I’m glad you’re considering hiring a professional photographer in Manila for your photography needs. Choosing the right photographer can be daunting, but finding someone who understands your vision and can capture your moments beautifully is crucial.
Table of contents:
- Determine your needs and style
- Look at their portfolio
- Quality-grade photography
- Read their reviews and testimonials
- Schedule a consultation
- Consider the cost
Determine your needs and style
The first step in choosing the right photographer is determining your needs and style. Do you need a photographer in Manila for a family portrait, a commercial event, or a business headshot? Each type of photography requires unique skills, equipment, and experience. For example, a family photo session requires capturing the couple’s emotions, or a child’s play, while a commercial event needs a more formal and precise approach.
Once you have identified your needs, it’s time to consider your style. Do you prefer traditional or candid shots? Formal or casual? Colorful or black and white? Do you need a studio photographer? A good photographer should be able to adapt to your preferred style and offer suggestions to enhance your images.
However, consulting a few photographers’ portfolios should answer the questions above, especially because some will have a set style and may want to stay within a specific territory, which leads to the next point.
Look at their portfolio
A photographer’s portfolio is the best way to gauge their skills, style, and experience. Please look at their website, social media profiles, and blog to see their work. Look for images that match your style and needs. Pay attention to the quality and consistency of their work. Can they capture the emotions and details in a way that resonates with you?
A photographer’s portfolio should showcase their versatility, creativity, and ability to capture their clients’ unique personalities and stories. If you’re looking for a wedding photographer, check if they have experience shooting in different locations and lighting conditions. If you’re looking for a family portrait photographer, check if they can capture the essence of your family in a natural and candid way.
An important aspect to understand is that there’s a big difference between quality-grade photography and photos that look good.
Quality-grade photography is produced with attention to detail, technical skill, artistic vision, and professional camera gear; most of the time with a second backup professional camera. It involves careful composition, lighting, and post-production editing to create an image that looks good and conveys a message or tells a story.
Photos that look good, on the other hand, may be aesthetically pleasing but need more depth and technical excellence of quality-grade photography, which can be seen on a computer’s screen or in actual printed photos. They may be snapshots taken with a smartphone or point-and-shoot(or entry-level consumer cameras) camera showing their limitations once you print those images(remember those pixelated images?).
An important tip is to ask for a couple of images in the format and size they will deliver to an actual client. If you wonder why there is a simple explanation: all social networks optimize the pictures in such a severe way that will make the photos look far away from the actual files.
For example, on my website, I have made some mistakes using the wrong software to optimize the images for speed, to load faster for people who don’t have a fast internet speed. That helped with my website loading time but diminished how the photos looked. I know this doesn’t sound very easy, and it has nothing to do with photographer skills but with the company that makes the website.
Read their reviews and testimonials
Reading reviews and testimonials from previous clients is an excellent way to gauge the photographer’s quality of work and customer service. Look for photographers with a proven track record of delivering high-quality work and excellent customer service. Reading reviews will also give you an idea of how easy they are to work with and if they can accommodate your specific needs. In my case, I have asked my past clients to provide me feedback on my Facebook page; you can read them all here.
Additionally, if you want to go out of your way, you can ask for references from previous clients and check if they are satisfied with the photographer’s work. A good photographer will be fine providing you with references and examples of their happy clients, although this is an extreme requirement. Their Facebook page or Google Maps entry should suffice 99.9% of the time.
Schedule a consultation
Once you have narrowed your search, schedule a consultation with the desired photographer. This will give you an opportunity to discuss your needs, style, and vision and ask them about their experience and process. A good photographer will take the time to understand your requirements and offer suggestions to ensure your images are stunning.
I always encourage my potential clients to meet, at least virtually, via a video call. I know that time comes at a premium nowadays, but it is much better and more productive during the photo shoot if we already “know each other.”
During the consultation, ask the photographer about their shooting approach, equipment, and post-processing techniques. Ask them about the number of photos you can expect, the turnaround time, and how they deliver their final product. A good photographer should be able to answer all your questions and provide you with a clear understanding of their process.
My work etiquette dictates the existence of a contract, as it should be, mainly because I have a bachelor’s degree from the Faculty of Law. I prepare all the details mentioned above in a contract, and all parties involved sign before starting the photography session or event.
Consider the cost
The cost of a photographer is an important consideration, but it should not be the only factor. Remember, you get what you pay for. While sticking to your budget is important, don’t compromise on quality. Good photography is an investment that you will cherish for years to come.
When comparing prices, make sure you understand what’s included in the package. Some photographers will have additional fees, such as printing charges, retouching, or travel expenses. Ensure you understand the contract’s terms and conditions, including cancellation policies and payment terms.
Since photography is a luxury service, expect it not to be cheap. Most photographers in Manila won’t be able to shoot 8(eight) hours a day, 5(five) days a week, but they all should be able to make a living like any other professionals.
In conclusion, finding the right photographer in Manila may take some time and research, but it’s worth the effort. Remember to identify your needs and style, look at their portfolio, read their reviews and testimonials, schedule a consultation, and only then decide. With these tips, you can hire your ideal photographer in the Philippines.
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