Best Photographer Melbourne - Nik Epifanidis, headshots, actor headshot photography Melbourne

Best Photographer in Melbourne

Things to keep in mind when searching for the Best Photographer in Melbourne

Regardless of the service we always want to find the best people for the job. Finding the best photographer for your project can seem like a daunting task especially if you have never used one before. With a bit of research and the right strategy, you should be able to find the best photographer for your project.

Remember to follow some basic rules, and you should be able to find the best photographers in Melbourne that have the right skills for your job.

1: Do your research

The value of doing research is that you can check as many photographers as you like and rule out those you think are not suitable. Check their websites and social media accounts to get an idea of the work they do and their style. Ask colleagues for referrals or even ask some of their previous clients for their opinions. It is unfortunate that in these times there are a lot of people running around with cameras calling themselves professional. This is one of the reasons why the AIPP ( Australian Institute of Professional Photographers ) created a database of all their accredited professional photographers. You can go straight to the AIPP website and search for Pro. At least here you will be sure to find a photographer whose status has been formally validated and recognised by a professional body. See links below

Like most professions, there are specialists within the profession, and this is also very true of most professional photographers. Generally, you will find the best photographers in Melbourne will have an area that they specialise in and where they have gained most of their experience. This might be wedding photography or portraiture, interiors, product etc. When searching for a photographer for a particular project you need to keep this in mind. There is no point finding a wedding photographer and asking them to shoot some product for you. They may be willing to do it, but this should raise some questions about how experienced they are in this area. I’m not saying there aren’t photographers out there that are well versed in a lot of different genres but the photographer who is willing to do anything at the lowest price is usually a red flag.

2: Ask the right questions

Once you have found someone that you think you are happy with, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

How long have they been in business? Check that they are the full-time professional photographer and not just a hobbyist. The difference is usually chalk and cheese. Also, don’t sell yourself short by basing your decision on the cheapest price. Would you go to a trainee doctor???.

Who are their clients? Ask if it is ok to contact one of their existing clients to get some feedback. If they have a good solid client base, they won’t mind.

Do they belong to any professional organisations like the AIPP ?. This is a good indicator to see if you are working with a professional who is bound by a professional code of practice.

Do they have Professional Liability Insurance? This is a question most people don’t even consider. Most Professional photographers will have some form of liability insurance especially if it requires them to work in public places or on clients sites etc. If you hire a photographer to work at your place of work and they or their equipment cause an accident, who will be responsible ???

3: Be prepared and be specific about what you need

Although many photographers may have different fees based on the type of work they do and their level of professionalism there are some basic questions that any should be able to answer quickly.

How do you charge ?? Is it by the hour, half day rate or full day rate? How fixed or flexible are these rates? Do these rates include any post production/editing/retouching work and will you require any?

A good starting point is to consider how many final images you would like to end up with. A seasoned pro will have a pretty good idea of how much time the job will take based on how many final images you will require. It’s no good saying as many as I can get in two hours for $500. You are not paying a photographer for quantity but the quality which takes time to produce and is also dependent on the type of photography. Be wary of a photographer who says he’ll give you all the images on a USB stick.

4: Meet the Photographer

Once you have decided on a photographer that you’d like to work with then set up a meeting so you can see if they are someone you will be happy to work with and also have the right attitude for your project. If you find that there is a personality clash or that they are unwilling to listen to your ideas etc. then find someone else. Like any service, you have to find someone that understands your needs and makes you feel confident about the outcome.

5: Check fees and delivery time

Part of getting the right photographer is having someone that delivers on time is clear about their fees and deliverables and understands any budgetary constraints that you may have. These are things that should be discussed and agreed to before you start any job. If you like the Photographer and the work that they do but feel that their fees are too expensive, then don’t be afraid to ask them how they might be able to work within your budget. Sometimes its as simple as just reducing the scope of work and remember, always go for quality over quantity.

If you have a project that you’d like to discuss feel free to contact me HERE. I’m always happy to have a chat.

People Lifestyle Photography Melbourne - Nik Epifanidis Melbourne Freelance

Corporate Style

What to wear for a Corporate/Business Headshot or Portrait

A question I get asked a lot especially with corporate work is can you advise us on what to wear for our photo shoot. Well the simple answer to this is wear what you want, but there are a few things you can ask yourself beforehand which should inform your choices. The corporate look doesn’t always have to be about the power suit and the serious demeanour. In fact in todays climate those traditional stereotypes are fading away and we are seeing a lot of diversity within the corporate sector. We are seeing that people are not so much defined by a standard but that are defining their own standard. Potential clients  are looking for people that they can identify and connect with on a personal level, so make this your priority when deciding how you want to present yourself.

Questions

What are these photos for and why am I doing this ?

This is probably the most critical question as you really need to have a good understanding of how the images will best used. Are they for a company profile or for linkedin or are they for a media release  or possibly a new job application ? Your prospective audience should inform you on what is expected and appropriate. For example if you are working for a conservative law firm then obviously a good suit will be better than a colourful dress. If there is a possibility that your head shots might be required for different reasons then it is worth thinking about maybe creating two different looks. These are the things that you should keep in mind and allow yourself the freedom of expression. I always advise clients to bring a change of clothes that provide an easy way of creating a couple of different looks.

