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The number one misconception is that all freelance photographers are the same. Once they know how to work a camera, they should be able to do the job. However, there are so many nuanced variables of photography it generally pays to pick a specialist and know how to hire the right photographer for your job. Another hurdle is the price. How much should you charge and what's the going rate? There's also the breakdown of services to consider. Do you require the images to be retouched, cropped or saved in a certain format to suit your needs? What about the legal side? Do you want to own the copyright of the images outright or license the photos to use them internationally? For personal jobs like a birthday party or a headshot, a lot of these considerations are rarely of importance or even mentioned, however, if you plan on producing images to promote your business or a new product, it pays to cover all bases to avoid hassle further down the line.
Freelancer Club is fortunate enough to house some of the finest photographers in the industry who have an array of expertise. We also speak with hundreds of employers, brands and the general public about their needs. In addition, we have all the stats on recruitment and how to source talent. This article will share all of this information with you and more. You'll learn how to find, hire and manage a freelance photographer in no time.
Why use Freelancer Club to find a photographer.
- It's 100% free and we don't charge fees or take a commission.
- We take all the hassle out of finding professional photographers
- You work directly with local professional photographers.
- It's simple to post a role and even easier to manage applicants saving you time and space in your Inbox.
2. Professional vs Amateur Photographer
There are a few key areas to consider when it comes to the type of the photographer you wish to hire. The first aspect to consider is technical proficiency. Regardless of the job, your photographer should be technically proficient in his or her craft. When you compare a professional photo to a shot taken on a phone, for example, you should be able to see a gulf in class that illustrates why one would pay for the services of a professional photographer.
Aside from the work aesthetically being a 'better quality', there are certain signs to look out for. The image should look crisp and be in pin sharp focus. Should you be looking at the photographer's work on a screen (computer, laptop or phone) this should still be very evident. The photographer will have used a number of techniques utilising light, focus and the adjustment of settings to create a sharp image.
Most professional photographers shoot in RAW format (unless shooting specifically for web) that allows them much more flexibility after the photo has been taken. The image can be manipulated in post-production without losing too much in quality. You may have noticed that when you start to play around with your editing option on your phone that the more you adjust the image, the more the quality worsens. RAW files are far more robust. In addition, RAW files can be enlarged without compromising on quality (up to a point). This is important as it offers you much more flexibility with your images. Should you require your image to be printed on a large format for instance, a photo taken on a phone would struggle. RAW files provide the client with option to print large scale, onto a variety of materials, adjust the lighting, contrast etc... without losing too much quality.
3. Find me a Photographer with Style
The second consideration when you want to find a photographer is style. We speak to hundreds of employers looking for a professional photographer and very few consider the style of the photographer when posting their requirements. Brands tend to have a loose idea of style when hiring, whereas the general public typically omits this from their job description. Photographers are artists and each artist has his or her unique style. In general, a photographer's style evolves over time as they develop their craft. When choosing your photographer, it's a great opportunity to pick a style that appeals to you or your brand. Perhaps you're looking for a vintage bridal photographer who can create an ethereal effect or a snapper who uses deep shadows to create dramatic black and white portraits.
Remember, some style will come from the photographer's camera whereas a lot of it will derive from their post-production work. Make sure to ask the photographer about their process before you commit. Some photographers will include their post-production work into their fees whereas others will not. You don't want to end up with an image that's only half finished or a bill that you didn't expect.
4. Personality Plus
The photographer's personality will often make a big difference too. It's not something that most employers consider nor is it easy to find out without meeting them in person. Events, weddings, portraits or fashion shoots, for example, require a photographer who can direct their subjects, put them at ease or have the confidence to herd large groups of people together. Photographers should be able to take the initiative to capture the shots you want and some that you didn't realise you wanted. At most event-based jobs, the photographer will roam around taking images unsupervised so their personality and professionalism are paramount.
For other jobs such as pack shots (shooting an object), food photography or even sports photography, the photographer needs to be less vocal. It can often be an advantage to be aloof and subtle when capturing moments when the subjects are unaware so try to meet or speak to your photographer on the phone before choosing who to use.
5. The Price
Work Life, a workspace based in Camden and London Fields recently used The Freelancer Club to hire a photographer. One of their founders, David Kosky, required a professional photographer to shoot their Christmas party and was let down last minute.
The Freelancer Club saved our Christmas party! Our photographer dropped out a day before our event and were in desperate need to find someone. We went on to the platform, posted a job and before we knew it, had 20 different options for freelancers within our budget. The process was simple and quick, the person we found was great and the party was a success!
Use the following checklist when compiling your Freelancer Club profile to maximise your chances of landing freelancer photographer jobs.
5. Tips when hiring a photographer
- Do provide as much detail as possible when posting the job
- Do set a realistic budget that takes into account the entire job
- Do ask questions for the applicants to answer when posting the role
- Do communicate with the photographer(s) throughout the process
- Don't pick the first photographer you come across.
- Don't hire a photographer without a contract
- Don't let a photographer shot 'what they want' if you have a list of required shots
Check out our video on managing a job here: