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Best tips for hiring a professional photographer

How do you choose the right professional photographer and photographic studio for you? At Alise Black Photographic Studios we have combined our 40 years knowledge of the photographic industry to give you some of the best tips to hiring a professional photographer!

1. Most importantly do you like the professional photography shown to you via a wide range of sample images?

This is the key step to finding the right photographer to suit you. If you look at the professional photographers vast collection of images, does it create a sense of personal style and quality. Are you emotionally connected to any images through thinking the work is beautiful, or cool, does it have any wow!?

2. How do you decipher who is a professional photographer worth spending your hard earned money with and who is a amateur, overpricing their work?

The photographic industry is an unregulated industry so buyer be warned. There are tens of thousands of photographers listed and anyone who owns and operates a camera can be considered a photographer - I even consider my 7 year old niece a great photographer, however I wouldn't hire her to do a professional photography shoot for me. Amateurs have basic levels of training, if any at all. Professionals have studied their craft for 2-4 years through specialised Professional Photography courses at Tafe or University and generally spend years working with other pro photographers to gain experience and knowledge.

3. Stay away from the gimmicks and tricks that have damaged this wonderful art form since the 80's!

During the 'glamour photography' rage in the 1980's, many photography companies set up tricks to gain clients and unfortunately some of these 'tricks' still exist in some studios today - again, we caution that this is a unregulated industry. Large offers of exurbanite value are offered to the client as a perceived valued prize. The said awful studio doesn't have a prior pricing guide and this isn't made available publically or isn't discussed prior to client's attending a photographic sessions. The result is the client is blindsided by the cost. Studios that do this and give the industry a bad name are unethical, misleading and pray on the naivety of a customer.

I am proud to say that during the course of my professional photography career, beginning in 1997 at the age of 17, I have always used a helpful price guide. Prior to any private session, the client's of Alise Black Photographic Studios are given a pricelist with payment options. This is critical when selecting a professional photography service. Whilst you may not know how much you will invest, at least you understand through the public price guide, your expectation of the image price/s and payment options. We strongly caution any consumer to walk blindly into any photography experience without a spend expectation and guide.

4. When working with a photographic studio, check who your photographer is going to be!

When viewing photography studio galleries, it is easy to get caught up in viewing the work and being excited about the amazing experience you are going to have. Make sure you know who's work you are looking at when you are choosing the photography company. Are you going to see that person or their amateur assistant? What is the quality of the work of that particular artist? Professional Photography is an art form that is subjective - what may appeal to one, may not to another. A professional photographers 'style' is as unique as the imagery they create!

5. If hiring commercially, what camera equipment is the professional photographer using? Ensure you receive a full breakdown of items including terms and conditions to allow for no budget blow outs.

6. Does the photographer have public testimonials, not just a few friends commenting about them (a range of social media sites and review sits) are these new or old? Older testimonials will show history, especially if they are consistent in either praise or negative reviews. Whilst it is normal for a business to have at least one negative review, read how the review was responded to. Was it a response that was reasonable. Was the client’s request reasonable. Has the photographer been around awhile. Positive, negative ratio??

7. Does the professional photographer have a studio? Does it meet your requirements?

Check the professional photographer has a reputable place of business with a Australian Business Name and number. No?, then move on and keep looking. Our studios in Sydney and Melbourne are stunning professional, clean spaces.

8. Is the Photographer registered with a working with children check? This is a government requirement for the photography industry and includes a police check. The professional photographer may not work with children however most will have this to cover themselves professionally. All our staff are registered at Alise Black Photographic Studios. 9. Does the studio employ a friendly team? Do they make you feel comfortable from the first contact? 10. Like, love, appreciate the quality of the work! This is essential to ensuring your photography shoot is of the same quality. I hope these little tips help you navigate the world of professional photography. It is one that I am very proud to be apart of. Wishing you the very best in life, love and happiness. We hope to see you at the studio soon! Best,


Alise Black Professional Photographer | HMUA | Designer Alise Black Photographic Studios | Sydney & Melbourne

Shot on location in the Kimberly WA by Alise Black

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