There are a LOT of fantastic photographers out there, y'all. It's a humbling industry, to say the least. Frankly, however, not every photographer is a good fit for you or for me--we're all unique, and it's important to remember our uniqueness when choosing a professional who will work with something so intimate as your pictorial history.
So...this means, I get it if I'm not the photographer you hire. That's okay. I would love to be, but I understand that's just not how the egg fries every time. Hey, let's still be friends and fans of each other, yeah?!
I've gone photographer shopping a few times myself, and I totally understand it can be a doozy of a job--and you always wonder if you're missing someone great, right?! Here are four easy and thorough ways to discover great photographer talent for your next shoot.
1. WORD OF MOUTH.
Simple as that--ask your friends. Particularly friends who have photos you love! See if they will recommend their family photographer to you. Post a status on facebook, text your circle of BFFs, all that. Word of mouth is a powerful advertising tool, and one upon which many creatives rely heavily!
Hashtags, y'all. They're more than just annoying, they're useful! For instance, if I was looking for a family photographer in my area (and we live in a tiny TINY town, y'all), I'd choose the nearest/largest town and see what I could find: maybe #mckinneyphotographer or #dfwphotographer , for instance. You can also search by specialty, of course: #dallaskidsphotos or #mckinneyseniorportraits , for instance. Don't be afraid to try variations of your hashtag-- photo/photos, or photog/photographer, portraits/photos, etc.
Also, just stalk your friend's pages and see what a little clicking around can get you! I've found the most talented folks by simply allowing myself a few minutes to explore.
This is back to the whole stalking/clicking idea. Find friends with beautiful photos and link back to their photographer! Hopefully everyone gives credit to the artist who shot their photos, so it shouldn't be too difficult.
I put this last because it's the one that we can control the least. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a beautiful thing for businesses, but I think it can feel a little manipulative to customers. Basically, as a business, you can (either be a genius yourself OR) work with some search engine professionals, and, in the end, you can heavily manipulate what sites come up first on a Google (or whatever search engine) search. VERY handy. Not necessarily indicative of talent or value, however. Just bear that in mind as you google about.
The next step is actually CHOOSING a photographer, which is the step I'm much more excited about!! I'll cover that within the next few days. Ciao, y'all!