Monday, August 3, 2009

Finding a professional photographer 101

A girl asked me recently: How do you find a professional photographer?

Sometimes you have to actually "work" and put "effort" into finding a good photographer.

In this digital and Internet-age it is harder and harder for a girl to find professionalism and the last place she should look is "the Internet". Here are my thoughts on the struggles of finding a "professional photographer."

You want to work with someone with a photography business, not just a camera. To get something for "free" is another story and many girls do, and make photography mistakes by not working with a professional and doing these sketchy TFP things, and it is harder when you only use the web to find photographers on social sites. So skip that. You will typically only find amateur photographers instead.

It is better to approach a headshot photographer, a photographer that has a full time photography business and these days even the yellow pages are more legit than the crap on the Internet. Or you could call the print agency you want to work with an ask if they can refer to a photographer. Or you could call an acting school as well. The first shots an aspiring model needs for print modeling is:
1. headshot
2. a full body shot that shows your personality/smile, like an ad for a cell phone co.

A professional photographer typically will also have “photo packages” listed on their website as well.

It is ok to invest in yourself and pursuits. When you are looking for that "free ride" it can lead to major mistakes, letdowns and bad photos.

No one said finding quality was easy or cheap. Finding quality and professional’s takes time, and work, and the easy route, the short-cut can lead to a mess in amateur-land. In modeling your photos are your life line so aim high. Don’t settle just for “any old amateur with a camera” you will mostly get crap from it. I have had my bad experiences and I am sharing the ‘safer and quickest route” because you could spend “years” dealing with amateurs, and bad photography. These days in a world where so many girls want to be models you have to strive to create the best photography you can, and you have to cerate shots that WILL help you. Not just make you “another chick with her photo taken.”

A cheaper option: You could also go to a photography school or college and strive to work with students as well. A person who “knows the craft of photography” and “knows lighting” is best.

An actor leans about the important of a headshot in acting school; a girl who wants to model on the other hand tends to go to the Internet sign up for a model-site to show off her random pics but then never finds quality because all there is to mingle with is amateurs on the web. It is best to focus on getting in front of a professional photographer’s lens. Shooting “just for the heck of it, or for the “amateur” photographers pleasure is a waste of time as well. Many girls fall trap to these unfortunately.

The higher you aim to work with someone who “knows the craft of photography” the better. You wouldn’t want any random person giving you a gynecologist exam, so have the same standards with the photography you do and the photographer you choose. I am serious.

Having high standards is also a big part. If you just want photos you might end up getting crap so instead want "great photos" and aim to work with a professional photographer. Someone who knows how to work the camera, not just take a picture.

I hope this helps.

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