Tips for Hiring A Photographer
What To Looks For- What To Ask
Ashley Newman Photography
Picking a photographer can feel overwhelming. Especially in a city as big as Houston! There are so many choices and so many different styles. I’m here today to chat a little about how to narrow down your search and what I personally look for when hiring another photographer.
This is a big one for me. I have a lot of artists I admire and each one for different reasons. But mostly because they are artists and masters of their craft. Some things I ask myself when I look at a photographers portfolio- is there consistency, and do they have a voice. Is the work that they present consistently edited (look at the tones and colors) or are they still trying to find their style? Do they have a clear message and passion for the clients they service?
Things go in and out of style. You want to find a photographer that speaks to you and YOUR style. Back to that consistency thing- sure, as artists we all change, grow and evolve, but the heart of what you do is still there. Make sure they match your style, your home and your vision for your photo session.
Photography Approach (documentary vs lifestyle or posed)
Every artists has their approach. I like to refer to mine as “lifestyle”.
Documentary photography is like a fly on the wall approach. This is perfect for the family that doesn’t want any images directed or posed, and prefers very natural images of the every day experience.
Posed photography is exactly like it sounds. It can be more refined or boutique, or it can be more simple and curated. Either way, these are the types of images that you see in which the whole family is looking at the camera or there is a specific theme (like lemonade minis, valentines day theme or even Christmas minis).
Lifestyle photography is kind of a mix between the two. I like to call it “directed”. So I may direct you to do something, complete an action or play a game, then capture that as it unfolds.
You have to decide what is best for you and your family.
Communication and Response
How active are they? Have they set an expectation for when the will get back to you? Is their social media active? Is their message and vibe a fit for your personality? You want to make sure you know what is going to happen before during and after the booking process and that you will ultimately feel comfortable around your photographer.
Can you see yourself working with this person
Which brings me to a big question! Do you think you vibe well together? Don’t just pick a photographer blindly or because you like their photos- you also need to feel a connection in order to get the best images. If you aren’t comfortable, how can you feel good about your photos?
Ugh, the dreaded price discussion. But it’s a good one to have. I personally feel like we budget and save for things that are valuable to us, and photography is one of those things for me. I look at what the experience will be and for art I appreciate. An artist that is in high demand or has been working at their craft for a long time may charge more, so I inquire and then plan for it. The biggest thing is to know your budget- no matter what it is, and plan for that. Ask about payment plans and book in advance.
Word of mouth and reviews are the best ways to know more about a business. Most major purchases require some research, and I think when you are working with another person, that requires a little as well. Look for consistency in what people are saying about that photographer and ask your friends for their experience. Pro tip: Don’t let one bad review throw you- everyone is human so make sure to read how the photographer has responded, check to see how long ago that was, and balance that with whether you feel you can trust if they have overwhelmingly good reviews.
No matter who you ultimately decide to go with, make sure expectations are clear, your visions match and you have a contract with your photographer of choice. Now get out there and find someone amazing!