So you’re looking for a personal branding photographer? Marvellous! But you don’t know where to start? Yep, tell me about it!
Making sure you choose the right photographer is integral to the success of your shoot. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, all you have left are the photographs. You want to be able to look back on those pictures with pride and excitement (“Yes, that really is me looking THAT awesome right there!”). But deciding on who the right personal branding photographer is for you, can be a real headache!
Good news! It doesn’t have to be! Consider this your handy manual in what to look out for on the quest to finding your photographic match.
Whether you’re choosing someone to photograph you, your prized onions, your band or your business, you should always choose somebody based on their suitability to fulfil your photographic needs.
Take a peek through their existing body of work and ask yourself, “Can I see this photographer capturing me (my onions, band or business, depending) at my / our / their best ? How well do they suit what I’m looking for?” Sometimes it’s a factual checklist, but more often than not it’s a feeling, certain images just strike a chord with you, and it can be hard to explain why you connect with a particular look or style.
Next, have a read about the photographer themselves. Creating brilliant photographs is a process, it’s not instant; it takes conversation, co-operation and above all, trust and a willingness to be open. Therefore, being able to get on well with and relate to your photographer is essential. You can expect to be spending time talking about yourself, your business, what inspires you and who you aspire to be, and if they don’t get it, believe me, your photos will reflect that!
And it’s super important to find a photographer who’s passionate about people as well as photography! If their idea of quality company is a rock, just don’t even bother! A friend of mine said recently that when I talk about my amazing job I get all excited and sparkly (frequent repetitions of, “I have the best job, EVER!” along with flappy hands sounds somewhere close), and that my friends, is what you want. Some call it “weird,” I call it PASSIONATE.
I can’t count how often I’ve told this story, but I believe it’s perfect to illustrate my point. When I was trying to decide where to go to university I had welcome chats and interviews at several different establishments. I had my heart set on staying at home, but when I had my interview with David (head of Photography) at Staffordshire University, all that changed. First of all, in his welcome chat he talked about the design of fish food (stay with me) and salt and pepper shakers and somehow managed to make these topics interesting! I thought if he could make fish food exciting, then what must his lectures on photography be like? When it came to the interview, I was ridiculously nervous, but was quickly put at ease. I was asked who I considered to be my greatest inspirations at that time. I answered with Rankin (show me a photographer who isn’t inspired by him?) and Harry Benson (a sixties photographer? David didn’t see that one coming at all!). From there we started discussing The Beatles and their back catalogue, debating which was a better album - Sgt. Pepper, or the White Album? It ended up being much less of an interview but more of a thoroughly interesting conversation. It felt like I’d known David for years; he just ‘got’ me.
Gut feelings count for so much, listen to your gut!
Then there’s the matter of the investment. Obviously, everyone has a budget, you might have found the perfect photographer, but if their price has so many zeros on the end that you’d have to take out a second mortgage to afford them, then maybe this time it just isn’t feasible. I do, however, recommend that you consider the points above before asking how much your photographer charges. Judge a photographer based on price alone and you’ll be cutting off your nose to spite your face (one of my favourite ridiculous phrases, seriously, where did it come from?), alternatively…
Judge your personal branding photographer on their suitability to create awesome photos for you and whether they’re someone you can have a wonderful time with, and you’ll find your photographic match.
We all love happy endings don’t we?