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What to Look for in a Photographer

If you're in business, you're probably going to come across the need for some photos sooner or later. If you're going to DIY the photographer role yourself or have no budget for a photographer, I'll provide some alternatives further down below.

However, if you want to know what to look for in a photographer, check out the short video below to see what Alan de la Plante (a professional photographer for decades) has to say.

What to Look for in a Photographer

  1. Portfolio: Most photographers have an online portfolio nowadays. Check out the pics. If you like them, you like them, if you don't, you don't. Simple as that.
  2. References: Talk with some past clients to see what the photographer is all about. Are they easy to work with? Do they take your input into consideration? Did they do what they said they would do?
  3. Personality: Can you get along with the photographer? Are you able to easily communicate and will the photographer fit your style?

Those three items are also things that would apply to any creative professional, whether it be a web designer, graphic designer or a video producer.

No Budget for a Photographer?

Let's face it. Hiring a professional for every aspect of your small business is not always a possibility. Here are a couple methods that you could use to get some great images.

Stock Photography

You are now able to purchase some high quality, professional images, that are royalty-free for a few dollars a photo. If you want to go free, they even have sites that do that.

One thing you don't want to do is grab any old image off the Internet. That's not only unethical, it could end up costing you for copyright infringement. The quality of stock photography is fantastic especially given the price.

DIY Photography

Let's say you already own a camera, and let's say that it's a SLR. If you don't know what SLR (Single-Lens Reflex) camera is, then you probably don't own one, but you never know. Affordable ($500 to $1,000) SLR cameras are now available and these camera, if used properly, can give some amazing images.

In any case, if you have a camera, you can do some photography yourself. Instead of me going through all those steps, there are some websites devoted to the entire process. A couple of the popular ones are:

There are plenty of other sites out there. If you're like to watch videos, you can go to lynda.com. I have an account there and they have 140 photography related videos. Lynda does online training videos that run $25 a month. Not a bad price for some great content, not only on photography, but all sorts of topics.

When to use a Pro Photographer, Stock Photography, or DIY

I'm a video production professional. That's what I do. So, I understand a lot about photography (I even shoot on DSLR photography cameras)! I still don't do photography myself in a lot of cases. There are a lot of skills that photographers have that I just don't. So, when the project calls for it, I hire a professional photographer. That being said, I used to run a meal delivery service where every week we needed photos of meals. There was no way a photographer could be paid to come out every week to take the photos of the food. Would the photos have been better… yes. But, we would have spent our entire marketing budget on just that. So, I took a training session with a photographer friend of mine and started took the food photos myself, my only investment at that time being a DSLR camera for under $1,000.

You can take a look here at the photos:

There are also a lot of times where you need a generic photo, such as the photo of mountains or a photo of kids playing. There's no sense in paying a photographer to get those photos when you can go to a stock photography site and get the same thing for a fraction of the cost.

In the end, go with what fits your project and budget. I hope these tips will help make sure that whatever road you take, you're getting the best results.

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