So your super pumped to do a photoshoot and showcase all of the hard work, sweat and tears you’ve put into your physique? Sounds simple right? Well it can be, but you should make sure you take the right steps to ensure you maximize your investment. Thats right, I said investment. A photoshoot should be looked at as an investment. Its an investment of your time, trust and money. The pictures you take away from the photoshoot can be useful for many things… . You may be looking for photos to market yourself on social media, your website, your portfolio or for magazine submissions. Therefore, you are putting money towards an “investment” for yourself. So what should you look for when choosing a photographer? Here are 5 Things :
1) DETERMINE YOUR GOAL OF THE SHOOT
Knowing what your goal of the shoot is will help you decide what type of photographer you want to shoot with. If a photographer is associated to a magazine that you are interested in submitting to, then its a great idea to shoot with that photographer to help make an introduction. Knowing what your goals of the shoot are will also help determine if you need to shoot at a studio, gym or another location to achieve the end result. Every photographer has different skill sets and their own “style” that they shoot in. This should be considered to ensure that you end up with the picture types that you are interested in.
Above: Photographer Dave Laus on set shooting at the Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta. PHOTO CREDIT: Anil Somaia
2) DO YOUR RESEARCH
There are a lot of photographers out there, as with every profession, some are great, some not so great, some are honest some not so honest.
-Try googling the photographer… Do they have a website that you can get information from? The internet is a powerful tool to search and get information, and most likely if someone has had an issue with a photographer, they have posted somewhere about it.
-Speak to others who have shot with the photographer. If someone has had a good experience with a photographer, then they should have no problem giving you first hand information on that good experience. On the flip side, if you notice that models have the same, repetitive comments about a photographer that are actually quoted on the picture itself with photoshop, the photographer most likely did that themselves and there is a reason for it.
-If a photographer promotes that they are associated to a certain magazine, check out the magazine and see if they are listed under the photographers heading In that particular magazine. Theres nothing wrong with contacting the magazine and double checking if the photographer is really a employed by them, a contributor or associated to them. That being said, make sure that if they say they work for a magazine, that it really is a magazine. There are websites posing as magazines out there. Do your research, just because they title it a “magazine” doesn’t mean it really is.
-Be careful of promises. Marketing requirements are always changing for magazines, so if you are promised print by someone, ensure that the magazine or someone from the magazine confirms that promise. Nothing is a guarantee. There are too many factors that can change a magazine’s requirement to guarantee someone publication.
The main purpose of doing your research is to establish credibility. You could be spending a lot of money on this shoot, and you want to make sure you are getting your money’s worth and doing your research will be your insurance.
3) PRICING & PACKAGING
The fitness industry can be quite expensive. Just training for a show, you have to spend large amounts of money on food, supplements, gym memberships, competition suits, tanning, coaches & personal training.. I could keep going… So you spend all that money for your big day on stage… No matter where you place, you’ve still won, you made it there, and it wasn’t cheap! So why would you cheap out on your photoshoot around that time? The photoshoot will be able to showcase your hard work for many years to come. Cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean better. There is a reason some photographers are pricing their work at the pricing that they give you. So you should not base your photographer choice solely on pricing, because you will only be disappointed in the end. Spend the extra money and shoot with the RIGHT photographer that will achieve your goals as mentioned above.
Check to see what the pricing package you are purchasing or quoted on includes. How many edits are included? What is the cost of additional edits? How many looks or hours of shooting time are included? Do you get a copy of all of the pictures taken? When will you get the pictures from the shoot? Are you getting watermarked proofs or, as is, straight out of the camera? Do you get any high resolution or print ready pics? What else is included? These are all important questions that you should know the answers to.
4) HAIR & MAKE UP
Some photographers have their own Hair & Make Up artists, some will leave the hair & make up decision to you. This is also an area that you shouldn’t cheap out on. Its always a great idea to have a hair and make up artist that will stay on set and change up your looks throughout the shoot and do touch ups as required. Make sure that when you choose your photographer, you know if hair & make up is included with the package and if the artist is going to stay on set with you throughout the shoot. More importantly, if you are being told you are getting Professional Hair & Make Up, make sure that you really are getting a Professional artist. There are ALOT of Hair & Make up artists out there… do your research, make sure you are getting someone that is credible with your package. Make Up & Hair will have a dramatic effect on your pictures. Remember again, cheaper is not necsessarily better, quality comes at a price.
Its a good idea to find out where the photographer shoots their clients. Do they shoot at a studio? Or do they shoot out of a basement? I’m not saying that one option is better then the other, however you should check out the environment that you will be shooting in. The “vibe” of the environment will effect your comfort and overall experience during the shoot. Also, for safety reasons, you want to know that you are shooting out of a safe location. Does the location the photographer uses have access to props or equipment you need in your pictures? These are all things you should check out and consider when making your choice of photographer.
Some people are under the misconception that they always have to shoot with the same photographer, but it is good idea to diversify your portfolio by shooting with various photographers to give you different styles, backgrounds and shoot content. Take some time and consideration into these things before you choose a photographer. It could effect your marketing plans, publishing opportunities, financial costs and most importantly, your safety.
Have a great day!!! 🙂