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 PhotographerI 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!
All photos by the talented Bettina Bogar