Finding a professional photographer in your local area needn't be a challenging task. Highlighted below are five tactics that I would recommend when needing to find a commercial photographer near to you or your business.
1. Local Printed Business Directories. Under the category of ‘Commercial and Industrial Photographers’ you are almost certain to find a few suitable and local photographers. Unless of course you live in a particularly rural region where you might need to search a bit further a field. Many commercial photographers opt out of paid printed directories since the proliferation of online directories that often prove to be a far more fruitful investment, therefore I highly recommend that you conduct an internet search as well so not to overlook these photographers.
2. Many of these printed directories can now be found online, often with fuller and more comprehensive listings. Here you'll find both free and paid for listings normally with a convenient link back to the photographers home page. The major advantage over the traditional printed directories is of course choice, but all this choice can sometimes be overwhelming. A good tip is to only search for commercial photographers in your locality as you'll find the bulk of these listings will be mainly made up of wedding and family portrait photographers.
3. Google, Yahoo, Ask, MSN, Bing ETC. Any commercial photographer serious about their profession will have a suitable web site and will pay considerable attention to their online presence. Therefore, just like when searching for any other local business, a quick browse on your favourite search engine will no doubt give you a healthy choice of photographers. Try typing ‘commercial photographer yourlocation’ into Google and you should be presented with a good selection. If you to live in a location that doesn't have a great deal of photographers, like certain rural areas, then you may need to broaden your search to a local city or large town. Some commercial photographers may appear in the ‘sponsored listing’ area but do also make sure you check out some of the ‘organic’ results listed underneath or to the left, as you may be overlooking a few great photographers that don't subscribe to search engine advertising.
4. Professional Photographic Bodies. AOP (Association Of Photographers), MPA (The Master Photographers Association) and the BIPP (British Institute of professional Photography) to name a few here in the UK. Most web sites of these professional bodies will list commercial photographers working in your local region and might provide you with some useful information on all aspects of finding and commissioning photography. Be aware that although lots of photographers understandably like to be a part of these clubs and associations, many don't. Not because they aren't professional or acclaimed in their field but simply because they don't like or feel comfortable with such memberships. Also being a member of such bodies does not guarantee quality, reliability or any professional code of conduct; it just suggests that those photographers listed subscribe to it in principal. So don't ignore or be unconvinced by non-members!
5. The fifth and final method of sourcing out any suitable tradesman is through word of mouth A highly praised personal recommendation from a trusted source is worth it's weight in gold. Try asking fellow business owners, be they friends, neighbours or fellow golf club members who they have used in the past; most importantly would they use them again? Of course the photographer they hired might not be suited to your brief, maybe you're looking for a more contemporary style or maybe their fees are just out of your budget.
All of these search options have both there merits and there downfalls, therefore I would strongly recommend that you employ a combination. Don't do as so many people do and just book the first photographer you find, keep your eyes and your choices open at this stage and draw up a shortlist of potential photographers before carefully comparing and ultimately selecting the one that is right for your specific project.
Photographer in Northampton with over 14 years experience of professional photographic practise. Supplying high quality creative photography to Kettering , Wellingborough, Corby and all Northamptonshire.