Monday 6 March 2017

Blog Tip - How to Work With a Professional Photographer

You guys probably know that my husband Brian has been taking my photos for La Petite Noob for years now.  Although I am so grateful for his help, it's definitely not one of his favourite pastimes and the more seriously I get into blogging, the more crucial it is to have consistent,  beautiful photos. Rather than chasing Brian around the condo every weekend with my DSLR camera in tow, I recently decided to start working regularly with a professional photographer and it's made a world of a difference. Not only am I very happy with the quality of my photos since working with professionals, but my anxiety around the blog has gone down big-time; I no longer fly by the seat of my pants for content or rely on the help of others because I know that I have photos coming.

Working with a professional photographer for your blog has so many benefits:

  • Photo taken on high-quality equipment that you don't need to invest in, or pay for maintenance on
  • You can communicate easily with a photographer to make sure your photos are exactly what you want, and match your personal brand and aesthetic
  • Photographers can capture your best angles and understand how to work with light, making sure you have the best, most flattering photos
  • A professional photographer will deliver your photos on-time
  • You can save hours of work re-touching and editing photos when working with a professional
  • Your Instagram-husband/wife will thank you (unless of course, they enjoy taking your photos in which case you are lucky!)
  • You can have fun in front of the camera knowing that there is a professional responsible for capturing the moment on the other end of the camera, and they want a beautiful photo just a much as you do.

Dress - c/o Morning Lavender, Clutch - Cult Gaia

Of course, just like bloggers no two photographers are the same.  You really need to do your research and find a photographer that fits your style and aesthetic, and who's photos you truly admire. I also think that the chemistry that two people have is so important with blog photos so you really need to get along well with your photographer.  Finding and navigating the world of photographers with looking for help with your blog can be intimidating, so here's some tips that I've found helpful when choosing, approaching and working with a photographer as a blogger.

Expect To Pay A Fee

I can't stress this enough.  Although it may seem tempting to rely on a collaboration to work with a photographer (where they take your photos in exchange for exposure) it's a much better idea to agree on a form of payment in exchange for photos. Having a monetary value attached to a photoshoot helps to keep your photos a priority, especially if you have a high turn-around time. I had tried working with photographers in a collaboration setting at first, however I found that there was little accountability to getting photos back - once it took almost 2 months to see anything from a photoshoot! Remember, you can always negotiate in your photographer's rates when accepting a paid project, and professional rates are less expensive than investing in pro equipment - something to keep in mind.

Do Not Judge Skill on Instagram Following

Just like bloggers, you can't judge the skill of a photographer based off of their following on social media. Professional photographers spend the majority of their time shooting, editing and creating rather than focusing on a following through social media. Take the extra step of visiting photographer's websites and portfolios for a more accurate representation of their work and to help decide if they are right for you.

Set Up A Meeting

I truly believe that great photos come from great chemistry, so it's important to try to set up a meeting with a potential photographer than you would like to work with  - even if it's just through Skype or Face Time.

How To Approach A Photographer

I reached out to one of my favourite photographers Bettina Bogar, who is flooded with offers on a daily basis, to see what she looks for when being approached by bloggers. Her first tip was for a blogger to approach professionals through email, not with a DM on social media. The email should include:

  • An Introduction of who you are
  • What type of photos you are looking for 
  • Your timeframe and date you’d like to book (e.g. 4 hours on the March 22nd)
  • The amount of final photos you’d like to have (edited and retouched)
  • Any location ideas you may have
  • What image style you're looking for - for example if you need closeups, beauty shots, outfit shots, etc.
  • What is your ideal turnaround (e.g. the dates you would need the photos by) Be totally honest as to your expectations so your photographer can tell you if it's realistic or not.
  • Your budget. If you don’t have anything in mind, it’s fine, just ask for their hourly rate and any packages that they may have. 

I hope that you found these tips helpful!  Have you ever worked with a professional photographer for your blog?  Have you thought about doing so?  Let me know!

xo Joëlle

All photos by the talented Bettina Bogar


  1. Love these tips! I just started working with one last month and have to agree that I went through the same steps as yours. What we also found helpful was to have a vision before the actual photoshoot for each outfit and know in advance what are some must shots of each outfit we need to have.

    Eleni xo

    1. That's so true Eleni - having a vision is key! Sometimes I even send my outfits over to the photographer so they can get a sense of the mood and feeling of the photos as well! The more communication the better. LOVE your photoshoot by the way! xo

  2. Serious props to any instagram husband, they do such a good job!! Photos look great, and this dress is so feminine and pretty! Love! xx

    1. Thank you so much Courtney! I totally agree - Instagram husbands all need metals! So patient!

  3. These are great tips, Joelle. My fiancé is my Instagram husband as well and he actually bribes me with back massages to shoot! It's also tough having to do all of the creative direction, test shots etc. Jumping behind the camera and then back in front of it takes a lot of time! I've never considered shooting with a professional all the time due to the expense, but I see your point about the cost of professional equipment. Great post!

    1. Thanks so much Krystal, I'm so happy that you like the post! Your IG husband does an AMAZING job - I actually thought that you worked with a professional! Props to him!

  4. So helpful! I have the same anxiety as I can't rely on my hubby to take my photos either! LOL

    1. RIGHT?! It's so hard when you're relying on favours from others! I used to get so anxious every weekend about creating content!

  5. Great tips! I can't wait to get my party manicure done! xx You will like to see more fashion from here.

  6. I love that last photo! I actually usually have my Husband (also called Brian:)) take my blog photos and although he always says he doesn't mind, i'm pretty sure he'd rather be watching the Hockey. I recently started working with a Seattle based Photographer and she's amazing! The photos are fantastic and they really do take my blog to the next level. These are such great tips for anyone wanting to kick their blog up a notch with the photos!


    1. HAHA so funny Ellie, two IG husbands named Brian! I'm so happy that you liked my post and found the tips to be useful! xo

  7. I'm playing serious catch up on my blog roll right I'm late to comment.

    BUT - this is such a great post, with amazing tips. I've never approached a photographer before. Anytime I've worked with one, it wasn't arranged by me, so their aesthetic didn't work for me. I think I should really consider this, but it's tough when you can't "really" afford to pay. Goals FOR SURE though!

    Something About That

    1. HAHA trust me, I have NO business hiring a photographer full-time either! I typically hire a photographer that I trust when I have a paid project (I negotiate the rate of the photog in, so it helps to know their rates first) and if we have time left over then I'll shoot one of my own outfits. Hope that helps!

  8. Beautiful flower pattern I want lovers


  9. Although, digital camera has revolutionized how photos are taken and gives more latitude for photographer to correct their mistakes after the shoot, photographers still need photographic skills and knowledge in order to capture the over here


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