How to Choose a Professional Photographer

October 07, 2015

 The obvious starting point is a Google search but is this good enough?  You will instantly find many people advertising themselves as professional photographers but because there are no government standards regulating who can set up as a professional photographer how do you weed out the wannabes and weekend warriors from the true professionals?

I'd suggest that a true professional is one who has undergone formal photography education (I'm not talking about one short course but rather a uni degree or TAFE Diploma) and has suitable experience in the field of photography applicable to your needs.  He/she should also have a proven track record - a portfolio of previous professional work together with client references etc - and a formal business structure (ABN, ACN) with insurances.  In other words, if you are using Google you need to do your own due diligence.  After all, anyone can buy a half decent camera and simply push a button, can't they?

However, there is a much simpler and safer alternative.  You can look for members of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography.  The AIPP have strict standards and ethics and have done this due diligence for you.  Indeed you could go straight to their website and use their Find A Photographer search function. Choosing your photographer from this source will give you a high degree of comfort that any member you choose is a true professional - you can have a look at my profile here (type chamberlain in the Search by Name field).  A great feature of Find a Photographer is that you can search by location, style of photography and name - a refined Google search so to speak.

This search will give you a "short list" of qualified candidates.  You can then look at each one's body of work and presentation to get a "feel" for the one who is the right fit for you. When searching for a photographer look for AIPP accreditation and photography industry awards such as Kevin Chamberlain, winner of NSW AIPP Commercial Photographer of 2015.NSW AIPP Professional Commercial Photographer of the Year 2015When searching for a photographer look for AIPP accreditation and photography industry awards