It’s decided, your walls need updating with new portraits. So you open your web browser and type in, “photographer near me,” and end up with a intimidatingly long list of results. How do you choose a photographer who’ll deliver the photos you want?

Choosing a photographer who’ll be the right fit can be an easy process if you stick to the following guide.

Pick a Niché

Just as you wouldn’t go to a butchery to buy a cake, so it’s always best to choose a photographer who specialises in the particular type of portraits you’re looking to create. You can easily narrow down your search by using the genre of photos you want to create and area you reside in; for example: “family photographer Middelburg” or “childrens photographer Witbank”.

By choosing a photographer who specialises in specific genres, you’re almost guaranteed a photographer who has ample experience and skills, and the specialised equipment to create the exact photos you want.

Find Your Style

Formal or candid, dark and moody or light and airy? It always helps to know the look you’d like for your own photos. If you’re not sure on what your preferred style is, create a Pinterest board and add photos of the genre of photography you’d like to book. Once you’ve got a good board going, you’ll be able to see a similar look start to emerge. It’s also handy to share your board with the photographer you do end up booking to give them insight into your expectations.

An extra word on style from a portrait photographer who’s been around for nearly eight years: Remember that trends come and go, even in editing style. So while you may want that Insta-perfect look of today, it will end up looking terribly dated in two years.

Keeping it Professional

You may find a photographer whose work you love, but will they be able to deliver that same standard for your photos? To help you figure out whether a photographer has that professional edge, consider the following:

  • is their social media and website up-to-date?
  • do they have terms and conditions or a set contract?
  • what’s their response time like?
  • do they have good reviews?

Also be sure to look at their portfolio and if they have on social media or a blog, full sessions to get an idea for the quality of their work.

Staying in Budget

While we’d all love to book the best of the best, the best usually comes at a price tag to match. If you’ve found your perfect photographer match but are unsure of how affordable their packages are, just remember that pricing shouldn’t be the only deciding factor.

Some moments and milestones only happen once and you need to decide how important those memories are to you. Also bear in mind that often giving up something as simple as a daily cappuccino at a coffeeshop for a month can go a long way to almost fully funding a quality portrait session.