Thursday, June 23, 2011

How do I know when I've hired the right photographer?

So people ask me all the time: "how do we know when we've found the right professional to photograph our event?"The obvious answer... maintain your due diligence.

You are hiring a photographer for their creative eye most importantly, but what is just as necessary is their ability to demonstrate professional social behavior.  This person will be with you, through thick and thin, on one of the most important occasions of your life.  They will  join you on your journey, along with your dearest family and friends, and be entrusted to capture all your emotions as situations unfold.  Ask yourself:  am I comfortable enough with this professional to almost forget he/she is in our midst?  Because the most successful photographers have an ability to disappear among your family and guests, yet place themselves strategically "on point" to capture the moments you'll treasure for a lifetime.

It is my professional experience that the more comfortable my clients are with me, the better our results will be overall.  To create this end,  I always meet with my clients for a consultation to try and discover their vision for their event.  The better I understand what they are trying to achieve, the better job I can do capturing the highlights of their occasion.

ow you're probably asking,"how do I gauge my level of comfort with my photographer?"  The best way is to get in front of their camera and test the waters.  Most photographers will offer an engagement or portrait session with their packages.  Take advantage of this opportunity. The investment is minimal and you have the chance to witness their work in action.  During your shoot keep in mind that this session is your chance to complete the interview process.  Does your photographer arrive on time? Is their equipment organized?  Do they ask you if you have a specific reason for choosing your location so they can highlight this in your images?  Are you being posed too much when you specified you preferred candid photography? And finally, are you enjoying the process?  If your not having fun,  you might want to reconsider your choice.  The reason being that this session is a small test for a much bigger event.

If you and your photographer don't naturally create a comfortable dynamic, you can only expect more of the same during your event.  Conversely, you will know when you've found the right photographer because your movements will flow naturally and their coaching will seem dynamic and easy.  And here's the pay off...when you feel comfortable it shows up in every aspect of your shoot...the results will be gorgeous!

Best Regards and Happy Planning,