How to choose the right photographer for your brand

Updated: Jan 7

If you are an individual or company lead that understands how good photography can enhance your marketing efforts, you probably know how important the right photography partner is. Choosing a photographer, particularly for a first-timer, can be a bit of an intimidating task - not knowing whom to trust with the task, how the process works or how much you would need to pay...


Let’s get you started:


1. How do you identify the right person for the job?

If you've never worked with a photographer before, finding one who's good may seem like a tall order. Don’t fret! You can begin by asking your network of friends, family or colleagues for a recommendation. You can also search on visual platforms like Instagram, Google and Pinterest to get a general outlook of photographers in your brand category.


Pro tip:

- Be sure to filter photographers in your location when searching.


Once you identify photographers whose work you like, you can request them to send their portfolio your way for review. Initiating this kind of conversation with a photographer will typically prompt them to ask you about your needs. This will help them understand what they would require to effectively carry out a shoot to get you the results you want. A good photographer would go a step further and even guide you on what the next steps would look like and how to go about your request.


2. What happens when you engage the photographer?

In most cases, a photographer will request a down payment or initial instalment before they begin working on your project. Usually, the final payment is made when the project deliverables are completed and handed over to you.


It's always important that you and your photographer are clear on what the final deliverables should be, or at least have a strong general idea. Get inspired by looking through visual sites like Pinterest or Instagram. After that, discuss your desired outcome of the project with your photographer before the work begins so that you are both aligned.


Pro tips:

- Work with your photographer in the development of a brief.

- Make sure to reference the brief in your engagement contract with your photographer.

3. What do photographers consider when pricing a project?

Photographers usually have a ballpark figure of what a project would cost. This is just but an estimate. Once they determine the full scope of the shoot and deliverables required, they can give you a final quotation. Some of the elements they consider when costing a photography project include:

  1. The number of photos required: The more the photos, the more the man hours required on the shoot and while editing.

  2. The medium where the photos will be used: The photo styling and backgrounds can vary depending where the photos are to be used. For example: product shots for packaging materials may only require a plain white background while shots for a website or billboard may call for varied backgrounds or different styling.

  3. The complexity of the product: Some products require added skills to get the desired visual outcome. Examples include shiny metallic objects, ice cream, products packed with cellophane etc.

  4. Whether the shoot will be on location or in-studio: Photography equipment is rather expensive. Shuttling the equipment from the studio to a different shoot location will therefore incur a cost as a result of the risks associated with moving them, alongside the transport cost itself.

These are only just a few of the considerations, and they may vary from photographer to photographer.


4. What can you expect on the day of the shoot?

Once your deposit is paid and/or your contract signed, your photographer will develop a plan for the day of the shoot. Based on the shots that are required as per the deliverables, they plan all the props, backgrounds and equipment that will be in used during the shoot.



5. What happens after the shoot?

After the shoot comes editing and submitting of the photos. Your photographer will normally take time to edit the photographs. Usually, the more the photographs, the longer the time it will take for you to receive them.


The time taken to complete editing and submit the photos will be based upon the conversations you had with your photographer or the timelines you agreed on in your contract.


Portfolio worthy shots

Sometimes, a photographer may want to share the work they did for you on their social media pages or portfolio. It would therefore be prudent to have this conversation well in advance so that there are no misunderstandings. If they want to share their work, they are most likely very proud of the work they did. 


Pro tip:

- If you do let your photographer share the work they did for you on social media, have them tag you just incase their audience may want to reach you for a business opportunity.

Special thanks to: Shot by Alama

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