Choosing the best portrait photographer to capture your family / yourself is not as simple as just picking the first name that pops up on Google. So how do you choose? There are so many great photographers in Hong Kong, here's how to choose who's right for you! I'm here to help! As an experienced Hong Kong portrait photographer, I'm very familiar in this field and I've got some useful tips to help you choose the right photographer to capture the essence of your team or family.
How to choose the best portrait photographer
1. CHOOSE A PHOTOGRAPHER WHOSE STYLE YOU LOVE
First things first: If you don’t like the portrait photographer’s style, there’s no reason to continue. Everybody has a style they like or are looking for, even if you can't name or put your finger on it. Make sure to take a good look through the photographer's portfolio to see whether their style is consistent and is what you are looking for.
Settle on a style: It is important to consider the type of photography style that the photographer provides. Do any of the following appeal to you?
Instead of a series of posed photos, these are candid or spontaneous pictures. This style tends to be photo journalistic, you'll very rarely see people staring at the camera - the photos capture the moments exactly as they happened, and together they tell a story. These photos also tend to have very minimal editing. This style is great to capture raw emotions.
These tend to be more classic and traditional portraits. If you like posed team or family members, make sure you are choosing someone who shoots those specific types of photos vs in-home/in-office lifestyle photos. Even within studio portraiture, there is a lot of room for creativity.
In fine art portraiture, the artist's vision plays an important role. Though it's similar to documentary photography, this style gives the photographer greater artistic licence to input their particular point of view and style into your photographs, this does not mean that the photographer will not spend time with you discussing your hopes for your portrait photography. Fine art photography is generally more stylized with a signature look. See this interview with Bill Gekas to get a better understanding.
Edgy and Bold
When you see images with the camera tilted at different angles, a surprising view (i.e. a photo shot from overhead). This is an offshoot of fine art, is marked by "outside-the-box", tilted angles and unconventional framing.
2. CHOOSE A PHOTOGRAPHER THAT SPECIALISES IN THE TYPE OF SHOOT THAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR:
This may sound obvious, but it's not something that people always consider. If you are looking to have some outdoor portraits, it may be a good idea to go with a photographer who mainly does outdoor photography and uses natural light. If you are looking for portraits of your children, it makes sense to choose someone who specializes in family photography (rather than specializing in, say, landscape or pet photography).
Someone who specializes in the type of photography you are looking for will be an expert in that genre and that will go far in getting you beautiful photos. Do your research to ensure that the photographer you choose is good at the type of photo shoot that you are looking for.
3. CHECK THEIR PORTFOLIO, LOOK FOR CONSISTENCY.
Start your research by reading any reviews on LinkedIn or by checking the photographer's website portfolio. Have they got some testimonials in their website? What are the reviews like? This will give you an idea of the set of skills that the photographer has and what kind of work they have done and how their clients felt. The wording and design of their website, will also give you a glimpse about the photographers personality and sensibility.
Another important factor is the photographer's portfolio, is it consistent? If you notice that a photographer's photos don't have a consistent look overall that may be red flag. Are there enough photos on their Website for you to make an informed decision? Is the quality of the photos, style, creativity and editing consistent? I spend hours going through my work to perfect it, and I undertake continuous training to be the best I can be.
4. INVESTMENT, HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
Realistically this should be the last thing on your mind, but usually it's the first. If you want someone literally just to snap photos away - you can find that easily and cheap. But is that what you want? Good photography is not cheap.
The best portrait photographer's take their art very seriously and will go above and beyond your expectations. They will want to give you artwork to hold and be proud to share with their clients and extended network. A good photographer will invest time and money to ensure they improve their skills. It's important that your photographer communicates with you and hears about what you want from your session.
How much will it cost you? Is the photographer upfront with their prices? Do you know exactly what you’re getting from them? Every photographer has a different way of working. Some will do viewings and in person sales, some will offer all-inclusive packages. Don’t forget the cost of your photos is not just down to the moment they press the shutter and take your image. You are paying for their knowledge and experience, processing, and equipment as well as the experience.
5. CHOOSE A PHOTOGRAPHER WHO IS COMMITTED TO YOU FROM BEGINNING TO END.
A photo session is more than just showing up and having photos taken. Choose a photographer who is involved beyond just taking a deposit for a session, shooting the session and mailing you your images. Your overall experience will be enhanced if you choose someone who works with you on each step, from initial consultation to choosing a session date, helping you pick out outfits or backgrounds and helps you to design your session.
Personality: Check for recommendations. Are they good with children? Are they relaxed? Having your photographs taken in front of a stranger can be very daunting, you want someone to make it as relaxed and fun as possible! I have a lot of experience capturing portrait photography for schools and this is because my relaxed, friendly and unobtrusive approach works perfectly within this environment.
I hope this post how to find the best portrait photographer for you has helped and if you feel my work represents what you are looking for please feel free to get in touch using the contact info below.