Choosing a photographer is a big decision but it is hard to know where to start! It pains me when I hear stories from friends and relatives about their terrible experience with other photographers. I’ve heard one too many stories and I had to do something about it! Below is my advice to help you choose a photographer that is a perfect for you!
The Key: Know what you want
Before you even start looking! This is SO crucial. You don’t just want any ol’ photographer. You need a photographer that is a perfect fit for you!
I think the reason that many people are unhappy with their photographers is because they found someone solely based on price and expect that photographer to deliver images that are completely different than their style.
Here are 3 things you need to decide before you even start looking!
What is the feeling you want the photos to evoke? Do you love images that are candid and playful? Or do you swoon for those moody and epic photos? Maybe you are into traditional and posed photos?
These moods do not happen by accident. Photographers intentionally guide and direct their clients to evoke these emotions. During the editing process, photographers will select images that specifically have the mood they have chosen for their photographic voice!
So even if you love the mood a photographer brings out in in their images you also need to love their editing style. There is so much thought and time that goes into developing a photographic voice. All of the editing and location choices made by a photographer are intentional (or should be).
There shouldn't be a need for you to ask for an editorial shoot in the city from a photographer who shoots candid images in the middle of a forest. Or to ask for super contrasted moody images from a photographer who has a light and airy style. I can tell you right now that you won't be happy!
The personality of your photographer will dramatically affect how your time in front of the camera will be. Especially, if you are choosing a photographer for your wedding day because your photographer will be with you the entire day start to finish! I'm not saying you need to be best friends with your photographer (though I am totally down) but you do want your personalities to mesh well because their personality directly affects how they go about photographing you.
Do you think you would feel most comfortable with someone who is down-to-earth and genuine? Maybe you just someone who is professional and to the point. Or do you get along with someone sassy and fun?
I know there is a ton of ambiguity when it comes to categorizing personality and how it affects the way the photograph so I'll give you an example. I assisted for a photographer years ago who would, at least once a shoot, say, "grab her buuuutt". His clients loved it and they would always give a huge laugh! But if a photographer said that to Kyle and me, I would feel SO awkward. I never say that when I am photographing my clients but have found other ways to make them laugh and have a good time. Neither way is wrong but the personality difference will change your experience.
Bonus Tip & Freebie
The mood and aesthetic are easy to match with a photographer just based on looking at their Instagram and website but personality might be a little more difficult to decipher. I 100% recommend meeting your potential photographer face to face over coffee or facetime!
I've even put together a freebie about asking your potential photographer questions!
With these tips, you are well on your way to finding the photographer of your dreams!