There are few things in life that are truly “one size fits all.” And your brand photographer is most definitely not one of those things.
Just like hiring a business coach or buying a pair of shoes, you need to find a photographer that fits both you and what you need photographed. But with so many options (and everyone wanting to recommend their favorite—including their cousin’s daughter’s best friend), how do you find the one who will give your business the look and feel you want?
As a professional photographer for the last X years, I can tell you that while it’s easy to narrow down the list, it takes some additional legwork from you to find the perfect fit.
Know What You Need
Just like you wouldn’t wear those stiletto heels to go for a stroll in the park, you wouldn’t hire a newborn photographer to take your business headshots. Photographers specialize in different niches, so if you’re looking for photos for your business, know what kind of photos you’re looking for. Branded lifestyle shots? A simple headshot? Group photos of your team? Something else?
Check Out Their Work
Your BFF gave you a recommendation for their family photographer and your corporate husband gave you the name of the photographer who did his company’s headshots. Check out their websites and see if they have photos in their portfolios that match the aesthetic you’re looking for. If not, keep on looking. The Rising Tide Society is a great resource for photographer referrals if you’re in the small business world, or reach out to a fellow entrepreneur who has images you love.
Find a Style You Like
Your business is not the same as someone else in your industry. You have a different personality, style and process. The same is true for photographers. We all have a different look and lighting and editing style. As you look through portfolios, look for what matches your brand. If your brand is open and airy with bright colors, you probably wouldn’t fit well with a photographer whose images are primarily earthy or dark.
Do More Research
Once you’ve narrowed it down a bit, do a little more research on your short list of possible photographers. Read their testimonials and visit those websites. (Do you like the photos you see there?) Read their blog. (Does the photographer offer expert tips and tricks for business owners?) Read her About page. (Does her personality jive with you?) Schedule a discovery call. (Is communication easy?)
Talk About Your Needs
During your first conversation with a prospective photographer, be sure to communicate exactly what you’re looking for. Tell her what you want to accomplish with the shoot, some locations you’re thinking of and where you plan to use your images. Chances are, she will have some additional suggestions and ideas that will help you make your decision. If she doesn’t, that might be a red flag that she doesn’t have the level of experience you’re looking for.
At the end of the day, your business photoshoot should be about you—the business owner. The images that come out of it are what you’ll use to sell your services and products to others, and it’s important that they match your branding and messaging.