Hire the right photographer the first time. Here’s how.

Product photography reshoots are expensive in Boston – here’s how to avoid them!

I recently met with a new client who was looking to do a food photography shoot. Actually, what he was really looking for was a food photography reshoot. After glancing over his original photos, I was able to figure out pretty quickly what the problem was. And it’s not that this client’s original photographer wasn’t any good. The problem was: he wasn’t a food photographer. He was a wedding photographer. 

Photography is specialized. The knowledge, skills, and tools a product photographer possesses can be vastly different from those of a wedding/event photographer which in turn may be different from those of a headshot/portrait photographer. So as you might imagine, this can be a source of confusion to a client who likely is not educated on the nuanced difference among photography specialties.

It’s easy to assume that photography-is-photography. Searching for a specialized photographer is just not on the average customer’s radar. In fact, many people might not know a specialty such as a food photographer or product photographer even exists. 

Of course, all this confusion is understandable. When I’m looking to hire professionals outside of the photography world, I face this problem too. I think we all do when it comes to hiring new people in an unfamiliar industry. Without any guidance, we are all bound to make some expensive (time-consuming!) mistakes. 

So today, I’d like to help take the guesswork out of how to search for a photographer. I’ll be focusing on how to find the right product photographer, but this advice can be applied to your search for any type of photography professional out there. 

Some tips on how to hire the right photographer 

There are two main problems I’d like to help you avoid in your search:

The first is hiring an amateur – someone who just isn’t that experienced yet. The second is hiring a photographer who does not specialize in shooting your type of product or service. 

Here are some tips to help you avoid those issues and find the right pro:

  1. Check each photographer’s portfolio for similar product shots. This is key. If you’re only going to do one thing, do this. But remember: you’re not just checking to make sure they’ve shot products like yours before. You also want to make sure you actually like those particular photos you see in their portfolio. 
  2. Check the lighting. Photos not shot by a product photographer will often look flat, under-lit, or lit from only one side. This is especially true when it comes to food photography. And that’s because there is a particularly large learning curve when shooting food. 
  3. Ask questions. I’ve always been an advocate for asking lots of questions. Ask each photographer what his or her process is when shooting products like yours. 

Find a photographer who specializes in your product. 

If I could emphasize just one single point, it would be to find a photographer whose niche most closely matches your needs. 

The more specialized the photographer, the better your photos will turn out. 

Looking to get some product shots for your Amazon page? Don’t hire just any product photographer. Find a pro experienced in shooting e-commerce products. 

Looking for someone to photograph your product in use? Find a pro who specializes in lifestyle photography. Especially within an industry that’s similar to yours.

So the main takeaway for today is: just because someone is a professional photographer, does not mean he or she is the right professional for you. I hope this helps you find the right pro for your next job!

Have any questions? Reach out to me any time!

Tags: professional photographer

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