While the advent of the camera phone was a landmark in technological advancements, it has diluted the photography talent pool. Anyone with a phone these days can snap a few shots and claim to be a photographer. But professional photographers would like to argue otherwise; it takes a hell of a lot of hard work and putting yourself out there to make it like a pro.
Merely owning an industry-grade camera won’t magically transform you, either. Surprisingly, a good photographer’s most reliable skills have nothing to do with taking photos. As any business owner can tell you, kindness and punctuality will do more for your business than anything else.
But like any other industry, you’ll find your fair share of both diamonds and duds. How can you tell the difference between a photographer worth hiring and one you should pass up, though? It can be tricky, but there are several signs to look for when shopping around for a good photographer-and that’s what we’re here to talk about today.
And with that, let’s begin!
- Good People Skills
You can take the most beautiful photos in the world, but it won’t matter if you’re a jerk to other people. Good photographers aren’t just good at their craft, but they’re good at communicating with people. Traits to look for are empathy, warmth, responsiveness, punctuality, forthcomingness, and integrity. These characteristics not only make for a decent human being, but they also convey a strong sense of professionalism. If you choose to work with a good person, chances are their work will reflect the kind of person they are.
- A Solid Portfolio
This qualifier may be a bit daunting for rookie photographers who have little to show for their work. Truthfully, a robust portfolio is a clear indication that the photographer has experience behind the camera and manages client relationships. However, you can have too much of a good thing, meaning that an overabundance of photos may signal that the photographer has a difficult time choosing from their best shots. This volume can appear sloppy to potential clients seeking a skilled photographer with a discerning eye.
Anyone can snap a picture of a lawn chair, throw a black and white filter on it, and call it art. What sets a creative photographer apart from an uncreative one is a deep understanding of placement, lighting, and their environment. In the photography world, this is called composition, meaning a photographer should know how to compose, or set up, a photo. There are a few basic composition rules that can benefit even the most seasoned photographer. Still, there’s no denying that a strong imagination and eye for detail can get most photographers pretty far.
For those in the Peterborough, Cambridgeshire area of the U.K., you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more well-rounded photographer than Paul David Smith. If you’re looking to hire a photography studio for a shoot, head to his website to check out his extensive portfolio and list of services.