How to find the best portrait photographer

I have been taking photographs for 5 years, and so I am aware of the incredible number of photographers out there, and the large range of photographic artwork content available.  With so many options in such a diverse field, how will you be able to find the photographer who can perfectly visualise your own image?  Fortunately, you do not have to spend hours on end searching for this one individual.  Below I have highlighted a few tips and tricks in order to help you in your quest for photographic perfection. 

The Basics…and Beyond.

Firstly, is it very important to find a photographer who knows how to use their own equipment.  This may seem intuitive, but I am constantly amazed at the vast number of blurred or overexposed images I see being marketed by photographers.  People tend to buy very expensive gear and assume that the quality of the camera will determine the quality of the photo.  Unfortunately, this is a pipe dream; excellent photos require excellent gear AND excellent photography skills!   

    Once you can trust the basic skills of the photographer, you can then explore further; have a look at their portfolio.  This work contains the best of their best!  By admiring a small sample of someones images, you won’t be overwhelmed by hundreds of similar looking photos.  Portfolios allow people to differentiate between different photographers, and to understand the vision of the person behind thecamera lens.  What will catch your eye?  Look for interesting cropping, blasts of colour, or intense black and white shots.  Has one photographer approached a topic in a completely different way to another?  Immerse yourself in creativity!  Look for something you connect with.  Look for quality!  

Don’t Be Afraid To Spend a Little More.

Money, money, money… Show me the money!  I understand it is tempting to want to spend as little as possible when buying photographic portraits, but unfortunately the majority of high quality images will come with a reasonably high price tag!  However, it will always be better to invest in a photograph you love, than spend money on an image which fails to capture exactly what you wanted out of the shoot.  Invest in yourself and your vision! Whats important for you matters. You should never compromise. 

Let’s Get Personal.

Despite my above advise, there are some things money just can’t buy, and this is where the crucial connection between photographer and subject really matters.  The role of a photographer is to not only take pictures, but to also listen to the person in front of the lens, in the hopes that they may understand them more fully.  This will help the photographer to capture the true essence of that person on film.  Furthermore, a comfortability should exist between the two; only when the subject feels comfortable enough to share their emotions with the photographer will truly personal and distinctive photos be created.

Piotr Skoczylas

Piotr Photography, Cardiff

Cardiff based surreal portrait photographer. Being different makes a difference.