Here are some things you should consider when looking for a commercial Photographer in London.
Commercial Photography in London
Photography, though always important, has become so much more so with the rise of the internet and social media. Having an online presence is essential for almost every business and nothing is more crucial than having great photos. You can use stock photos, however, because they are so generic by their very nature they won’t look as good as having your own professional photos .
Finding the Right Professional Photographer in London
Once you’ve found the right commercial photographer, you should have many years of great photography. Also, if your photographer can’t shoot on the date you need them, they can usually recommend an alternative photographer who suits the style you’d like. This way, finding the right photographer for you first time can leave you with trouble free and beautiful photography for many years.
Tips for Finding the Right Photographer for you
Style Over Substance
Don’t be fooled by mediocre photographs with fancy filters. Because filters are a doddle to apply these days it’s easy to look at a photographer’s photos and think they are great, when three months down the line you’ll look back at them and think they look dated. Imagine the photographer’s photos without filters to really see if they have an eye for light and framing. Fancy tricks rarely stand the test of time and with the fashion cycle running ever faster it’s quite easy for a shot to look dated very quickly unless it is shot beautifully before the filter is applied.
Documentary, Traditional or Contemporary Photography
Choosing the right photographer primarily means starting with their style. While certainly not the only thing to consider, it’s obviously very important. Documentary photographers like myself, tend to shoot mostly in the background capturing what’s happening without controlling events. This not only means you can relax knowing the photographer will get great natural and spontaneous photos, but you also won’t have to spend lots of time organising and arranging people and places for your photos. I quite often go into a variety of locations, from boardrooms to building sites, where, even though the people know I’ll be coming, they are just planning to continue with their work or event without thinking about the photography. Here are just a few events I have photographed as a London event photographer that have been shot in this way. Duchess of Cambridge event, Effie pre gala judging day, Build UK A Smart Future event, CSCS on site photos.
Traditional photographers will expect to set up the vast majority of their photos and you’ll need to arrange people and places for the shots. Usually this means a more staged feel to the photographs as well as being heavily lit.
Contemporary photographers tend to try to get the feel of a documentary photographer, while using a traditional photographer’s techniques with arrangements and lighting.
Taking great photos is obviously the primary skill of a photographer. However, there are a lot of things that have to happen before a photographer even gets to the location for the photoshoot. Being organised is extremely important, primarily so that when I get to a location I am thinking about the photography and not the arrangements. Who I am going to meet, the brief, the conditions I am going to be shooting in, these all have to be considered long before I even start getting my cameras ready for the photoshoot. Finding a photographer who is not only good at taking photographs but is also organised is very important.
Good To Work With
Being good to work with isn’t just about being pleasant or a fun person to be around, it is also about having good people skills. Almost all the photography I do is with and of people. I’ve photographed people from the jungles of Colombia for energy companies, to boards of directors in London boardrooms, as well as everyone in between. As you can see from my blog posts, I go into a huge variety of locations with all sorts of people. It’s imperative the photographer you choose has the skills to interact with all sorts of people to get the best out of them when being photographed.
Photographing in Stressful Environments
As well as having good people skills, a photographer must be able to work in fast paced and stressful environments. From industrial locations with dangerous equipment to professional kitchens with busy chefs and at events where I only have a few seconds to capture an image, a cool head is important to get the shot I want. A particular situation I was in that needed a cool head and was in fact one of the reasons the client said I was chosen, was photographing the Duchess of Cambridge at an event.
I also photograph a lot of events at the Royal Museums Greenwich, in particular The Cutty Sark and The Queen’s House. These locations are beautiful and full of priceless art, so must be treated with care. Rushing round with cameras flying is not an option!
How your professional photographer’s images are supplied and licensed
It may sound obvious, but it is important to be clear on the first event you do with a photographer not only a price, but also how the photos will be supplied and the licensing for the photos. I supply all the best photos from an event or photoshoot, individually retouched and hi res as a download so my client has immediate access to them. I also give the client full usage rights to use the photos as they like. This creates a good long term working foundation, so the client knows they will not have to renegotiate a price for further use of a photo and can set up a system for distributing the photos as they will know exactly how they will receive them every time.
Professional Photographer’s Insurance
When choosing a commercial photographer, it’s worth checking they have all the professional insurances they should. This is a very good way to check if a commercial photographer really is a professional and runs their business properly.
The insurances an event photographer should have are camera insurance for their cameras and lighting, public liability insurance for at least £5m, though I personally have £10m as I work in a lot of venues with priceless works of art. Also they should have employers liability if it is not just them working in their business and importantly also professional indemnity insurance in case something on the photoshoot goes wrong.
It’s very easy for a photographer to email over a copy of their public liability insurance before a photoshoot just so you know it is all covered.
A Commercial Photographer’s Brief
Finally, and though this isn’t strictly a tip for choosing a commercial photographer, I think it’s worth mentioning how important a good brief is for a photographer. Knowing what it is you want shot and in particular why you want the photos is very important. Again this is a great reason for finding a really good photographer and using them consistently, as over time the photographer will really begin to understand the mindset behind your branding and needs.
I hope that was helpful, if you have any questions, or if you’d like some more information about me and the way I work you can contact me through my contact page, or have a look at my FAQ’s page.
If you enjoyed this post, you can see more on my blog, in particular, you may like these posts, CPA Spring Lunch, CSCS on site photos, and The Publishers Association staff photos.