What are my personal preferences ?

When deciding on what to wear for a shoot don’t over think it. You should be relying on your own stylistic choices as a reflection of who you are and not trying to copy a particular look because you think it looks great. We talk about being comfortable in your own skin well the same thing applies to being comfortable in your own clothes. It becomes glaringly obvious when I see people that have just rushed off to buy or borrow a particular look and especially one that is not sized correctly. Be confident in your choices and bring along options id you aren’t one hundred percent sure. This is where a good photographer can help you make the right choices on the day or at least provide some direction.

How do I express myself on  Camera ?

Again this is where an experienced photographer can be crucial. Taking someone’s portrait or headshot is a collaborative process between the subject and the photographer. As a photographer I understand how unsettling it can be to be placed in front of camera with the thought that there are certain expectations. It takes time for a person to gather the inspiration to be able to show themselves as they really are. This is why I insist on people having the time to be able to settle into the process and to be able to relax. I generally find that if a person is given enough time they will generally produce a favourable result. Some take more than others but thats ok as we are all different. Remember though don’t just think of this as an opportunity to make a nice picture of yourself but more as a long term investment in YOU.

 

Some tips:

  • Make sure your clothes are clean, well pressed and free of lint
  • Do not wear ill fitting clothes , baggy , oversized , undersized does not make for a flattering image.
  • Dont be afraid to be colourful
  • If you are going for something new try it on before the day of the photoshoot
  • Dont go overboard with hair and makeup

 

If you need some styling inspiration , check out the links below.

What to wear for women       What to wear for men

 

 

Hiring a Professional Photographer

Finding the right photographer for your business can often be a daunting task especially if you have never engaged one before or are not familiar with the process. Unfortunately the profession is not governed by any regulatory or licensing body which means any Joe can pick up a camera and call themselves a photographer. This in turn means there isn’t a guarantee on the quality of work that a photographer will produce which leaves you, the client at risk.

Fortunately those photographers looking to give the industry some credibility created organisations like the AIPP ( Australian Institute of Professional Photographers ) as a way of creating regulations governing professional work practices and codes of conduct for the industry. Aside from this they set about to create some kind of standardisation of the quality of work that should be considered professional. Any photographer wishing to gain professional accreditation through the AIPP needs to submit work that meets with those standards. There are also standards governing how they run their business. One of these standards is the requirement of  having liability insurance. Remember that if you are hiring a photographer to work at your place of business you should ask if they have liability insurance in case they are responsible for an accident. This is especially true if your place of business is also shared by other businesses or you are using a public foyer etc otherwise you may end up being liable for any accidents. A professional photographer should always have public liability insurance. I am not saying that all professional photographers belong to the AIPP and have public liability but at least these points are good references for you in helping to distinguish between the good, the bad, and the ugly. A good body of work with many years in business along with a large client base are also a testament to being considered a professional photographer. Many pros also have completed tertiary qualifications in photography or visual communication of some sort.

Not many photographers specialise in all photography

Like most professions there are specialists within the profession and this is also very true of most professional photographers. Generally you will find that most good photographers will have an area that they specialise in and where they have gained most of their experience. This might be wedding photography or portraiture , interiors, product etc. When searching for a photographer for a particular project  you need to keep this in mind. There is no point finding a wedding photographer and asking them to shoot some product for you. They may be willing to do it but this should raise some questions about how experienced they are in this area. I’m not saying there aren’t photographers out there that are well versed with a lot of different genres but the photographer who is willing to do anything for anyone at the cheapest price is usually the Jo that we mentioned before.

Anyone can take a photograph

Like any other service you are hiring a photographer for their expertise. You are using them to help you create your vision through their knowledge of lighting , composition , expression , posing and post processing  as well as their technical ability. A photographers  job isn’t simply to point the camera and press the button. In fact the equipment in most instances has little bearing on the end result.

Anyone can take a picture, a professional photographer will MAKE a picture.

A brief word on copyright and ownership

Who owns commissioned images ? In most cases the photographer that is commissioned to produce commercial work for a client owns the work , unless the photographer and client agree otherwise. The client will generally be licensing the images for specific purposes like company web use or a marketing brochure etc. The client does not have the right to on sell the images or pass them on to a third party without the consent of the photographer. Usage can become a contentious issue if it is not made clear at the beginning how the images will be used. Photographers fees may vary depending the types of usage rights a client is asking for.

In Summary

  • Find a photographer that specialises in the area you are interested in. Ask to see their work
  • Ask them about their experience , qualifications , accreditation’s and insurances.
  • Don’t look for the cheapest but at the same time don’t assume the most expensive will be the best option.
  • If you can meet with the photographer first to see if you click on a personal level. There is a quote coined by the photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt that I have adopted as my motto which goes like this.

“It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter”