Eric's Photography Corner - Easy Photography Tips and Tricks

Happy Family - How to choose a great photographer by ESP PhotographicThe time has come. A time that is special and you want to cherish the moment. Time to find a photographer!  With family portraits, weddings, new babies in the family and other milestones of life, the old point’n’shoot just doesn’t do these moments justice and we need something more.

With the recent revolution of digital photography, it has become increasingly easier for the unskilled enthusiast to get their hands on a nice camera with professional potential and call themselves a pro photographer.  In a good light, this has upped the game of photographers everywhere because the competition has become so fierce.  For those trying to find their most suited photographer however, it has become quite difficult to find the cream of the crop amongst the chaff.

These 10 essential tips will ensure that you aren’t trapped in the common pitfalls of the process and will help you choose the photographer best suited for the job. (This list is in no particular order because each tip weighs differently on the scale of importance for different people.)

1:  Referral Check

This seems quite simple but you can’t beat word of mouth referrals.  Ask your friends if they know of a good photographer.  Even though they might have a great photo on the wall, you will soon learn if they had a good experience, if the cost was over inflated, if the photographer was good with kids etc…

Rotten egg photographers can’t survive in this thread of discovery because people want to either share great experiences, or protect their friends from bad commerce.  (Unfortunately, there are many other ways sub-standard photographers survive but we’ll cover how to detect them in the next nine tips!)

2:  Portfolio Check – Quality Control

I could write an entirely separate blog about this topic and how to detect crummy pictures!  I’ll give you the 5 top ways to detect bad photos to get you going.

a. Is the image properly exposed?  If it’s under exposed, you will have overpowering darks and shadows with muted tones and no highlights to capture your attention.  Overexposed images will have burnt-out white highlights where you really should be seeing detail.

Good and Bad Exposure Photography by ESP Photographic

b. Photo conversions – Every photographer worth their weight should be able to convert the photos to black and white, sepia, etc… Are your photographer’s conversions inspiring or just sort of…average?

Girl holding twin babies - Good and Bad Black and White Photography by ESP Photographic

c. Saturation and Sharpness – Although these are two separate adjustments, I group them together because novice photographers have a tendency to seriously overcook both of them!  When colors look unnaturally bright they can overpower the photo.  Also over sharpened photos create what seem to be outlines around everything in the photo.

Girl in bluebell field - Over-saturated over-sharpened photography by ESP Photographic
In the first photo, the image has been over-saturated causing flushed skin-tones, and over-sharpened. In the second photo, the editing process has not been overdone.

Click Page 2 below to continue!