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If you need photos but don’t have the skills yourself, you need to hire a professional photographer to make sure you get awesome results. It can be daunting reaching out to people who work in a different industry to you; Where should you look? What should you ask for? How do you know who to trust? Our guide will make it less of a minefield for you to find photographers.
There are loads of online photography communities, so the key is sorting the bad from the good. Flickr, Exposure or 500px are good places to start. Photographers use these websites to share their photos, get feedback, sell their work and take on freelance projects. Social apps like Instagram and VSCO are really popular with photographers, so don’t forget to check them out.
Try searching by the type of photography you want, for example; concert, band photoshoot, live music etc. Use hashtags to narrow your search on Instagram and VCSO. When you find a photographer you like, get in touch with them about working for you.
If you need a photographer that’s local to you, there are plenty of sites that list photographers in your area, such as The Guild of Photographers, and Photographer Central. Flickr will allow you to search for members by location, which is handy.
Don’t forget meetups and clubs in your local area. If you’re lucky enough to live in a large town or city there are probably photographer events happening very regularly. Find out where they are and go and talk to people to see if they’d be interested in working for you. That way you get to meet photographer folks face to face. Try searching Facebook, Twitter or Meetups for events near you.
Don’t overlook the power of students. If you have a non-existent or tight budget, hiring a photography student could be the answer you’re looking for. Ask to see examples of their work first for a taste of what they’re capable of – remember they won’t be top notch professionals but they’ll have plenty of passion and be very enthusiastic about demonstrating their skills. Student Gems list photography students in your area who are available for freelance projects, or contact your local college or university.
It’s essential that you make sure you see previous examples of the photographer’s work before you agree to working with them. Several examples too, not just one. Arrange to meet them in person before you commit to hiring them. Talking in person will give you a good idea of whether you can work together successfully. If you’re going to be exchanging money, get your photographer to draw up a contract for your safety. This should include an outline of their services and terms of payment. It’s boring, we know, but remember to read the fine print.