Following on from Part I, in today’s blog I will be advising the different aspects you should consider when choosing a photographer to work with. It can be an absolute minefield so hopefully the following points should help!
First and foremost, and with any industry, it’s worth following recommendations. If there’s a brand whose content you love, maybe pop them a message and ask who their photographer is and if they recommend them! We can try and sell ourselves all day long, but ultimately recommendations are priceless, and worth taking on board!
In my opinion, it’s vital that your photographer has knowledge of your industry. I work with a lot of equestrian brands, and things that come naturally to me when working with equine models (getting their ears pricked, recognising situations that may alarm them, getting the right timing etc) might not be considered by a photographer with no experience in the equine industry. I’m sure we’ve all seen images of horses in fashion magazines where their ears are back, or the timing is unflattering to the horse. Although this might not be noticed by non-horsey people, when selling products aimed at the equestrian market, the obvious lack of knowledge in the images could reflect negatively on your business.
One of the most important factors we will need to consider is cost.
The photography market is saturated and more available to be a part of than ever before. There’s photographers starting out offering all inclusive packages for £50, right up to industry experts offering packages for 4 or 5 figures. Do consider that commercial photograph is an investment. And as I touched upon in my previous blog, the return on investment can be huge and could even cover all of your photographic needs and content for the year ahead.
Along with cost, you should have in writing exactly what is included for the price. If you require high resolution images, then check the size and format of the images that are included. Or that any images are included at all! It’s best to be crystal clear in what you get for your money, to avoid any unexpected costs occurring. For my commercial shoots now, I only offer high resolution images as part of my packages, as both my clients and I then can be certain that the images are sufficient for all future uses.
When making enquiries, find out the time frame for when you can expect to receive your images. If you’ve got a deadline for an arena banner at an event for example, you’ll need the images in plentiful time in order to allow time for designing and the production of the banner too.
I’ve worked with a company who unfortunately had to chase a photographer for over 6 months for their images, getting one excuse after another. This again, is why it’s so important to seek recommendations and also have in writing exactly what you’ll be receiving for the cost and the expected turnaround time.
You need to consider the photographer’s style and whether it fits to your brand. There are so many styles and trends that photographers have adopted; light and airy, dark and moody, HDR, desaturated etc, or just natural! It’s worth thinking about which reflects your brand and how you visualise it.
It’s worth considering that if you’re selling products, a photographer whose images are edited quite naturally will probably show the products off to their best. If for example, you sell breeches and their USP is the vivid colours they are available in, then it would be a shame if your professional imagery was in a dark and moody style, and didn’t reflect the products in the way you want them to be seen and recognised for. Equally as an example, if you sell leather work and have 3 different shades of brown leather, then one of the aspects that might be most important to you is that the products are true to colour in the photos, so your customers can make a clearer judgement of exactly which colour shade is right for them. On the contrary, if you’re selling a service or lifestyle, then a more extreme editing style might work best for you!
The location of where your photographer is based may play a part too. If you’re after images at your base or office, then a local photographer will help in keeping mileage costs down. Whereas if you’re looking to send products to a photographer and for them to organise all aspects of the photoshoot, then location won’t play such an important part. If you are wanting the photographer to organise the photoshoot, then another thing to consider is whether they have access to models and locations!I hope that helps! Please do drop me a message if you’re looking for a photographer!
I can provide you with a no obligation quote, or suggest other photographers across the UK if they might be a better fit for what you’re looking for.