How to Choose the Right Photographer for You
Choosing the right photographer is a big decision. And while the internet can make the search more manageable in some ways, it also expands your choices exponentially, which can quickly lead to overwhelm. While there are many options, these tips for choosing the right photographer should help you search effectively and find someone you love. Here’s what I recommend keeping in mind as you look for the right person to capture your memories:
A photographer’s style is their signature. While some styles are more mainstream and some are more original, each is unique and varies from photographer to photographer. Therefore, no one photography style is inherently better than another. Still, when choosing the right photographer for you, it’s essential to find someone whose style matches your vision and preferences.
Check out potential photographers’ portfolios on their website and the photos they’ve posted on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. These are an excellent way to see what kind of finished product you can expect from hiring that photographer.
You can look for things like:
Do they use lots of props and backdrops in their sessions, or do they opt for a more minimal style?
Are their photos colorful and bright, or composed mostly of neutrals and muted shades?
What is the vibe of their photos? Light and airy? Dark and moody? Bright and a little whimsical?
Are their photos posed, or does it look like they go for more natural, candid shots?
Again, there’s no “right” answer to these questions, but they can help you to figure out what styles you’re attracted to and which photographers can deliver the look you’re hoping for.
Your Expectations of the Photography Experience
One of the things to bear in mind as you choose the right photographer for you is what type of photography styles and experiences are available in your area. In other words, look local! For example, you may be disappointed if there’s a fantastic photographer you saw online based in LA, and you’re hoping a photographer here in Honolulu can replicate it. The LA photographer has spent years honing their style, and so has the Honolulu photographer—but the likelihood is that their methods of capturing and editing images are quite different. Looking in the area, you plan to have photos taken is a crucial step in making sure your expectations and the photography experience match up.
What specific type of photography session are you hoping to book? A family session? Pictures of your newborn? Holiday photos for Christmas cards? Most portrait photographers don’t do every type of portrait photography. Instead, they specialize in one or more varieties.
Your wedding photographer may have been amazing, but that’s probably not who you’ll choose to capture your little one’s first year. You’ll want to ensure that the photographer you choose specializes in your desired type of photography.
Does the photographer you’re looking at work in a studio or on location? Again, neither of these options is necessarily better than the other—it’s about how you want your session to go and what you want your final images to look like. Consider where you’d like your photography session to take place and how the resulting photos might differ in each location.
For example, studio photographers have more control over the lighting and often tend to have a more formal style. On the other hand, outdoor photographers are experienced in tailoring a session to work in different types of lighting and weather and may have a more casual “lifestyle” approach.
Papica Photography is a mobile photographer, which means that while I don’t currently offer studio sessions, I love exploring beautiful outdoor locations with my clients. I’m also honored to create comfortable, stress-free lifestyle sessions in your home— a favorite of moms with newborns!
The Right Price
Pricing can be a good indicator of a photographer’s experience and the quality of photos you can expect. Of course, everyone wants to get a great deal, but photography is one area you don’t want to cut corners. Remember, these photos are tangible memories of your family, and you want them to be a treasure for the rest of your life. You certainly don’t want to look back with regret because they’re low quality. Instead, you will be glad you invested the extra dollars in someone who is an expert in their field.
Explore my Services pages to check out the all-inclusive pricing for your preferred package.
Another way to choose the right photographer for you is through online reviews. Photographers may or may not have reviews on their site (even if they do, they’ll only post the glowing ones!) so look them up on Yelp or Google Reviews to see if others have been happy with their photography sessions.
If you’ve only just begun your search for the perfect photographer, you may be able to find a great fit by asking family and friends. If you have a referral from someone you know, you can chat with them to better understand what working with that photographer was like—and you may be able to check out their finished images, too, to see if you like the style.
Remember that this is about choosing the right photographer for YOU. You are the only person who knows the style you love, the type of personality you enjoy working with, and precisely what you’re hoping to get from a professional photography session. So use these questions as a guide, get advice from trusted sources, do your research—and then choose the person you feel will be the best fit for you and your family.