5 Questions to Ask Before You Book a Photographer

Like any service, when shopping around for a professional photographer you should have questions in mind to ask them. Did you notice that we used the word ‘shopping around’?  This means doing some research. You can’t simply pick the first headshot photographer or event photography company you find on Google’s results page.

In a world where your audience is inundated with visual stimulation online, your images must trump all the others. So, your potential photographers will have to face a few tough questions. To help get you started, we have provided you with the top 5 questions to ask:

 

1. What is Your Experience?

Just like you wouldn’t trust a GP to handle a surgery, a wedding photographer may not have the necessary skills to do your product shots. Although both involve the use of a camera, the two scenarios have unique demands in terms of camera skills, lighting and background.

Yes, some photographers can do more than one type, but most of them have specialties. It’s therefore important to seek out what specific industry a photographer specialises in before booking a shoot.  

 

2. What is Your Style?

As well as having a speciality, each photographer may also have their own unique style. These could relate to:

  • Being an expert aerial photographer
  • Knowing how to photograph in nature
  • Doing close ups
  • Creating abstract images

Perhaps you can explain the style you’re looking for, but if it’s contrary to the photographer’s usual way of doing, he or she may not be comfortable doing it which may affect the quality of the shots.

Here’s another tip: if you’re looking for a product photographer you should involve your marketing manager in the process. He or she will know which styles resonate with your target audience.

 

3. What is Included in Your Package?

In business you must always think of the bottom line. Nothing ruins a budget as quick as hidden costs:

  • Make sure editing of photographs is included in the price
  • Is ownership of the photos included?
  • Do his or her assistants require additional fees?
  • What deposit must be paid and by which date?
  • Will the photographer supply the lighting to optimise the images’ quality?

You also won’t know which option the best financial decision is if you don’t ask for detailed quotes. Compare them with each other so you know which gives you the most value for money.

 

4. What Camera Equipment do You Use?

You don’t have to be a photography expert to see if someone is comfortable with his or her equipment. Asking general questions about the cameras they use will show you how adept the photographer is.

Look out for the following when it comes to their equipment:

  • Shutter speed: For product photography you want fast shutter speed because there’s no movement in the scene
  • ISO: This determines light sensitivity and how grainy a photograph looks
  • Lenses
  • What he or she thinks of digital vs. film photography

Remember, you’re vetting your photographer and his or her willingness to answer questions shows whether it will be easy working with this expert.

 

5. How Soon can I See the Images?

In business, time is money. If you need product images for a marketing campaign then you don’t want a misunderstanding about timelines to ruin your plans.

Make sure delivery dates are set out in the contract so you have your final images when you need them.

 

Does asking appropriate questions sound like a lot of effort? Well it’s definitely less effort than redoing an entire photo shoot. Finding a decent photographer is no less important than finding the right employee or service provider. A photographer’s services may only be required for a day or two, but how the images will reflect on you or your products may last a lifetime.