Photography allows us to capture and preserve important moments in our lives. However, a lot of people would focus entirely on every other aspect of the event (food, venue, logistics), and pay minimal attention towards picking a photographer. Others would be too busy and simply agree when someone says “I know a good photographer, and his rates are okay.” Although basing your decision on referrals isn’t bad, choosing your event’s photographer on referral alone could ruin what should have been picture perfect moments.
Whether it’s a high school senior prom or your dream wedding in Canterbury Place, Utah, you need to keep in mind these tips for finding the right photographer for your event:
Mind the Budget
All else that follows in the list won’t matter if you haven’t set the budget. Before you start listing down your potential photographers, set a budget and find photographers within your price range. This would help you narrow down your options and save time. Rates often vary by the experience level and production offerings of the photographer and could range from $25 -$75 per hour for amateur or hobbyist photographers and up to $250 – $500 per hour for top professional photographers. If you’re on a tight budget (or perhaps poured in used most of the budget into other parts of the event), consider having friend or relative who has sufficient skills and the equipment needed to cover your event for free or with the limited budget you have.
Referrals and Reviews
Once you have a set budget, use your network to generate a list of potential photographers; ask your friends, relatives, or workmates if they could recommend someone who can cover your event within your specified price range. Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to find tested and trusted photographers in your area. And, being a referral, it’s possible to talk the photographer into giving a discount. But even with referrals, you still need to search and read online reviews regarding the photographers — not that you don’t trust the person that referred the photographer but to get an unbiased opinion regarding their work.
Check their Portfolios
One’s work can speak for itself. Although it’s necessary to check on the reviews, it’s also just as important to check on the photographers’ portfolio. It’s possible for the photographer to have stellar reviews online, but not have the certain technique that would “capture” your event’s atmosphere, and it’s also possible to have a moderately-rated photographer to have the exact style you were looking for.
Interview and Hash Out the Technical Stuff
It’s time to call or interview your potential choice(s). See if they do agree with the price, the duration of the event, the venue, and the date. Provide all the specifics of the event and what you need, and see if they can commit to delivering. It’s also essential to check for what else they can offer or suggest in covering your event.
Chemistry is Key
It should be paramount that you (the organizer) and the photographer go along well. You’ll be working with the photographer, after all, and it would be best to work with someone that you’re comfortable with. It’s important to find a photographer that’s flexible to you and your event’s needs. Remember that the photographer will also be interacting, to an extent, with the attendees. Personality is a major selling point. If you think that you’d (or your guests) end up arguing with the photographer due to their personality (or lack thereof), then maybe they’re just not the right choice.
Have a Backup Plan
Most people tend to forget to make a backup plan. Ask the photographer what happens if he gets sick or an emergency comes up on the day of the event and if there’s someone who can cover on their behalf on that day.
So make sure to keep these tips in mind when finding and choosing the best photographer for your occasion. A well-planned event needs a well-picked photographer, after all, and having the right photographer could spell the difference between mere pictures and captured moments.