You have a very special event coming up and you need a photographer. What do you do? Call friends, look for references, google, facebook, tweet etc..Thanks to social media and the amazing affordable cost of camera equipment, finding a photographer is not much of a hassle these days, is it? But how do you know if you have chosen the right photographer for your event? Here is a check list that can help you find one.
1. KNOW WHAT YOU WANT
Before you go looking for a photographer, you should make a mental note of what type of photos you want to see. Do you want candid pictures, standard or traditional type, photobooth, a mix of candid and traditional pictures etc? You don’t want to hire someone who cannot give you what you expect. So, be clear before you go looking.
2. GOOGLE AND FACEBOOK ARE NOT ALWAYS RIGHT
You may rely on social networking sites for everything but a little caution here. These sites may not necessarily give you what you are looking for. So, you can most definitely use these sites to do further research on your photographer but do not type “BEST PHOTOGRAPHER” and blindly click on the top 5 choices. What you can do however is search the internet for some of the photographers and their past work, check out their website and client list, write to or call the references provided by the photographer or you could call the photographer and ask him/her to send you some pictures of his work, ask him to provide references etc.
3. RELY ON FRIENDS AND RELATIVES
References always help. Go back to your phone book, call a few friends or family to check if they can provide you with some references for photographers. Once you get a couple of leads, go back to step 2 and scour the internet to check out their work.
4. DO NOT COMPROMISE
It may be tough to get a photographer who understands what you want but do not compromise on the quality of photographs. Talk or meet prospective photographers and make sure they are on the same wavelength as you are. Make a list of things you are willing to compromise on and the things you absolutely cannot. Your special day is yours to cherish forever so make sure your photographer can deliver what you want.
5. BE FLEXIBLE
Having said the above, don’t be too rigid. Photographers are creative artists and they need space to give you the best results. You need to trust them that they will do their job. You cannot control everything. So, learn to let go and take your photographers advice on things he is willing to help with. Expect some changes in the plan. Trust me, from my experience i know that nothing really goes exactly as planned. You plan to shoot outdoors and that is when it rains! So, don’t be too rigid. Once you have hired a photographer, let him/her handle everything and go with the flow.
6. MONEY MATTERS
While budget is very important, don’t haggle too much unless it really pinches your pocket. Compromising on money always reflects on the quality of work. So, be reasonable when it comes to budget. You spend a lac or more on decorations for your wedding that lasts for a few hours, photographs will last you your lifetime. So, choose wisely.
7. ALWAYS CHECK PAST WORK
Always check out the photographers past work. That will give you a fair idea as to how good he/she is. You can also vet a lot of them by seeing if their past work pictures are the kind of pictures you would like to have. Your parents or friends may insist on you hiring a photographer of their choice but do not fall for it unless you are fully satisfied with their past work pictures.
8. THE BEST PHOTOGRAPHER IN TOWN MAY NOT BE THE RIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER FOR YOU
While your friends may insist you hire the best photographer in town but it does not mean they are the right photographers for you. Different people look for different things in a photographer - past work, comfort, budget, style of working etc. Some photographers may have won awards for their work, but if you think a newbie photographer fits your requirements to the T, do not hesitate to give the later a chance. Experience matters but not in all cases .
Hope these points help you choose the right photographer for you. Happy hunting and remember, keep smiling :-)