Why is it essential to speak with a photographer before you book them?

When you book a photographer why should you speak to them first?

Why it's essential to speak with a photographer before you book them

So you’re looking to work with a commercial photographer and carry out research to find the best photographer for your business and brand. I’ve even written an article How do I find the best Brand Photographer for my business? That can help you further.

However, while a commercial photographer’s website can provide valuable insights into their style, pricing, gallery, and professionalism, it’s easy to overlook having a “chat” with them before deciding to book.

This could be via a phone or video call; or, even better, a face-to-face meeting.

A great example of this was through a brand photography client, Kirsty. I was recommended to her by another previous client, and when she looked at my website, she wasn’t sure I was the right photographer for her business. However, once we discussed the project over the phone and she could ask me plenty of questions, she better understood who I was and how I could help her. Without having that conversation, she’d have never known. You can read more about her experience in this client case study.

10 reasons to speak to a photographer before you book them.

1. Clarification of Vision:

By chatting directly with your photographer, you can discuss your brand’s vision, goals, and specific requirements. As a photographer, this helps me understand your brand’s unique identity and tailor my approach accordingly, creating a photography shoot plan to suit your needs and brief.

2. Personal Connection & Trust:

Establishing an emotional connection with your photographer can create a smoother working relationship. Discussing your requirements rather than just relying on emails can help gauge your photographer’s personality, communication style, willingness to collaborate and enthusiasm for your project. It’s where your intuition (gut feeling) kicks in! – Your photographer is potentially spending considerable time with you – You need to know if you’ll get along, so having a conversation will contribute to your comfort level when deciding.

3. Customisation:

A conversation allows you to discuss your brand’s needs and any special requests you might have. As a photographer, I can provide further insights and suggestions based on my expertise & experience, helping you refine your ideas for the shoot and even how the resulting content will be used.

4. Negotiation:

Similar to the previous point, it’s far better to talk about your project’s budget and expectations than just reading off a website price list. You can negotiate a price that works for you and your photographer, especially on larger bespoke projects. Don’t be afraid to “negotiate” – If you don’t ask you don’t get.

5. Logistics and Planning:

Direct communication lets you discuss logistical details such as location, timing, wardrobe, props, and other essential elements. This helps ensure we’re on the same page and that the shoot can be planned effectively.

6. Understanding Process:

Speaking with your photographer gives you an understanding of their workflow, processes, and how they approach photography. This clarity can ease any concerns about the shoot’s execution.

7. Expectation Alignment:

A conversation helps manage expectations on both sides. You can discuss turnaround times, image delivery, editing styles, and other relevant details to ensure your photographer understands what you need and how they will deliver. It will help clarify the brief and sets the boundaries of the project.

8. Problem-Solving:

If you have specific challenges or constraints related to the shoot, discussing them directly with your photographer can lead to collaborative problem-solving. My experience might provide solutions you may have yet to consider. For example, we had issues finding a location for Kirsty’s brand photography shoot. I made some suggestions, which led to Kirsty finding a fantastic venue!

9. Beyond the Portfolio:

Photographers often curate their portfolios to showcase their best work. However, a conversation might reveal a broader range of their services and speciality areas less prominently featured on their website. For example many visitors don’t realise I also do Aerial Photography and still do the occasional wedding photography!

10. Flexibility and Adaptation:

Needs and circumstances can change, and having a direct line of communication with your photographer can make it easier to adapt to any changes in the shoot plan.

Summary

In summary, a photographer’s website provides a great starting point when completing your research. However, chatting with them before you book lets you dive deeper into details, build a rapport, and ensure a more customised and successful brand photography experience that aligns with your vision and needs.

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