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5 Tips for Finding the Perfect Photographer for YOU in 2024

If you’ve been even remotely plugged into the photography world as of late, you’ll have heard about “sepia bride” aka an incredibly dissatisfied client nightmare. The basics of the story are this:

  • a photographer with a particular style was hired for a wedding

  • the photo gallery was delivered to the bride, but over time she realized she didn’t like them

  • the bride proceeds to make a serious of videos online to complain about the style of the photos, internet chaos ensues

Since then, there has been a nauseating amount of discussion about who was right and who was wrong. Do I have an opinion? Not really, but I did learn a lesson:

Choosing the right photographer is a process.

Some people just want some quick photos with a basic edit, and that’s fine! Other folks want a full studio experience with surreal photo results at the end, also great! Whatever you want, I’ve compiled my top 5 tips for making sure you find the right photographer for YOUR dream job. Use these and you won’t become the next most hated person on the internet, I promise.

How to Find a Good Photographer for YOUR Needs: 5 Helpful Tips

Click each tip for more info and red flags to look out for!

Get neck deep into their portfolio

And make sure they HAVE a portfolio. Any photographer worth your time and money will have a portfolio that demonstrates what they currently offer. My personal style has evolved over the years, so I make sure my portfolio reflects that as it evolves.

Red Flags to Look Out For:

  • No portfolio, no website, not updated and active social media - if you can’t find their work ANYWHERE online, and if they can’t show you any recent work, run.

  • They’re a much newer photographer without work - I see a lot of folks looking for new photographers for cheaper work, but be careful about doing this. If you have a specific vision in mind, you’ll want to work with someone who can absolutley execute it. All of us were new once, but our strength as seasonsed, professional photographers is being able to deliver consistent results.

  • No consistency in portfolio - All of their photos don’t have to look the same, but they should have a level of quality that is consistent. so you can trust that your photos will come out how you expect.

  • They use other people’s photos to advertise - This happens more than you think! Especially with online promotions. Many times, photographers will use inspo photos from pinterest or other photographers to advertise. It means they haven’t photographed that style, so you don’t actually know if they’ll be able to deliver that level of result

Read the “About Me” Page

Most of us as photographers are just a regular person doing all the work to run our businesses, so our About Pages are very much sincere. We want to make sure you’re comfortable, so we share information about ourselves that we think will help you make a good decision.

Red Flags to Look Out For:

  • Generic information that feels salesy - A sincerely written about page will have unique information about the photographer. It will help you get insight into their personality and what they’re looking for a in a client. It also shows that your photographer has invested time in making sure you can find information about them.

Request an Initial Consultation

Most photographers will offer this anyway, but if they don’t, ask! This is a free session to help you get all your pressing questions answered. This time can also help you get to know more about the photographer’s demeanor and personality.

Read the Reviews

Photographers will usually include testimonials on their website, but see what people are saying about them in other places. Google reveiws, Yelp, and even tagged clients in photos can help you determine what it is like to work with a certain photographer. There are also whole facebook groups dedicated to flagging dangerous/predatory photographers.

Look for Them on Multiple Platforms

Your photographer may have a ton of followers, but that doesn’t actually tell you much except that they’re good at marketing. If you want to get to know them more personally, see how they interact on websites like Facebook, Threads, or X. If they have a presence on these sites, you’ll usually see how they talk about clients. If your photographer doesn’t have any social media at all, that’s ok too! We all market differently and have different capacities, so social media doesn’t make sense for everyone.

Red Flags to Look For

  • No functioning website or booking process - this usually suggests that the photographer is newer and/or hasn’t invested in creating a smooth process for clients.

  • Interacts rudely with commenters - If your photographer has a ton of followers and they’re in the comments being kind of horrible, that’s definitely a red flag.

There’s a lot going on in the world right now - the descent of American democracy, unbearable housing costs, state-funded genocide, and of course, sepia bride. It can feel weird to focus on capturing memories at a time like this, but remember - every generation has the joy of witnessing world-changing events. So get the photos and have a good time, ok? Just make sure you take these tips with you to a find a photographer that you actually love working with.


Hi there, I'm Chloe

Black woman photographer, mom to an applesauce-obsessed toddler, and cheerleader for every woman who's decided to love herself unconditionally.


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