Book with confidence: 5 things to look at when choosing a photographer
Choosing the right photographer can be a nightmare. There are so many out there at all price points; how can you really tell which ones are worth contacting? How do you know which ones are dependable and will deliver what they promise?
Well, I’m here to help you with that. This post will help you book your photographer with confidence then rest assured and sleep soundly with your decision. You see, behind the pictures and the promises are clues as to whether a photographer is dependable, trustworthy and an overall good investment or not. Let’s get to it.
1) THEIR BRANDING
A photographer’s brand is the way they present themselves to the world. The experience you get each time you interact with them is a big part of their brand; and if a photographer’s branding is consistent it’s big clue they’re dependable. Here’s why…
When you’re browsing a photographer’s online platforms, you start forming opinions and assumptions about them. Imagine a photographer with a consistent branding experience. All of their platforms have the same look, style and feel; they use the same logo, and deliver the same message. They immediately feel more trustworthy and dependable; and there’s no reason to expect anything less when you book them. You can see what I mean in the examples of our branding across multiple platforms below.
Now imagine the opposite: their website is branded one way, but their Facebook page is different, and their business card looks completely different again, then it’s hard to nail down exactly who they are and what they are all about. Mixed signals makes them seem unpredictable and leaves you with a feeling they can't be trusted.
2) THEIR PORTFOLIO
A photographer’s online portfolio is their shop window to the world; and just like with branding, as you browse their portfolio you begin to form opinions on what you will recieve if you decide to book. This is common, a photographer is often booked because the client likes their particular style of photography and expects it for their own shoot. With a consistent portfolio, you can be confident of the style of pictures you’re going to get. Look at our work below. Each woman’s photographs are unique to her, but all have a very similar style, so you can be confident in what you’re going to get.
On the other hand, imagine you’re browsing a photographer’s portfolio and each gallery looks completely different: one shoot is a faded, vintage style; the other is clean and high-key, the next is dark and moody. You’d have no idea what to expect from them.
3) THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITY
Another big clue to a photographer’s reliability is how active they are on social media. If a photographer’s content is never more than a week or 2 old, and they promptly respond to comments then it’s a sign that they’re keen to connect with and learn about their customers. Regular, fresh content is also a sign that a photographer’s business is healthy.
If a photographer rarely responds to inquiries or they haven’t posted anything for a couple of years you begin to ask questions like: are they lazy? Don’t they care? Don’t they have clients? Have they been too busy to post? And the most likely: aren’t they in business anymore?
4) THEIR REVIEWS (AND HOW THEY RESPOND TO BAD ONES)
When making a booking decision, reading what a photographer’s customers have to say is a huge clue to their quality. Businesses can’t control the feedback they get, so positive reviews from customers similar to you are a great way to reassure yourself that you’re making the right decision.
On the other hand, just one negative review in a sea of positive ones might be enough to plant a seed of doubt. Just keep in mind not all reviews are created equal, and that context is very important. Don’t just glance at the star rating, take the time to read the feedback. You might find a particular person is being unfair in their review and skewing the photographer’s rating. On most platforms like Google and Facebook, the photographer can respond to star ratings and reviews. How they respond is extremely important as it can actually turn the negative review into a positive because it shows they care about customer service and what people think. Finally, no reviews can mean that they’re a new business so their reliability hasn’t been tested yet.
5) THEY HAVE A REGISTERED BUSINESS
This is like the fundamental clue of clues. A photographer taking the time and effort to register themselves legally immediately gives them credibility and trustworthiness because it means their photography is more than just a passtime; it’s a serious venture. One on which their livelihood may very well depend; so it goes without saying that this is a massive incentive for them to deliver on their promises and keep you happy. A registered business should also offer you a contract, invoice and receipt. Click here for a guide on how to check if a business is legitimate.
Someone who is unregistered has no incentive at all to actually deliver what they promise, or even turn up. Uncle Bob’s Amateur Weekend Photography just isn’t going to put the same care and attention into their work than someone who’s livelihood depends on it.
And there you have it! Leave a comment below to let me know what you thought about this post. If you liked it please share it on social media and #primephotographic