Hiring a good commercial photographer involves a lot more than simply choosing someone with a few pretty pictures. It is crucial to get the most for your money and make sure you get the best possible results for your commercial shoot. This is especially true if you hope that the results will ultimately make you more money for your business. Commercial shoots entail many steps on the way to getting those pictures. It is important that the images are crafted to what you’re using them for, don’t take a lot of your time, and that you encounter no surprises or hassles along the way. Here are some tips to consider when hiring a commercial photographer.

9 Tips to Hire a Quality Commercial Photographer:

  1. Do you want a family doctor doing your brain surgery? Or would you rather have a skilled surgeon who has done this a thousand times? Ask if the photographer has done a project like yours before. You will want someone who is experienced in shoots like yours. They will know the challenges of photographing your subjects. Also, they will know what is essential to communicate and coordinate effectively. They will be well equipped to handle any situations that are unique or specific to your needs. 
  2. Find a photographer who listens and gives you what you need instead of what they routinely do. This is what makes your images extraordinary instead of just common. Does the photographer ask questions to help you outline and define the photography you want? A quality photographer should understand what most people in your industry look for when getting commercial images. They will also help you define the job. Most customers have vague ideas of what they want and need the support of the photographer to help. A professional with experience with subjects like yours might have suggestions that you haven’t thought of yet. Don’t expect them to create detailed shot lists and outline how to do everything until you hire them, though.
  3. Do they already know the challenges of a commercial shoot like yours or are you going to figure them out together? Ask them about the common problems that occur in shoots like yours. They should be aware of challenges that you likely have not thought of. These are typical challenges that they have faced before. You should also ask them how they were able to solve these challenges successfully.  It will give you some good insight into their experience and things that you might be mindful of to avoid in your own shoot.
  4. Is the price based on your requests or just pulled out of a hat? Is the quote or estimate timely and does it look professional? If they are experienced, they should be able to give you an idea of your investment on the first call. They should be able to send a quote or estimate for the commercial shoot quickly. Does it look thrown together, or does it look professional?
  5. Do they outline what to expect next, or are they hoping you will? Your commercial photographer should be familiar with how the shoot typically goes, and it is their job to guide you through the process. You shouldn’t be wondering what is next at any step. They should be making you aware of what they will be doing next and if there is anything they expect from you.
  6. Test and validate their communication skills by asking them to follow up with you. Taking this step will give you a taste of their ability to communicate effectively and keep up with their commitments. Good communication skills prevent surprises and hassles down the road. 
  7. Does the commercial photographer provide you with their liability insurance and W-9 before you even ask, or do they even have them? Commercial photographers are always asked for proof of insurance from companies that have staff lawyers, and they should have it easily accessible to send to you. If you have an accountant, they will want a W-9 and it is easier to get it on the front end than months later. This can give you an insight into how seasoned a professional they are.
  8. Does your photographer make it easy for you to check their testimonials, and not just those on their website? It is valuable for you to find out what a professional photographer’s clients’ experiences have been. Check reviews on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp, or anywhere else online besides just the photographer’s website. Ask your friends if they have heard of them, especially any photography enthusiast friends of yours. If you have any friends who have used that photographer before, ask them about their experience.
  9. Check their social media accounts for everyday work, not just their website with their best work. Website photos are usually curated and are typically the highest quality that photographers can produce. You can see their average and day-to-day work on their social media channels.

I hope that this has been helpful. It is not a long list but should help ensure that you find the perfect professional photographer for your commercial shoot.

9 Tips When Hiring a Commercial Photographer Infographic