Portrait photographers capture the best features of people and highlight each of them. Undeniably, as clients, what we need is the best portrait photographer that will capture us a portrait worth more than a diamond. Since our portrait is something that describes us individually, it shall contain and bring out the best in us.
In selecting the right portrait photographer, we all need to be specific with our purpose in choosing one. What are we looking for; Are we looking for someone to capture our first family portrait? For our business? For our Facebook profile pictures? For our websites? For either of these, all we need is the right portrait photographer. The one who can cater to our needs and address what’s the best option for us.
In this guide, I will help you know about the things that need to be considered when choosing a portrait photographer, the importance of a client’s purpose, and how to find the right one.
Aligning Purpose and Preferred Style
Before discussing how to select the best portrait photographer in town, let me first lay out some portrait photography stuff.
First, let’s talk about the genres that will be included in our purposes for hiring a photographer. In portrait photography, there are three general styles that photographers maximize. These are documentary, studio portraiture, and fine art portraiture.
In the documentary portrait, the approach is journalistic as the subject does not necessarily have to look at the camera. This means that the subject is angled at the moment it is in action. An example of this is a candid shot.
While the documentary-style captures a moment of action like in photojournalism, in studio portraiture, everything is more on the conventional and traditional way of portrait photography. It is done inside a studio where creativity can sometimes be limited. However, with the proper set-ups, lightings, and resourcefulness, nothing is too dull and boring.
In fine art portraiture, there is a greater emphasis on the photographer’s poetic license. Although the client’s wants and preferences are considered, in fine art portraiture, the photographer’s perspective is very much valuable. It determines how the subject present his signature look.
These three general styles are essential in selecting the best portrait photographer. If our purpose and preferred style are not considered, we’ll have difficulties in choosing the right one for us. You can further read about the fundamentals and essentials of portrait photography in my gallery.
3 P’s To Consider In Choosing The Best Portrait Photographer
Before selecting any portrait photographer in town, we should first determine our purpose; Why pick some portrait photographer when in fact, we can do it on our own? If our answer is because we want some professional to give us the best quality portrait options for us and our family. Then, there’s no further debate on that.
In the course of looking for the right photographer, we should ask ourselves what the photo shoot is for? How do we want things to be captured? As mentioned, there are three general styles. If the candid shot is your preferred style, then you might like to choose the one that specializes in a documentary approach.
Do you want to capture your family’s first portrait? If yes, you may choose a portrait photographer who masters in family photography. Do you own a business that requires some outdoor photographs? If yes, choose the one who masters in outdoor photography. And, is willing to take the challenge of using natural lights.
Do you want to level up the quality of your Facebook profile picture to express yourself to your virtual friends? Do you own a website and you’re looking for professional photographers? If yes, different portrait photographers specialize in their corresponding specialties.
There are many photographers out there. But, not everyone can meet and match your needs. Thus, knowing your preferred style and purpose is essential. To know more about some examples of techniques and approaches, you may visit the Top 10 Most Influential and Famous Filipino in Portraits.
This aspect is crucial in any industry as it mirrors the attitude and dedication of an individual to his chosen field.
Also, if he is open to criticism and is committed to giving you quality photographs. You can determine how professional a portrait photographer is from the moment you will have your first conversation. In business and in any industry, the first conversation is important. It is where the first impression is built. Perhaps, it tells a huge reflection of how someone treats his clients and even the people around him.
A professional photographer set schedules to talk with his clients and give the best options he can offer. As for me, since some photoshoots last for a couple of days or even months including the time of planning, I ensure to have series of talks with the clients to know and recommend how everything will be done.
One way to determine the right portrait photographer is to seek evidence of his practice in the chosen field. Photographers should build portfolios on websites as it is one of the most accessible means online. Showcasing a portfolio will show the quality of the photographer’s works. It will also show the projects they’ve made with previous clients.
When you know your portrait photographer, you will know what he’s got and what he can do for you and your portraits. The years of practice of a portrait photographer can also be a determinant of how much you will charge or pay him. As for experienced and masters in the field, expect you’ll be spending quite an expensive cost in exchange for quality portraits.
Finding the right photographer is not simple. Most especially, here in the Philippines. Since the country is home to skillful and versatile photographers. One may find difficulty in selecting who’s best from a wide variety of options. The most important thing, however, is to see who will best fit and cater to your purpose and needs. Also, the one who can meet your preferred style of a portrait photograph. After this, you’ll also consider if their charges are affordable and worth it.
As a photographer for years now, portrait photography is one of my photography services. I have worked with different clients with varying needs. And, all I can say that portrait photography is one of the most challenging when it comes to photoshoots. As a portrait photographer who wants to capture the best, creativity and patience shall be always in the pocket.
At the end of the day, when I can see a register of smile and satisfaction in my client’s face, I felt relieved and reciprocated. For photographers, seeing our clients satisfied and happy just makes every effort and time spent worth it.