When it comes to picking a photographer for senior pictures, it can be overwhelming. For some people it’s easy and they just pick the first one they hear about not doing any research. To each their own. I believe, as a parent or teenager picking a photographer for their senior pictures, research should be done. Senior pictures happen once and that is not an opportunity you want to waste. There are three key things I think are important when considering a photographer.
1. Style, Vision and Creativity
When you come across a new photographer what is the first thing you look at? Previous work. While looking at those images you might think to yourself “Is this how I want to be portrayed.” Every photographer has a different style and if you don’t like his/her style why would you want to pay them to take your photograph? Now with that being said, a good photographer should be able to collaborate with you. Say you come across a photographer who’s style you like but all of their images have city backgrounds and you would prefer woods or an open field. The photographer should be able to recreate the same style (edit the photos the same way) in the setting of your choice. Better yet they combine your vision with a new idea and create something more awesome.
2. An Ability to Listen
With creativity should come a good ability to listen. Excellent listening skills feed collaboration and that doesn’t apply to only photographers. When a photographer is able to listen and understand what the client wants they’re able to deliver a product that is wanted. It’s frustrating repeating something to a person and they won’t listen. Don’t subject yourself to a photographer that does the same to you. The quality of the images will improve immensely, a benefit for everyone.
This might sound cheesy but listening can also include reading body language. For example you’re posing for a photographer but the pose you’re doing feels uncomfortable. That is going to show up in the images. The photographer should be able to observe this and make adjustments accordingly. No one is perfect though so it’s beneficial to speak up sometimes and collaborate (there’s that word again) letting the photographer know how you feel.
The cost usually makes or breaks a decision to hire a photographer. Say for example you have three photographers in your area. Photographer A gives you a quote for $1000, Photographer B – $750 and Photographer C – $300. The first two are fairly high compared to the third. You look over Photographer A’s work and it’s nice but a little more than what you wanted to pay. Photographer C on the other hand has an extremely low price. You might first think, why is it that low? After looking over Photographer C’s work you see their skills leav ea little to be desired. The middle-priced, Photographer B, produces work of the same quality of Photograph A but at a lesser price. Seems like a sound decision in this case.
Every photographer is different and their prices will reflect that. It is beneficial to do research and learn why they might be so. One photographer could be desperate to fill the date in question and will give a discounted rate. Another may just have a set price and treats every client like another part in an assembly line (my least favorite). In the end every situation will be different and the more confident and knowledgeable you feel with your selection, the better the final product will be.