The 5 P's
How to find the right photographer for you
We all go through it… how do you find the right people to work your wedding. And it’s not just one decision either… it’s the photographer, the DJ, the florist, the officiant, the caterer, the car company…. the list seems to never end. Let me help a little. Here are what I like to call “the 5 P’s”; how to find the right photographer for you”. Let’s call it a checklist to help you find the right photographer for your portraits or even your wedding.
Let’s look at The 5 P’s…
Anyone can take a picture. I’m willing to bet that you have within that last 48 hours. A photographer should not just be known for taking a picture though. A photographer creates an image. Maybe of a time or a place. Maybe an emotion or expression. Whatever it is though, it should speak to you on some level. It should make you feel. It should make you desire. It is how you will remember…
When you are making your list of possible photographers make sure their photos actually mean something to you. And don’t compromise that factor for anything else or you are doing yourself an injustice.
This is important… The person you bring on as your photographer will be sharing some very intimate times with you. When you think about it. It’s more than just a person taking your photo, it’s someone you are going to have some level of relationship with and, at a special time in your life, introduce to your family and friends.
Personality is important because you really want to pick someone that you naturally get along with and someone that is genuinely concerned about your comfort, needs, and desires. That’s big! If a photographer isn’t concerned about you, they are either concerned about themselves or their money. Neither of those concerns are going to make sure that you getting the service, relationship, and commitment you deserve.
Kinda touched on that. You should be the priority at all times. You should be able to expect your photographer to not just be great at capturing images, but to be willing to act in a true service capacity when necessary. If you need something as simple as water, your photographer should be willing to get it or find someone who will. Your photographer should not make demands for your time or interrupt the flow of your day that you work so hard to plan. If you are the priority, your photographer will suggest things to make life easier and guide you with information on what is required to achieve the results you want; not take over your day.
There are plenty of photographers that love the idea of being a photographer or the idea of learning to work for themselves. Your photographer should have a passion for photography and a passion for service. Hired photography is a service art. Both service and art. It’s kind of easy to tell where their passion is too. It’s going to show in the above P’s. Their photos should show their personality because they are so closely connected. Their speech should show passion for both the art and the service. And their priorities will reflect where their passion is. And their passion should be in both service and photography.
Sounds crazy but it’s true on both sides. Too expensive or too cheap. I read somewhere that Value = Benefit minus Cost. I also read that the cost of an item gives the buyer reason to trust or distrust the product. If you saw an iPad for $25 you would think something was wrong with it, wouldn’t you? All of the other P’s should add to your benefit. If you took the average cost of a few photographers and the average benefit of those photographers you would have an idea of what the value of those photographers is.
You can apply those principles to narrowing your search because the benefits are personal and the value will be too. Don’t confuse value with how many prints or digital photos you’re promised either. And don’t compromise value when you look at the price.
Bonus P: Professionalism
All of the P’s are going to reflect their professionalism. Their photos will look, feel, and be presented professionally. Their personality will be professional. Their priorities will show, by the priority not being them, that they are professional. Their passion will show professionalism. And their price will be comparable with other professionals (not with people with cameras). Your photographer should be a creative, service oriented, professional photographer. Not just the person with the cheapest price and the most prints because that’s not a reflection of a photographer; that’s someone looking to get paid.