How to choose your portrait photographer

Points to consider

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A good photographic portrait is something very intimate which should bring out your personality. To achieve it and treasure it all your life, it’s really worth finding the right photographer for you. Here are some things to keep in mind when making your decision:

1. Technique and authenticity of the photography

To determine their standards of quality, ask to see photos of an entire shoot.

Any photographer that has worked for several years will be able to produce a selection of fantastic photos. However, this does not guarantee excellence on any given day. Out of hundreds of photo-graphic shots that they will have taken, some wonderful photographs will be produced out of luck more than anything else.

The only way to know the true expertise of a photographer is by requesting to see a whole single session – not the three or four best shots of a session, but at least 20 to 30 images from the same shoot. Even better, ask to see photos from a shoot that took place in the same location, or under the same conditions that you desire. That way, you won’t have any nasty surprises and you’ll discover how the photographer you want to hire works in real situations.

You will find complete sessions from my own work published on my blog.

2. Personality and vision of the photographer

To discover their vision, view a portfolio of their best photographs.

Every photographer has a personal style that will be revealed in their portfolio – a selection of their best photographs taken over many sessions. You should view at least 50, or even better, 100 of their best photos. You will uncover their vision, that is, what they are capable of seeing and capturing in the subjects of their photos. Don’t attempt to analyze the differences in style between photographers; rather, let yourself be guided by the emotions that you sense, and what the photographer does or doesn’t capture.

You can view various portfolios of my portrait sessions on my website.

3. What else should you look out for?

Who will be the actual photographer for your shoot?

Ask to see the portfolio of the photographer you will work with exclusively. Some photo studios will show you images by the best photographer they have, but then send you an assistant for your shoot. Yes, I can assure you that this happens! To increase their income, they commit to numerous sessions in one day.

Promises to provide you with many photos

Obviously, the more photos one gets, the happier they are. However, be suspicious of those who promise dozens of photos for a session of one to two hours. A great portrait photographer can’t have more than 10 good ideas regarding composition and lighting per hour. Under the water, where it’s more complicated to dress a set and pose, you’ll obtain fewer different portraits in an hour. Therefore, if you are promised lots of photos, many of them will be very similar, and according to the final quantity delivered, the editing work performed on each one will be less than that required.

A surprisingly low price

A very low price usually indicates careless work and outdated equipment. Professional photographic equipment, in particular underwater cameras and flashes, is expensive. What’s more, to meet its full potential, every digital photo needs to be edited individually by someone who is qualified, and it requires a lot of dedication.

At the end of the day, a quality portrait that shows off your personality requires much attention to the preparation of the set, the photographic shoot, and the post-production process.