The Best Advice on Photography I've found

Do Your Research to Find the Right Photographer

Whether they've hired a photographer to take a family portrait or to shoot their engagement or wedding, it isn't uncommon for people to be disappointed with the results. When this happens, it often ends up being the photographer who gets the blame. While some of this may be the photographer's fault, there is actually some responsibility on the part of the client to make sure that the photographer they've hired is one that they like. That's why it's so important that you do your research ahead of time to see which photographer is right for you.

Before you hire anyone, you need to spend some time looking at their past work. Indeed, it's the best way to judge whether the photographer is the right one for your job. Any photographer who is serious about being a photographer will have a portfolio available for potential clients to look through. Nowadays, these portfolios are easy to access through the websites of the photographers or the studios they work for, as well as in their offices. Whether you're looking at the actual photographs or copies of them online, you'll get a great idea of the work that they do. You're looking for the following things.

At its most basic, the portfolio should convey whether the photographer knows what he or she is doing. Are the photos in focus and color balanced correctly? Anyone can claim to be a photographer and start soliciting business. It's up to you to judge whether the person is capable of being a photographer or not and the best way to do that is to look at the photographs they are most proud of.

Of course, photography is more than just basic competency; it's also an art form. To that end, you're looking through the portfolio to see what kind of artist the photographer is. Art is, to paraphrase, in the eye of the beholder, so this part is really about your personal preferences. Even if you think the photographer is good, if you don't like their previous work on a gut level, you won't like what they do for you, either.

Part of this is about style and part is about tone. It helps to know what it is you're looking for when you do this, that is, what sort of tone and style you want your pictures to have. If you want very formal, studio portraiture, make sure the photographer you pick has some examples of that type of work in their portfolio. If you want your shoot to be outdoors, make sure the photographer has some examples of good shots taken outdoors. When you take the time to do this, you'll end up with pictures that both you and the photographer are happy with.

-- Jason Uihlein is a freelance writer and blogger. He enjoys keeping up on industry trends, blogging, and watching old movies. Get more details about this article's subject: You can find more of his writing on the author's website.