I have no idea where my blogging career would be if I didn’t have the support of awesome photographers.  When I have major campaigns and/or press, my photographers are my lifesavers. And chances are, if you are a blogger or a business owner, then you have or will have to work alongside a photographer a time or two.  After speaking with a few blogger friends and photographer friends, I felt that this blog post would be helpful. 

When I first started blogging and working with photographers, I had no idea about “rights to images,” what a photographer’s job really entailed, and how I should successfully work with them.  I am really lucky to have worked with photographers that I trust and respect.  When spending your money on photography, it’s super important that you are fully prepared for the shoot.  It makes everyone’s job easier, and it will save you money without going over on time.  Today I will be sharing a few tips on how to successfully work with photographers. 

1.  Make sure that your vision is clear and concise.

Before you even speak with a photographer, please make sure that you are fully prepared with the creative direction of your shoot.  This means that before you call a photographer, make sure that you have some kind of vision of what you want the shoot to look like.  This means to know the purpose of the shoot.  You should have an idea of what you want the set or location to look like.  If you have props in mind and if this is a product shoot, it’s good to have an idea of what you want your images to look like.  When these details are ironed out, clear, and concise, it’s now time for you to bring in a photographer to really bring the shoot to full circle.  The more information you can provide the photographer, the better the shoot will be. 

2.  Select the correct photographer in your field.

A photographer isn’t a one-size fits all.  Different photographers have different strengths and weaknesses.  You will be really lucky if you find a photographer that is multifaceted.  Some photographers may be experts with shooting people in natural light but may struggle with nighttime images.  Some photographers are awesome food photographers but struggle with lifestyle.  When looking for your photographer, try to find an expert in the field you are looking for.  Make sure to research their website and online portfolio. 

3.  Schedule a phone consultation.

After selecting your photographer, reach out to schedule a consultation to discuss the shoot and vision.  This can be done via FaceTime, a phone call, or in-person.  Chatting beforehand will make it crystal clear to everyone about the creative direction that the shoot should take.  I also suggest sending the photographer images or inspiration for the shoot.  That way, he or she will know what shots, ambiance, and edits you are looking for.  You can also find out what’s included in their rates and what their turnaround time may be.

A few questions that you can ask are:

*  Have you done any shoots at this location? 

*  Have you done shoots like this before? 

*  How many edits are included in this rate? 

*  What is the turnaround time for the images, after the shoot? 

*  What method of payment do you accept? 

*  What is your policy for “rights of images”? 

*  Do you require a deposit? 

*  If you do require a deposit, but I later cancel, is my money refundable? 

4.  Make sure that you have permission to shoot photos at the location.

When your photographer is booked and the location is set, make sure that you have permission to shoot at the location.  Nothing is more embarrassing than putting your hard work into a shoot, running around for items for the shoot, only to get shut down because you did not ask for permission to shoot on location.  Depending on where you shoot, permission may be required, especially if it’s a restaurant or a small business. 

5.  Set and make magic.

When I have my shoots, I make sure everything is complete before my photographer arrives, especially if it’s a set or product shoot.  There is nothing worse than booking a photographer at 1:30 and you are still trying to set up florals at 2:15.  It wastes time and the budget.  If it is a fashion shoot, make sure that you are dressed with hair and makeup complete begore you come to set.  You want to get the most bang for your buck, and, again, you don’t want to waste time. 

A few of my favorite photographers that I have worked with are incredible: 

Kayla Madonna

Reynolds Rogers

Mecca Gamble 

Viva Lux Photography

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