Tips and tutorials

How To Choose A Professional Photographer

There are very few people who don’t have access to a camera these days – even if that camera also doubles up as a phone.  With images flooding our world it’s a surprise that the photography profession remains intact or, indeed, remains at all.  However, professional photographers are more than simply happy snappers and professional photography requires skill, passion, dedication and much patience on occasion.  When choosing a professional photographer for a commercial project it’s worth understanding some of the key skills that you should consider when picking a photographer to work with.

professional photographers in sports ground
Photo by: William Warby

What to look for when choosing a professional photographer?

Obsessive Personalities

Like most creative professionals, photographers are passionate about what they do.  Photography is rarely a ‘day job’ to those who pursue it, but often extends into a twenty-four-hour obsession.  Passion is a hard quality to assess when searching for a professional photographer, but it is most likely to be subtly apparent in the images in their portfolio.

Professional photographers at work
Photo Credits: Viktor Korostynski/500px

A Lot of Preparation

Like any other creative industry, photography is far less about inspiration and far more about preparation than many outsiders think.  In the case of photography, the perfect shot is rarely without some preparation.  On occasion, luck can play a part but more often for commercial photographers and interiors photographers, there is a lot of hard work behind the scenes.  This will involve setting and dressing the image, then taking numerous shots to develop the perfect picture. An experienced photographer with a broad range of experience in different types of photography is often the best choice for a commercial project.

Small Screen Success

Interior photography is a specific discipline in its own right, which differs significantly from landscape, portraiture and other commercial photography work.  While the same basic skills are required, interior photography (especially for promotional purposes) requires a strong design sense and excellent abilities in the use and manipulation of lighting.  Photographers who have experience working in film or television are often a good choice when it comes to interior photography as they have some of the strongest skills in terms of lighting and ‘dressing’ a scene.

product photography by professional photographer Stuart Freeman
Photo Credits: Stuart Freeman/500px

Previous History

Examining the portfolio of potential photographers is always the best way in which to assess their skills and their suitability for your project. For example, interior photography will be a crucial aspect for any marketing campaign or sales brochure in a whole range of industries.  From conference centres to wedding venues or bars and restaurants, interior photography is the ‘hook’ that will tempt your potential clients.  A photographer who has experience in a specific field will be best placed to present your property (and services).

married couple and full moon
Photo Credits: Mecuro B Cotto/500px

The Detailed Picture

Details are what set quality photographic work apart from less skilled images.  An eye for detail is an essential skill for photographers, and it is normally clear from their earlier work whether they posses this particular ability or not.  The use of ‘props’ and colour to sum up an interior or a product is often a sign of the photographer’s individual skill in this area.  Good images tell the viewer everything that they need to know at a glance while (cleverly) leading to questions, which prompt them to view a site or brochure more deeply.

Lamborghini Murcielago SV - Route 66 by professional photographer Tim Wallace
Photo Credits: Tim Wallace/500px

That Certain Something

Some works stand out, hit you or make you fall in love.  There is a certain amount of gut instinct involved in choosing a professional photographer to work with, and this should not be ignored, even on commercial projects and perhaps especially so.  This gut instinct is a key part of the process that will draw potential clients to your products or services and it should not be underestimated.  The best photographers may not be the cheapest, but your products deserve to take centre stage and quality custom images will prove to be a huge investment.

About the Author

Bob Emerald is a writer who understands that even in this phone-camera-driven-world, the merit of professional photographers is justified. If you are looking for an interior design photographer, Oxford experts can help you in finding a reputable and passionate specialist.

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  1. Thanks for nice effort. I am selling photography in different stock. I just earn extra and happy with that.

  2. Useful article, clients often fall down over the preparation thing. “Tuesday” is photography day, so its marked in the diary and…..thats it! No prior discussion about needs or a brief or whatever.

  3. You mentioned that when choosing an event photographer you should try to find someone with an obsessive personality that is willing to work hard and the work shows in their photos. That is a great point for me to keep in mind for my husbands warehouse since he is in need of a corporate photographer. Thank you for the great information on choosing a photographer.

  4. I’ve been thinking about finding a photography option for our family, and I think that being able to get some tips would be good. I’m glad you talked about professional photography being more than just simply happy snappers. I think that being able to get a photography professional with skills to give us quality pictures would be good. Thanks for the help!

  5. It really is crucial to follow the article’s advice and make sure that you look at the photographer’s history before hiring them. Any photographer you talk to should have an extensive portfolio that you can look through to get an idea of their skills. Of course, while you’re looking through this portfolio you need to make sure that their style matches up with whatever project it is that you need to hire them for.

  6. I like that you mentioned that a good photographer will have experience in a lot of different types of photos. That way, you can be sure he has the range necessary to get the job done. I need to find a photographer to do some headshots for me, and I want to make sure I choose the best. I will keep this in mind as I search, thanks!

  7. I’ve been thinking about getting a videographer for a party my wife is planning. I’m glad you talked about being able to get professional help, which I think would be great. I’m going to have to look for a few good options, and see what I think would be best for me!

  8. My husband and I are looking for a photography service to help take pictures of our son’s youth sports events. So I like your suggestion to look at their portfolio to see what kind of things they have done in the past. We will definitely have to check out the portfolios of the photography services we are considering for our son’s youth sports events so that we can be sure they have some great experience.

  9. I like what you said about how photography is far less about inspiration and far more about preparation. I think that’s so true, especially when it comes to weddings. A lot of people seem to think that an artistic ability will allow someone to capture every amazing moment of a wedding, but a photographer is heavily reliant on their gear to perform as fast as the wedding and the moments happening. I’m a photographer, but my wife and I are looking for a photographer for our wedding because sadly I can’t do it myself!

  10. It sure was nice to know that one of the essential characteristics a photographer must have is a keen attention to details because a photo should be able to tell the viewer everything they need to know at first glance. I think this is especially important if the person will use the photo for his business– like my friend. He has been asking me what he needs to consider since he intends to hire a commercial photographer. At least, now I know what to tell him.

  11. My wife really wants to get family pictures done, but we weren’t sure how to find the right person. I love that you say to see if they have the basic skills. I know that I would love to find someone that trained to take pictures.

  12. These are some pretty good points; after all, you need to look at a lot of different factors when choosing a professional photographer. After all, you will want to make sure that they have the right history and skills. That way, if you decide to hire them, you will be ensuring that you get a good photographer that fits your needs.

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