Whether you work for an advertising agency, or a fashion brand, hiring a fashion photographer can be a time-consuming process. You have to browse dozens of portfolios. Schedule creative calls. Search for talented and competent professional photographers. And review creative treatments.
You can easily spend dozens of hours hunting for the right Tampa fashion photographer for your project. But it’s worth every bit of your effort.
Finding a photographer who meshes with your brand’s style and who has the chops to produce the visuals that you need saves you from the frustration of bad, off-brand photos.
What can you expect, though, when hiring a Tampa fashion photographer? What should you be looking for? And how does the process work?
Finding a Tampa Fashion Photographer: What to Look For
How do you go about hiring a fashion photographer? The process typically includes four steps: A search for photographers who work in Tampa, exploring photographer portfolios, a creative call, and a photo treatment.
Following these four steps will help you narrow down your candidate list to only the best. At each step, you should be looking for specific criteria to help you narrow your search.
If you’re new to working with photographers, it can be a challenge to find a professional you trust. But there are some things you should be looking for that can help lead to a fruitful collaboration. So how do you get started?
Sometimes, searching Google for relevant terms, like “fashion photographers Tampa” will yield a list of potential candidates. Recommendations from colleagues are other great sources for leads.
But once you’ve found photographers who work in the area, you’ll want to be looking for some relevant production and creative chops. For example, your photoshoot might require specialized equipment, technique or style – like 1920s Old Hollywood glamour or an old school, low-fi look. Look for photographers who match the creative aesthetic, but who also have the skills to deliver what you want.
This step allows you to take a closer look at your list of Tampa fashion photographers. You’ll be looking for some key elements in the portfolio, including:
Every photographer has a unique style. Some like that gritty, snapshot look. Others specialize in polished fashion portraits or avant garde editorials. Look for a style that works with your brand and concept for the photoshoot. You might not find an exact match. But a photographer’s style should easily translate to your desired result.
Look for different techniques and skills, and ask yourself questions like: How does the photographer experiment with light? Does the photographer use any specialized techniques or perspectives? Do I see the special skill that I need for my project? You want to get a sense of the photographer’s experience level, range and ability.
Okay, so every professional fashion photographer’s portfolio includes their best shots. But do the photos excite and interest you? Do they make you want to call him or her for an interview? They should. Work with photographers whose best work is exciting and memorable.
Most Tampa fashion photographers have portfolio examples online or on Instagram. But for a more detailed look, or if you want to review with a client, you might choose to request a photographer’s book.
The creative call can tell you a lot about the photographer, who they are as a person and how well they articulate their creative vision. But what exactly is a creative call? They differ by ad agency but think of the creative call as a job interview.
You connect with photographers to gauge interest, ask a photographer about his or her approach, and to get a sense of how the photographer will work with your creative team for the shoot. This call is all about building trust. As you interview potential candidates, ask questions about how they work on set, what they like about the project, and how they’ll add value.
A creative treatment from the photographer gives you an idea if he or she really “gets it.” Basically, this is the photographer’s counterpoint to your creative brief. The photographer takes your brief and extrapolates, adding his own design and creative vision.
A solid treatment includes the photographer’s creative ideas for lighting, wardrobe, shots and angles. And for you, this treatment should make you feel confident that A) the photographer completely understands the creative vision and B) that they have the professional skill to meet and exceed expectations.
Tampa’s fashion photography market is competitive. And there are highly qualified fashion photographers for any project. That makes hiring the right photographer a challenge.
These steps, though, can help you identify best candidates and whittle down your selections. Ultimately, by the time you receive treatments you should have a solid idea of who’s the best fit creatively and professionally for your photoshoot.