Choosing a Photographer
With Style, Substance
process of choosing a professional photographer
has never been easier or more fun, thanks to
the Internet. I have been a professional photographer
for the past 14 years, and I am going to give
you the short course on what to look for in
choosing your photographer and how to do it.
Finding the style and talent. Being photographed
is an emotional experience. You are choosing
to document a time and part of your life. The
photographer you choose should not only be someone
whose work you love, but you should also like
them as a person. Basically, if you wouldn't
want to hang out with them at a backyard barbecue,
you don't want them chasing you all around on
your wedding day or holding your newborn baby.
So spend some time and make sure you are a match!
The Internet. Doing a Google search for photographers
in your area is a great way to start. Remember
to look past the top three pages of results.
The first person that shows up on your search
engine results may have the best placement,
but that has nothing to do with photographic
talent. You can also go to Google images and
see lots of photographers' work on one page.
want to look through the different photographers'
online portfolio. Each photographer has his
or her own style. No two photographers will
capture the same moment identically. You know
the saying - you can't please everyone. Well,
the same goes for photography. So, look for
a photographer whose images and style pleases
Wedding Shows. If, you are specifically looking
for a wedding photographer, then wedding shows
are a great way to meet many photographers face
to face and see some of their work. But, keep
in mind, if you don't see anything that you
like, there are plenty more photographers out
Their Experience. Practice makes perfect! Find
out how long they have been a professional photographer.
Are they professionally trained or self taught?
Look through their online galleries. Are they
consistently good? If you find one image you
would rate a 10 but the rest a 3, then that
photographer is a 3. There is a saying in the
art world - you are only as good as the weakest
image in your portfolio. So make sure you look
through the entire portfolio before making your
. Your Experience. Having your portraits or
wedding day captured should be a fun and amazing
experience. Your photographer should make you
feel confident, both in them and about your
future experience together. There should be
a connection between you and your photographer
all the way through the wedding or portrait
day to the ordering/ viewing session and receiving
your portraits. You should not only love you
portraits, but love the experience.
Investment. Photography is an art, and with
all art comes a price. There are different factors
that determine a photographer's price list:
Time, equipment costs, artistic vision and reputation
of the photographer, not to mention expertise.
I recommend choosing your photographer because
you love their work, and you can't wait to look
at it on your walls every day. If you pick a
photographer strictly on price, you will most
likely end up with regret and paying another
photographer for a re-shoot.
I think this quote says it beautifully: "The
cost of good photography will always be forgotten,
where as the alternative ending up with bad
art on your walls will haunt you daily."
Sutton Elias is a professional photographer
in Long Beach LA and Orange County