Most of us can take decent photos while on vacation or at a family event. But when it comes to knowing how to take the perfect shot, we’re pretty clueless.
If you are looking for the best place for headshot photography in Phoenix, you can ask for referrals and read reviews and tips online. It’s also a good idea to know some of the signs that will tell you if you’re dealing with a true professional or a night flight operation.
Hire someone who specializes in portraits
Would you hire a classical pianist to play in a jazz quartet at a wedding? I do not think so. The same goes for photographers.
Photography is an art and professional photographers specialize in different art forms. If you want a good quality image that reflects who you are and projects the best possible image in the world, find someone who does portraits for a living. Even an award-winning landscape photographer won’t necessarily be able to take a good portrait. Each specialty requires a different set of skills.
Look at past work
Even if you don’t know much about photography when you look at a photo you are bound to have a reaction. You may not know why, but you will probably have an opinion about the photo. If you like the photographer’s portfolio, that’s a good sign. If something doesn’t seem right, there’s probably a problem. The lighting may be off or the images may appear stilted and too posed. This could be for a number of reasons.
When looking at other photos, ask yourself:
- Are the images clear or blurry in the wrong places?
- Are the images properly lit or do they appear dull? If lighting was used, is it subtle and does it enhance the image?
- Does the color look natural and balanced?
- Do the photos look over-processed with color filters, Photoshop, or other enhancements?
- Do the photos look like they were created by a professional?
Some photographers are more creative than others, and creativity can be the difference between a good photo and a fabulous one. When looking at a photographer’s portfolio, try to notice if it looks like they’re trying to do something new with their clients or if they’re constantly producing the same thing.
Take a look, ask questions
If you’re close enough to the photographer’s camera, take a look and see if it’s set to Auto or Portrait. If so, walk away. That means they don’t know what they’re doing and they don’t control the camera. Even if the photographer has all the latest and greatest equipment, it doesn’t make sense if they don’t know how to use it properly.
A seasoned photographer should also give you some suggestions on the type of clothing you should wear or bring to a photo shoot.
At the same time, it’s reasonable for you to ask a bunch of questions, such as:
- How many hits are you going to take?
- How much will it cost?
- Are you using natural lighting or will the shoot be done in the studio?
- What should I wear?
- Do you retouch photos? Is there an additional charge for this service?
- What if I don’t like the portrait?
Beware of photographers who appear to rely on Photoshop or other editing tools to “fix” images in the studio after shooting. If there are any adjustments to be made to lighting, hair, jewelry, makeup, or clothing, the photographer should notice them during the shoot and then address the issues. Not later.
Find someone to click with
Most importantly, find a photographer you think you can work with and who communicates easily. You might be able to tell if you’re clicking with the other person over the phone or via Zoom, but it’s also perfectly reasonable to ask to meet in person before committing.
Trust your instincts when it comes to choosing a photographer. If you have a good connection and respect their work, they’re probably the right person to take your shot.