Finding a suitable photographer for your small business can be a frustrating challenge – and that’s not an understatement. It’s sort of like trying to find a new hair stylist. There are those that deliver good services that come with horrendously expensive price tags. Those that offer cheap rates that match the services they deliver. Still, there are some that have steep rates but you end up with a disappointingly drab hairstyle. And finally, you find someone that gives you reasonable rates – and you walk away with a hairstyle that you love.
It can be a trial and error process, but when you’re running a small business you don’t have the luxury of time – and budget – for a lot of hits and misses. So how do you ensure your best chances of hiring a professional photographer who has rates you can afford, but at the same time can deliver the kind of quality you need? Here are some important things to take note of.
- Look into photography organizations.
Instead of randomly choosing a photographer and hoping he’ll produce great photos for you, you can cut your search time significantly by first looking into a photography organization. The Photographic Society of Malaysia (PSM), for instance, is an established group with their guidelines and code of ethics set in place. When you already have an organization, you can then make a shortlist of photographers depending on what you need. Most photographers have a particular niche they focus on, so your business will determine the best photography category for you. Wedding and events? Products? Portraits?
- Familiarize yourself with copyright.
Out of all the aspects you need to take into consideration when hiring a photographer, figuring out who owns the copyright to the images can be one of the most confusing. Just to make it clear: unless you have a written and signed contract for a work-for-hire arrangement, the photographer will have the ownership rights to the images. So if you want to repeatedly use the photos for your digital marketing strategies without any conflict, it’s best to have a contract before your project starts. Remember that a photographer’s job is not only to press the shutter button; it’s to utilize his years of experience in combining lighting, positioning, and post-processing in order to turn your vision into reality.
- Factor in unexpected costs in your budget.
Your photography project doesn’t end with just hiring a photographer, and the same goes for your budget. Therefore, you would do well to have at least a buffer fund for those unexpected expenses that may – and will – crop up during the course of the work. Don’t forget that you’re already investing to get quality photos for your content marketing. The last thing you want is to end up with less-than-polished pictures because you opt to do away with renting a studio, getting appropriate props, or having a team help the photographer.
Photography can go a long way in helping to determine the success – or failure – of your digital marketing, no matter what industry you are in. So it’s crucial that you view it as an investment for your business because it really is. Have you tried hiring a photographer before? How was the experience? Share with us in the comments.