When is a Photographer a Professional?

It seems like photographers are ten-a-penny nowadays and everywhere you turn there is a photography service of one sort or another being advertised. But what is startling is the contrast in the price of their services. Often there is a reason behind the stark contrast in cost of photographic services and these reasons can range from the type or purpose for the photos required to the experience of the photographer themselves.

Here, we are going to discuss how being a professional photographer might have an impact on the cost of the services and why paying out that little bit extra might make all the difference in certain circumstances.

Let us start then with what actually makes a photographer a professional. Of course, in the loosest sense of the word a professional photographer is someone who makes money from their work. However, lots of people make a little bit of money from doing something they aren’t particularly good at it or don’t offer the best service to their clients. The key when selecting a photographer then is not if they make money from it but are they actually a professional?

Ask these questions:

  • Do they act professionally?
  • Does their portfolio look professional?
  • Can they provide an example of a well-presented result?
  • Do they have any certified qualifications and most importantly an extensive photography portfolio?

Once you have addressed these questions you are on your way to deciding if the photographer is a professional or not. Of course, if you are getting a few photos for a quick project (a few Christmas cards perhaps) then it might not take quite so much research to find the right photographer. However, if you are looking for a photographer for career or business purposes then selecting a professional could be crucial to ensuring you portray yourself and your brand in the best way possible.

A perfect example of this is when you are considering glamour or fashion shoots, a poor glamour photographer can easily stray of course leaving you with dated and frankly ‘tacky’ images that don’t send the right message. But, if you take a look at the work of a professional glamour photographer such as White Chocolate, London, you will see some great examples of how a professional can present you perfectly to the right audience.

A second area in which it is crucial to select a professional photographer, budget permitting, is for weddings. Of all the things at your wedding (other than the marriage itself of course) that lasts the decades are the wedding photographs so it’s really worth investing in a professional who has evidence of great results. Take a look at You and Your Wedding for excellent tips in this department.

The key aspect in all of this is trust and if you have followed the questions above, done a little bit of research and decided that the photographer you want to work with is a true professional then the deciding factor is if you get a sense that you trust them and they will provide fantastic client satisfaction.

 

 

Photography Websites: What to Look For

So you have started researching a photographer for your next event or project and you’ve found a good solid list of photographers that you think might be able to help you out but now you feel a little stuck and out of your depth narrowing down your options. Here is some guidance that will help you come up with a shortlist for your photography needs and it is all based around the photographer’s website. There is a vast difference between the content and style of photography sites and although an overall good looking website like those found on this Top 25 list there’s a fair few things that should be good indicators if the photographer is for you or not.

Portfolio: This is absolutely crucial, a photographer’s website must give you an opportunity to view their portfolio to show the extent of their experience, their photographic style and the end result of their time working on past projects. If you don’t like any of the work they have produced so far then they aren’t going to be the photographer for you.

The Story: A key element of choosing a photographer is getting to know them and deciding if you can work alongside them. Although most of this will be established when you meet them to ask the key questions if they tell their story well on their website it gives you a good first impression. It also provides you with the impression they know what their customers want to know which can only be a good thing.

Content: As well as the portfolio and visual content take note of location, ideally you will be looking at someone local so that you can easily arrange pre-meets as well as the shoots themselves. Price, the site should give you a rough idea of price. If they are totally out of your price range then there’s no point in spending time analysing their work. However, just a little out of budget should still be carefully considered. One reason is that you may find paying that little bit extra makes all the difference to getting a photographer you love on board and secondly there’s always a chance you could haggle a little bit.

Style: The style and layout of their website should have plenty of visual content that gives you a good idea of the style of their work. If you don’t like the style of the site at all, then its likely that you won’t like the style of their work. Be a little lenient with this though of course as most professionals will tailor their work to your preferences in some ways.

Site Navigation: This is really important for all business sites really but good clean navigation is a must when you want to sift through hundreds of images from their portfolio. If they know this and they have implemented it into their website it gives you a sense that they care about you and the whole customer journey not just the part where they take the snaps.