5 top tips for finding your perfect photographer

WEDDING WONDERS

Selective Focus Photography of Dslr Camera Parts
Selective Focus Photography of Black Canon Camera Displaying Photo of Red and Black Building

As a professional photographer, I understand how crucial it is to find the best photographer match for your special events, whether a wedding, family milestone or personal portrait session.

The right photographer doesn’t just capture moments; they create an experience that reflects your unique style and personality. In this blog post, I’m excited to share five tips from my experience to help you find the perfect photographer who aligns with your vision and ensures a seamless and enjoyable journey from the first click to the final print.

Let’s explore these insights together and make your photography experience unforgettable!

Best tips to choose the perfect photographer

Finding the right photographer can feel like dating: you’re looking for that perfect match who gets you and can capture your special moments in a way that feels true to you. So, if you’re searching for someone to document your big day, growing family, or any of life’s important milestones, here’s a friendly, detailed guide to help you swipe right on the perfect photographer.

1. Figure Out Your Style Vibe

First things first, let’s talk style! What makes you stop scrolling on Instagram? Is it those dreamy, soft-focus shots that look like they’re straight out of a fairy tale, or are you all about vibrant, action-packed photos that feel super alive? Knowing the style you love is key because photographers have unique approaches—some might be wizards with natural light, while others could be pros at dramatic, artsy compositions. Spend time browsing online, create a Pinterest board, and pinpoint what catches your eye.

Get Inspired

Start by immersing yourself in a sea of photography. This isn’t just about flipping through a couple of albums; it’s about exploring different avenues where photography plays a central role. Instagram, Pinterest, and professional photography blogs are your playgrounds here. Notice what you gravitate towards—maybe you’re drawn to the timeless elegance of black and white, or perhaps the raw emotion captured in documentary-style photography speaks to you.

extreme tattoo couple on an engagment session

Know the Styles

Photography styles can vary widely, so it’s helpful to understand some of the common terms:

  • Traditional/Classic: These images are usually highly posed and formal, which stand the test of time when flipping through photo albums.
  • Photojournalistic: This style is more about candid moments and less about posing. It’s like a fly on the wall documenting the natural flow of the event.
  • Editorial: Think magazine shoots—these photos are stylish, posed, and typically involve creative lighting and unique backdrops.
  • Fine Art: These photos are about creating a mood and an atmosphere, often evoking a dream-like quality through soft focus and special techniques.

Reflect on Personal Preferences

Ask yourself what resonates with you on an emotional level. Do you prefer bright and vibrant photos full of life and colour? Or do you find beauty in subtlety, with softer tones and a muted palette? Perhaps you’re enchanted by the drama and contrast of darker, moodier photography.

What to expect at a family photo session

Consider Your Event

The nature of the event can also influence your style choice. A beach wedding might call for a light, airy photographic style, while a formal evening event might lend itself to more dramatically lit, classic portraiture. Think about the atmosphere and setting of your event and how you’d like it to be captured.

Experiment

If you’re still unsure, consider doing a pre-event photo shoot, like an engagement session. This can be a great trial run to see what style of photography you enjoy the most in practice, not just in theory. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to see how you interact with the photographer and how they capture your personality and story.

2. Dive Deep into Portfolios

Once your style is dialled in, it’s time to creep… I mean, meticulously review some portfolios. And I’m not just talking about glancing at their latest Instagram posts. Dive deep! Look for variety—do their photos tell a story? How do they handle different types of events, lighting, and weather? Are their subjects always posed, or do they capture those spontaneous laugh-out-loud moments? A good portfolio should feel like a tour through the photographer’s eyes. So take your time and picture your moments through their lens.

Explore Various Events

A strong portfolio should showcase a variety of events and subjects. Look for weddings, engagements, family shoots, and even corporate events if relevant. This variety demonstrates the photographer’s ability to capture different atmospheres, lighting conditions, and types of subjects. See how they handle the chaotic energy of a dance floor compared to the intimate quiet of a ceremony.

Assess Consistency

Consistency is key in a professional photographer’s portfolio. Their style and quality should be consistent across various shoots and conditions. Look for consistent lighting, colour balance, and shot selection. This consistency gives you a clear expectation of what your photos might look like and assures you of their technical expertise.

Japanese food photography
nobu budapest japanese food photography

Pay Attention to Details

Zoom in on the details in the images. How does the photographer handle close-ups of decor, rings, or personal moments? These details can set a photographer apart and show their attention to the little things that are meaningful and often sentimental. Also, notice how they frame and compose their shots, which reveals their artistic eye.

Look for Emotional Impact

The best photographers capture emotions that connect you to the moment, even if you weren’t there. Do the photos make you feel something? Are the subjects’ emotions conveyed effectively? Photos should tell a story and evoke a sense of place and mood.

Technical Skills

Evaluate their proficiency with different lighting environments, from indoor venues with artificial lighting to bright outdoor settings. Good photographers can manage any lighting situation to create stunning photos. Also, check for clarity and sharpness in their images, which indicate their focus and camera handling skills.

3. Scour Reviews and Ask Around

Now, let’s get into some good old-fashioned sleuthing. Online reviews can be a goldmine of information. Look for comments on not just the quality of the photos but also how the photographer handles the pressures of the day. Are they a calming presence? Are they ninja-like, barely noticed while snapping away? And don’t forget to tap into your social networks! Ask friends, family, or colleagues who just got married. Personal recommendations are worth their weight in gold.

blue hour wedding photos with flying veil and with a Budapest view at the background

4. Meet Them—Like, Actually Meet Them

Okay, you wouldn’t buy a car without taking it for a test drive, right? The same goes for photographers.

Set up a meeting—coffee dates are perfect for this, or a video call if you’re juggling a hectic schedule. This is your chance to vibe check. You want someone who’s not only talented but also someone you’d feel comfortable having around on your big day. Do they seem genuinely excited about your vision? Are they suggesting ideas that align with what you love? This meeting is also a fantastic time to see more of their work, maybe stuff that’s not online.

artistic studio model photography
model is waving her hair artistically on a studio photoshoot

Photos by: Emerald Photo UK

5. Talk Nitty-Gritty Details

Alright, you’re vibing with their style; the reviews are stellar, and they passed the coffee chat test. Now it’s down to the nitty-gritty. Talk about availability—popular photographers book out in advance, so get in early! Discuss their packages and pricing to ensure there are no surprises. What’s included? How many hours? Plus, what’s the backup plan if they get sick? Also, nail down how they deliver your photos. Are we talking about an online gallery or USB, or do they provide a few prints? And how long until you get to see your gorgeous pics?

Finding the perfect photographer might take a bit of legwork, but it’s worth every moment when you get those photos that perfectly capture you. So, grab a cuppa (or a glass of something stronger), start browsing, and get ready to find your photo soulmate!

Szalai Eszter, contact with the owner of Emerald Photo UK portrait

READY TO MEET YOUR

PHOTOGRAPHER?

Picking the right photographer for your big day or special event is super important. You need someone who snaps gorgeous photos, gets your vision, and can bring it to life.

Here at Emerald Photo UK, we’re all about vibing with what you need and ensuring our photos perfectly capture your style and preferences. Think you’re still looking for your photo match? Well, your search might just have come to a happy end!

Every shoot we do is unique because every client is unique, and we’re super excited to hear about your ideas and what you’re looking for. Feel free to message us or book a call using the link below—let’s start this photo journey together!

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