Hiring a professional photographer can be a daunting task. You want high quality photos of yourself and, of course, you want to get the most bang for your buck. I hear you.
There are thousands of photographers out there, all ranging in styles, in skill, and in price. How can you possibly choose just one?
I’m here to help. As a personal brand photographer myself, there are a handful of things I look for when hiring someone to take my own headshots. I’m sharing those with you in this post because you deserve to find someone who can deliver exactly what you need!
The first thing to take note of when hiring a professional photographer is their portfolio. Make sure they have a good (and big enough) portfolio. If a photographer has a whopping 5 photos on their website, they’re not the one for you.
Similarly, if they are all over the place with their editing styles (where some images look moody and others are bright and airy), you may not get the look you’re going for.
When viewing their portfolio, look for consistency, and make sure there’s enough work to demonstrate they consistently deliver the style you like.
You want to be sure that what you see is what you get from them when it comes to editing styles, so look for commonalities in lighting, background choices, and overall visual appeal.
The photographer’s unique style is another factor to take into consideration when choosing a photographer for your session. Make sure you actually like their work.
Don’t choose them just because they’re the only one in town, or because everyone else has chosen them in the past. If you don’t like their work, you aren’t going to like your photos and you’ll be wasting both time and money.
When looking at a photographer’s particular style, make sure it feels on-brand for your business too. If your brand message is easy going and down to earth, then choosing the photographer who caters only to people in business suits may not be the right move.
Ensuring the photographer’s style matches yours will help you communicate your message clearly and with consistency.
One note here: A brand photographer who’s been in business for a while may have a robust portfolio of clients with different styles, so keep that in mind if their photos look like they may be catering to different companies. They’ll probably share the ones they’re most proud of though, and chances are, if those photos match your style, that’s why you’re considering them in the first place.
When hiring a photographer, read the testimonials and reviews that others have written. Some photographers include this on their website, or you can look for reviews on their Google business profile or Facebook business page.
Testimonials can give you a good sense of who their clientele is and how they have been treated. If you are paying for 5-star service, you can expect to see multiple 5-star reviews.
Testimonials and reviews are a form of social proof — ones you should be looking for when you’re about to hire a professional you can trust.
Remember, brand photography is not a one-and-done deal. It is something you’ll want to do on a regular basis. Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone you know and trust you can go back to for photos every time? Who wants to go through the process of finding a new photographer every six months or even every year? Not me!
That’s why it’s important to look for someone you can build an ongoing relationship with and feel comfortable going back to when you need updated images.
Wondering how often you need to go back to see them? I recommend at least once a year, more often if you are making some big changes to your appearance or brand. (You can read about the importance of keeping your headshots up-to-date here.)
How does the photographer interact with you professionally? What’s the level of customer service you receive? You’ll be able to gauge this from the first time you communicate with them, and also from the testimonials you read.
Do you think they will respect your preferences and listen to your insecurities during your session? A good photographer wants to flatter you and will go out of their way to make you feel great in front of their camera. Their customer service skills will be top notch.
The likability factor matters too. You might like and respect them professionally, but also ask yourself — do you like them personally? Do they have a blog? It can give you insight to who they are as a person and help you decide whether you share any common interests that will make communicating with each other more fun.
If you’re doing a brand session, you’ll be spending an afternoon together (at the very least), and also building a relationship, so find a photographer you feel a connection with. Not only will that make the task of getting your photos taken more fun, but that connection will help your photographer bring out the best in you too! It’s a win-win.
Bottom line: hiring a brand photographer is just like hiring a photographer for any other event — wedding, maternity, family, birth, etc. Make sure they are a good fit for you, personally and professionally.
You are making an investment in your business with brand photos, and your photographer is the key to getting the photos you love. You want to make sure you choose someone who is the right fit for you and your brand vision.
You might be thinking, “Yeah, that all sounds good, Michele. I need new brand photos, but I’m short on time and choosing a photographer seems daunting.” If that’s you, I’ll make it easy for you — click here to request a complimentary consultation with me. My home base is Rapid City, SD, and I love to travel. (I also know photographers in different states, and I’m happy to refer them if I think they’ll be a better fit for you.) Whether you are near or far, I’d love to help you get the photos that you deserve!
As a headshot photographer for the past 10 years, I have had the privilege of photographing many faces and have honed the unique skill of flattering every face shape. I believe that everyone is photogenic and I thoroughly enjoy making you look and feel amazing. Let’s work together!
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