6 Tips for Choosing the Right Photographer

Whether you’re a new company starting out, in the re-brand process, or cataloging new inventory, there is always a need for new photography. With so many photographers to choose from, how do you pick the right one, and how do you know how much to spend? Here are a few tips to help you get organized to make sure you choose wisely.

  • What is your objective?
    First, consider your needs. What is your objective? What do you want to communicate? Are you telling a story with your photos, or showcasing inventory? Depending on your goal, there are a variety of types and styles of photos. You might want to stage a scenario to help bring life to your pictures, or feature your products with detailed close-ups. Always start with a shot list. Discuss this list with your photographer, and ask how he or she will go about getting these shots. If you have many locations to shoot, consider travel time and expense into your budget.
  • Who are you?
    What is your personality? Are you a company with technical products? You will want shots that are close up, with bright lighting on simple background to place the product as the central focus. Or a bakery with beautiful cakes? You might want softer colors and light, with an interesting angle. Choosing a style that is consistent with your company will help communicate who you are or who you want to become.
  • Who is your target audience?
    Consider if these photos will be seen by consumers, co-workers, investors, potential new employees, or all of the above. For example, if you’re opening a new sandwich franchise, photos of the food and the atmosphere will appeal to the consumers coming to your shop. On the other hand, photos of the work environment and a focus on the employees would appeal to a potential franchisee. Certain pictures will appeal to all audiences, but consider who will see the photos carefully when creating your shot list.
  • How are you going to use these shots?
    Website, brochure, print ad? Consider if you will need product shots as well as scenes. Although your cakes might be beautiful, also consider if you will want photos of customers enjoying them.
  • What are the photos’ shelf life?
    How long can you use these photos? Are you photographing a line of summer clothes that will be out of style and season within months? Are you photographing employees for a newsletter? Or, are you photographing your corporate headquarters? When you consider what is being photographed, and how it’s presented, you will have a better idea of how many additional future photo shoots will be needed, which will help manage your budget.
  • What’s in your photographer’s portfolio?
    What experience does your photographer have in his or her portfolio? How many years as he or she been working? If you are photographing your new pet store, it is helpful to have someone who has experience working with animals. You will want a photographer who will think through various scenarios with you and provide you with suggestions. To feel extra secure with your choice, get recommendations or references.

Whenever possible, please hire a professional photographer instead of taking the photos yourself. Photographers are experienced in choosing the right settings, angles and lighting to ensure that the story is told correctly.

Good luck!

Photo Credit: Flickr’s johngargham

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