I have been doing photography for a little over six years, and during and before this time I have hired many photographers for marketing, advertising and events. I have done this as a lead editor of a high-gloss fashion, real estate, and product magazine line, as part of marketing teams, and as a freelance writer throughout my career. I thought I would share some tips on what someone like me looks for when hiring photographers.
Tip #1. Have a Solid Portfolio Website
I want to see a solid portfolio website that includes the kind of shots I’m looking for. If I’m hiring for, say, client portraits and event coverage, show me your client portraits and event coverage. Not an Instagram page—a professional-looking website. I thought about why for a bit and I think one of the reasons I prefer a website is because it conveys that you take the job seriously. It shows that you treat the craft like a business and tells me you have skin in the game and it’s not just a hobby. Plus, I can find you on google when I search for photographers in your region.
Tip #2. Be Reliable
Reliability beats talent. I have worked with incredibly talented photographers but if someone else is more consistent, never misses deadlines, follows design and style specs, and makes my day easier I will hire them again over the talented artist who causes me stress.
Tip #3. Only the Final Product Matters
I don’t care about your gear only the final product. I have worked with photographers who shoot on old APS-C cameras, film, or the latest full frames, and the only thing that matters is if your stuff looks good, you meet the technical specs the designers need, and never ever miss deadlines.
Tip #4. Beware Common Pitfalls
Don’t let your gear and artistry get in the way. You might have sophisticated lighting rigs, the latest tech, or some glorious vision but if your setup is causing a paying client to feel like they are being ignored or their time is being wasted, I might hesitate to hire you again. Know your stuff and keep things prompt.
Tip #5. Provide a Clear Pre-work Invoice
Show me a pre-work invoice of what you will charge. Include potential charges for things like last-second location changes and scouting, late shooting starts, and anything else to protect your time. This will protect you, keep the client in line and make me feel comfortable since there won’t be any surprises. Clarity is kindness.
Tip #6. Charge What You’re Worth
Charge the price you think you’re worth. Your portfolio will let me know if the price is worth it.
Tip #7. Never Miss Deadlines
Never, ever, ever miss your deadlines. And if something happens, talk to me. Don’t ghost the person who hired you. If I’m calling, it’s because I need to check on the work and make sure the client is calm. The more stress you cause the less likely I am to hire you again.
There you have it: 7 tips from a photographer who hires photographers. Good luck!
About the author: Devin Pacholik is a Canadian media, marketing, and communications professional who has worked in TV, radio, print, and digital formats. His writing and artwork have been featured by VICE, CBC, CTV, and beyond. You can connect with him through his LinkedIn profile.
Image credits: Header photo from 123RF