How to find the best Brand Photographer
There are so many different photographers out there, all providing different services, it can be a minefield! Some are generic, covering multiple genres of photography whereas other photographers specialise in a specific niche or market.
So, how do you sift through this sea of different personal brand photographers to find the right one for you and your business?
Well, I’m here to help. I’ve put this short guide together which will help you research and narrow down potential photographers, ensuring you will find the right brand photographer that’s best for you!
Start with a Google search (& don’t forget Bing too)
A lot of photographers cover a wide geographical area. For example, although I’m based in Welling, Southeast London, I cover Kent and the wider Southeast region, including Essex, Surrey, Sussex, Greater & Central London. I’ve even covered events across the UK and overseas!
Whilst you shouldn’t narrow all your options to only photographers on your doorstep, a local Google search using your town name can be helpful, especially if you want to meet your photographer a few times face to face as part of the research and consultation process.
One other thing to consider is that Brand Photography is sometimes called other things. For example Lifestyle Headshots, Personal Branding, Business Photography, Business Portraits, Lifestyle Portraits and so on – try a few different search terms as you may get different results.
Why try Bing too? It can sometimes take some time for Google to index a website and from experience, I’ve seen different results from Bing compared to Google. So you may find different photographers to add to your shortlist.
Google Maps / Google Business Profile
Once you have a shortlist of your Brand photographer then enter their business name (not their website URL) into google.com or on Google Maps to see their ‘Google Business Profile’ and research their references and read their reviews too. You could also review their other marketing channels like Facebook and LinkedIn to see their reviews and recommendations on those platforms too.
Testimonials of the photographers you’re researching left on sites like Google and other independent sites such as Trustpilot for example are written directly by the photographer’s clients and therefore much more likely to be verified as genuine. Reviews on a Photographer’s website might not be up to date or in some rare cases, not even genuine! If there are reviews on their website compare them with what’s on their google page for inconsistencies.
Check how recent the latest review is and check how far back the reviews go too; a photographer who’s been in business for a longer period can give you an idea of how trusted and experienced they are.
Check other local listing sites and speciality sites too
The photography industry is unregulated, however, there are organisations that support photographers and promote professional working codes of practice and qualifications that can give extra peace of mind to you.
For example, I’m a qualified member of the Guild of Photographers which has a useful Photographers Directory that you can search.
Ask your network
If you’re part of a business network, you may already know some photographers, and if not ask others within your network about their experiences of working with a business or brand photographer. You can then add those to your shortlist and follow up by checking their website and getting in contact.
Don’t forget to let the photographer know who recommended them – Many good photographers offer incentives for referrals; both to you and the referrer. 😉
Have a clear idea of what you want and research; and research some more!
When looking for your brand photographer, you should also consider what you need the photography for. Defining your ideal client is going to help you narrow down the photographers that can create the imagery you need to appeal to your potential customers. Think about:
- What are the current trends?
- What’s your style?
- Create a mood board of your ideas to keep your ideas together in one place
- Search social media using #Hashtags that are relevant to your needs. For example, #KentBrandPhotographer
Whilst Pinterest is a great place to collect your ideas together and a resource for inspiration and ideas, don’t always expect your photographers to re-create identical photographs for your brand. While some don’t photographers don’t mind doing this, just ask yourself why do you want to be like someone else?
Review Photographer’s Websites
I know you’re going to do this anyway but remember it’s not all about pretty pictures.
Take some time to look through their portfolio, but also check to see if they have portfolio written case studies with previous clients. Do they have plenty of information or any frequently asked questions? Are they easy to get in contact with? Is their website consistent with their social media?
Specialist vs Generalist
When you search for a Brand Photographer your search might throw up photographers who have also done Wedding and Baby Photography and are more generalists. Whilst there is nothing wrong with this, just be aware and mindful of what experience the photographer has with personal branding and working with other businesses. For example, are they a wedding photographer that also does some branding? Or are they a specialist business and brand photographer who does a few weddings? Ask yourself what’s important to you?
Another obvious one to research. Look at all the platforms that they have linked from their website. Look at the last time they were updated, and if they’re in line with the rest of their brand?
Makes sense to check that their brand is consistent across social media platforms and websites if they’re going to be helping you to create consistent images for yours!
While not necessarily a deal-breaker, check if they have links to their social media accounts from their website. If they do check that they’re working – It’s a little thing and something I do when searching for services and more often than not find broken links – It’s an indication of attention to detail.
Don’t be swayed on price!
This is an important one, do you think that a cheaper photographer can provide you with the same quality and experience as someone who has been photographing businesses and brands for over several years?
As with most things in life, the expression “you get what you pay for” is often very true, so please beware of photographers offering packages that seem cheap and attractive in price. Often the price will come at the cost of quality and/or consistency.
This is your brand that you’re investing in. If you’re serious about it, then you’ll want it to be the best.
Everyone has a price point and budget to work within so it’s important to set your expectations early. I know when I really want something of special value, then I’ll always find a way to get it. Especially if it’s going to grow my business and achieve my goals – It’s not a cost. It’s an investment.
Checking for value
- Do their fees appear reasonable for the level of service you would expect?
- Do they have good reviews and testimonials (an indication that clients value what the photographer provides)?
- and finally, the most important question… what is your business & brand worth to you?
You may have a friend with a decent camera and may seem an attractive prospect of saving costs to use them for your brand shoot. Brand photography is more than just turning up and taking a few good photographs. You’re liaising with other professionals, there’s planning involved, understanding how to direct clients, and making clients feel relaxed in front of the camera. Then there’s the editing of all the photographs to follow up too.
Trying not to sound self serving, but if you value your brand then hire a professional so you can concentrate on what you do best.
Can’t decide on your shortlist?
Still stuck and can’t decide, review the pros and cons of each photographer, use these questions to help:
- Do they have plenty of information about how they work?
- Do they fit with your price point?
- Will they allow you to break up payments to spread the cost?
- Are they insured?
- Do they provide you with a contract of service?
- Are they flexible to your needs?
- Do they have good testimonials and reviews?
- Are they affiliated or qualified with any professional trade bodies?
Face to Face / Video Conferencing
Before you make that final decision on your brand photographer, make sure you book a call with each photographer on your shortlist and ask to meet them. Some will even be able to arrange a video meeting on services such as Skype, Zoom, etc.
You will need to feel confident in their abilities as well as feel relaxed with their personalities. For something as important as your brand you want to take the time to find the right one for you and I always recommend having at the very least a phone call and preferably some face-to-face or video contact before making your decisions.
Not only that it will show the photographer that you’re serious about your brand and have done your research.
How to give your potential photographer a tough time!
There’s a lot of information in this blog but hey that’s me, always thorough! Plus there are plenty of FAQs throughout the rest of my website & services pages. However you can’t beat asking lots of questions when you have that first conversation.
I always encourage my prospective clients to give me as hard a time as possible with questions. All decent personal brand photographers should welcome it! Not only that it will show the photographer that you’re serious about your brand and have done your research.
To make it easier for you to find the best Brand Photographer for you I’ve created this handy downloadable questions to ask your photographer guide for you.
Download your free questions to ask a photographer.
Use the guide to map out your research and note what’s important to you for your brand. Then use the questions & answers to quiz & gauge your photographer shortlist to help you determine if they’re the right one for you and worthy your investment.
You should now have all the facts and information you need to find the best brand photographer for your needs, however, if you’d like to discuss the process or make an enquiry, (don’t forget to give me a hard time with your own questions!) then I’d love to hear from you.
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