Whether it's for a wedding, senior portraits or to capture your pet's love for you, choosing a photographer is a difficult process. After all, how do you know you will like the end result?
It isn't only about a gut feeling. Or choosing the one around the corner. It's not a point-and-pick in the Google results.
No, before you choose, you should research the potential candidates.
Not sure how to do that? No worries! For every photographer you consider, research the list below. The one that matches your views on every subject, is the perfect photographer for your needs. And that might not be the one around the corner. Or even in the same town.
How to choose the perfect equine photographer for you
Specialist vs Generalist
This is the first step when looking for the right photographer: do you want a generalist or a specialist?
A generalist shoots for everyone who books him: senior, newborn, weddings, branding, ... , he does it all. And he probably does an ok job.
The specialist specifically chooses a preferred subject and thus has more in-depth knowledge of that subject. It is most likely also something they care very deeply about. This will elevate their photography to the next level.
Especially for equine photography, the photographer needs an extra skill set: the understanding and the know-how of how to handle the horse. I can tell you from experience: chances are the equine photographer's entire life revolves around horses.
Horses are majestic animals. They also have the temperament of a tired toddler: a temper tantrum is right around the corner. Every corner.
Choosing a photographer with experience in handling horses will make the experience so much more relaxed for you.
Think about the following situation: You want to adjust something on your outfit, or maybe you need to fetch something you forgot in the barn. Would you let just any photographer hold your horse for you?
I didn't think so ...
The above leads to this.
A photographer with relevant experience will expect the unexpected. And not just that, she will come prepared for just that. She will have tricks up her sleeve and tools in the trunk of her car.
Trust her, she knows.
Does your horse finally have that dreaded tantrum? Is she refusing to put her ears up?
No fuss, your photographer knows the struggle and has been through it numerous times (my Sophie never put her ears up when I tried to photograph her #thestruggleisreal). But most of all, she has the patience to deal with it. The only thing you have to do is keep smiling and your photographer will get that shot you really wanted.
While a photographer without horse handling experience might be secretly fed up with the whole situation by this time, your experienced horse photographer will only just laugh off that 'naughty' behavior and joke about it. The tension you might feel will be deflected and the session is still going ... as expected.
When you finally decide to go ahead and have that photo session, you probably have a certain style in mind. Do you want dreamy images? Or maybe you want bold and powerful? Heavily photoshopped or natural?
No matter what you like, make sure to check out the portfolio of the photographer you have in mind to see if their style matches what you have in mind.
There are two types of photographers. And remember, there's no good or bad here, it all depends on your needs and your budget.
First, there's the shoot-and-burn photographer. They will take ready-to-go images (often JPEG and auto mode). The images are generic in style and you will get the digital images for next to nothing. The images are often only suited for small prints. These photographers are able to keep the price low because they do little to no work on the images and their workflow is as low-cost as possible.
Then there is the 'boutique' photographer. These photographers shoot in RAW, the image is then transferred to quality editing software where the wow factor is perfected. The photographer will then export the image for optimum viewing across a variety of media, including large prints. A boutique photographer will then advise you on the best media taking into account your wishes, your interior decor, and last but not least, the image. Because they put so much love and time in your images, they will be on the higher end. After all, they are creating art with you.
This might be my last bullet point but, in my opinion, it is the most important.
After a lot of Googling, you finally found the perfect equine photographer. She checks all the boxes above. So how do you know you will have a connection with this photographer? After all, she will have to capture an important part of your life.
The best way is to research all the media she shares her work on, browse her Facebook, Instagram, website, ... . And don't forget to check out the Google reviews.
Let's start with social media. The best way to get to know a photographer is to interact regularly with them on their pages. Don't just like but post comments, ask questions. They will happily get back to you.
Another way is to check out the website and read the blog. Most photographers will share more in-depth information on their blog. In the end, you can only write so much in a social media caption. Reading the blog will give you a good idea of what is important to them.
Time to choose!