Back in the good old film photography days, being a photographer was a significant investment. To be a professional photographer required financial commitment. Cameras and lens used to cost a lot more than it does these days and in a digital era, modern photographers do not need to worry about expensive rolls of film or post production cost.
It is generally a great thing that photography is a more inclusive hobby and profession, except that with lower barriers to entry, it does not take much to get a good camera these days. So the old-fashioned saying, “He has a big camera so he must know what he is doing”, does not really apply these days.
Here are 5 quick tips to note when hiring a photographer for your event.
1. Always ask to see relevant portfolio
It is not enough to see a photographer’s lovely make over photos of models when you are hiring him to shoot a marathon. Always ask to see portfolio that is relevant to your event or production. As an added bonus, if the photographer has proper business cards, corporate website, then these are all the right signals to look out for.
2. Ask the right questions
A quick way to see if a photographer knows his work is to ask him the right questions. For example, if you are hiring a photographer for a seminar. Ask him what are the key angles he plans to shoot or what kind of lens or equipment he will bring. If he/she stumbles, then there is a chance that he/she might not be the right person for the job.
3. Ensure existence of back up equipment
Professional photographers always bring with them back up equipment. Ensure that this is reflected in the proposal. Not having backup equipment is a easy sign that the photographer either does not have funds set aside for backup equipment because they do not do this for a living or does not have a contingency plan.
4. Look out for outsourcing
If you are getting all the right signals from the prospective photographer, then the final thing to ensure is the photographer you are hiring will be the person showing up for your event. Ensure that it is in your contract.
5. Be wary of hobbyists
As a general rule of thumb, always be very cautious when hiring amateurs or hobbyists. If a photographer does not take pictures for a living, chances are that he might not be familiar with the angles that an event organizer or a brand manager needs from an event. He might be aware with protocols for an event that involve high profile VIPs or be aware of the journalistic style photography that is required for press releases.