Lesson from the Scene: Tips When Hiring a Photographer

by Stanley Leary

Your results from any photo shoot can be usually measured in how much preparation was done before the shoot.

Clients will benefit the most when they involve the photographer as part of their creative team.  Most professional photographers have done enough projects to bring to the table a great deal of experience as well as their creative minds. 

Often clients will call me to participate in their creative sessions.  After the concept and approach is chosen I will scout the locations with the client.

It is while we are on location we can determine the best time of day due to the light for using the location.  Often after scouting it is easy to put together a schedule for shooting to not only maximize the time, but to maximize the quality of light in each location.

It is in the preplanning we talk about the feel desired from the photo and it is often these insights, which help me to not only meet the client’s expectations but surpass them.

Preplanning allows everyone on the day of shooting to concentrate on the fine details.  We pay attention to facial expressions, moving lights to create an effect or push to see things we didn’t see on the first walk through. 

Often the priorities will change for photos when after looking at the time necessary to make a photo in relationship to all the other needs.  Sometimes we will even be sure we get one photo over all the others.  This dialogue about each locations unique characteristic helps many of my clients stretch their budgets. 

One way I have helped stretched budgets is on education shoots to light a classroom and rotate faculty and students rather than taking the time to setup in another building in another classroom.  Having prepared early on clients have had numerous students which after switching them around gives them more photos to use from a days photo shoot than if we had just enough students for just one photo.  

As you plan, be sure to pick up the phone and call me in to be apart of your creative team.