Pictures say a thousand words, especially in blogging. I’m sharing tips for how to hire a blog photographer at home or while traveling.
Let me start by saying they are truly a blessing, once you find the right one of course. Once I first started this blog I went back and forth between taking pictures with my tripod and my husband taking my pictures. I’m gonna keep it real because that’s what I do here – my tripod photos were trash. Not because the outfits weren’t cute, I just didn’t know what I was doing. I started out with a point and shoot camera and had no idea had to use it. The photos were blurry and sometimes the lighting was bad.
After about 2 years, I upgraded to a Nikon DSLR and a year after that a Canon DSLR. I still have that Canon DSLR that I shoot with from time to time and the pictures turn out great. Even though I have a DSLR camera with great lenses, it’s easier for me to team up with photographers when I’m at home or when we’re traveling so that I’m able to churn out high-quality visual content for blog posts at a faster rate. Plus, I’m all for delegating these days.
I already have a great blog but I knew that I needed to step up the quality of my photos. I put off finding a photographer for a long time for so many reasons but mostly because of the cost. Trust me, it’s worth it. Another reason I wanted to find a photographer because I needed to make things easier for me. Working with a blog photographer allows me to focus more on planning the photoshoot and creating content that you all love to see. I can focus more on writing and coming up with ideas. It also means that not only do I have to struggle with a tripod or directing my husband on the right shoot angles, it means that I don’t have to worry about editing photos for every blog post either.
I’ve been lucky enough to work with a lot of photographers over the years, both really great and really bad. I wanted to share some tips for how to find a blog photographer that nails every session and will create those eye-catching photos to make people stop scrolling on Instagram.
How to Find a Blog Photographer That Nails Every Session
1. Search using hashtags on Instagram
Social media is a great tool. Don’t be afraid to use it. Instagram is one of the number one ways that I find photographers. It’s how I found the photographer that I shoot with now and how I find photographers when we’re traveling. Typically when we’re traveling it’s hard to get all three of us in a good shot together so I like to hire a photographer that is based in the city that we’re traveling to. I do this for a couple of reasons. Using a photographer based in the city you’re traveling to has advantages. They will know all of the best places in the city, what time the lighting is best, what the weather is like, etc.
If we’re traveling to New York, I’ll search #NewYorkPhotographer and scour through the hashtag until I see a photo that draws my attention. Once I’ve found a couple of different photos I’ll bookmark the pictures and create a collection with the photographers so I remember who to reach out to.
2. Google them
Google is a great resource for searching for photographers as well. It’s a little more time intensive because you have to go through each site but I’ve been successful at finding photographers through a quick Google search.
3. Reach out to your favorite photographers
If you have a photographer whose work you love, reach out to them. If they haven’t worked with bloggers before, there’s no reason why they wouldn’t. Shoot them an email with exactly what you’re looking for and see what they say. The worst that could happen is they say no or they are booked on the date you’re interested in. Most photographers haven’t worked with bloggers before because typically bloggers tend to work with the same people.
The first photographer that I ever worked with for my blog, Nassimbeni Photography (this shoot here and here was done by Karen), had never worked with bloggers before. I simply reached out to her via email and let her know that I was interested in shooting with her for my blog because I loved her work. I wanted to shoot 3 looks in an hour and we were able to come to an arrangement.
4. Ask other bloggers for recommendations
If you’re just starting out with shooting with a photographer for your blog, don’t be afraid to ask other bloggers for recommendations. Most bloggers are willing to share who they use for their photography. Some even tag their photographer in all of their photos because it’s a part of their contract.
The next step is to reach out after you’ve narrowed down your photographer search. When you’re scrolling through IG and going through the search process, make sure that the photographer’s aesthetic matches your brand. Some photographers may find it offensive if you ask them to edit photos differently than their style. Luckily, I haven’t come across this yet but I’ve heard of this happening.
11 Questions to Keep in Mind When Reaching Out
When you’re ready to reach out, these are a few of the questions you’ll want to ask:
1. What camera and lens do you shoot with? (only if you’re an advanced blogger and have a preference will this matter. If not, skip to the next questions)
2. How long does it take to shoot one look?
3. Are you open to batch shooting? (Batch shooting is shooting more than one look/subject at a time. I typically shoot 4 looks in 1 hour.)
4. What’s your turnaround time for editing?
5. How many photos do I get of each look?
6. How much notice in advance do you need to schedule a session?
7. What are your rates? (I’ve paid per look and per hour when working with photographers. When paying per look I’ve paid anywhere from $20 – $30 per look. Per hour, I’ve paid $30 – $125 per hour. Personally, I would not pay more than $150 per hour for a blog photography session where I shoot 4 looks in an hour but that’s just me. Once the price point increases above that, it’s no longer cost effective for me because I shoot so often.)
8. How experienced are they? (You can typically tell this by their work. Trust your gut. If you don’t like the look of their IG feed, website, or overall aesthetic – move on to the next photographer. I’ve learned this the hard way. If you don’t like the result of their past work, you’re more than likely not going to like the look of photos they shoot for you.)
9. Do I have full rights to the photos?
10. Do you agree that I will post all of the photos first? (This is important because sometimes a campaign/client will require that the influencer post the photos first.)
11. What type of credit do I need to give when posting photos? (Tagging social media pages, website, etc.)
After you’ve found the right blog photographer to nail every session, you’re ready to shoot! Here’s a few blog photography tips to get ready for your next session with your new photographer.
Photos by Emma Shourds Photography
Let me know if you have any questions about how to find a blog photographer. I can give a couple of recommendations for Orlando, Dallas, and South Florida too!