! There are alot of risks and dangers when handling a newborn baby and unless the photographer is trained to do so, I'd keep well clear! (On a side note, don't be afraid to ask if your photographer is insured!)
The most important thing is that you LOVE the photographers work. You should take the time to have a look through their examples, asking for more if you feel it necessary. Each photographer has their own style, you need to find one that you admire! Don't just pick that photographer because they are cheaper, or because they are closest to you - whilst these are factors to consider, the actual quality should be the most significant factor. These images will be precious for years and years to come; you want to make sure you are working with a photographer who not only understands, but is able to capture the images you have in mind. A photoshoot is certinaly an investment - make sure you choose the right photographer for you!