How to choose a photographer

How to choose a photographer

Remember Kyoto’s advice on Choosing the Perfect Photographer for you.


I get it. It can get confusing and time-consuming to find a good photographer who can deliver what you want. After all, you only have one chance to capture some special memories to be kept forever.

I am also pretty sure you have already an idea of how to choose a photographer: according to your budget, your style, and online reviews describing customer service.  But please bear with me, you will be surprised that the most important factors are not what you think.  They are often overlooked during the decision-making process of procuring the best photoshoot experience. Please consider them:


1. Choose a True Professional Who is Skilled and Creative.

The Problem


If a photographer promises to deliver hundreds of photos and of all those only a few are good, you are dealing with an amateur. A professional photographer will deliver fewer photos, but all of them will look great or at least decent. 

A professional photographer will deliver good-looking photos no matter the weather, time of the day, or location.  No excuses.  A pro is trained and has studied to deal with difficult situations. On a hard day, the client may end up with fewer pics, but all will be of quality.

The main difference between an amateur and a professional photographer is consistency. Any person can take a good photo but very few can provide a complete set of pictures that satisfy your standards.

Focus on Quality no Quantity

What You Can Do

  • Remember that more is not always better. Focus on Quality. Check the photographer’s portfolio. They are showing their best pictures, and they should be outstanding, not just “OK”. If their photos are not great, look elsewhere.

2. Choose a Photographer, Not a Team.

The Problem

Some companies operate with a team of photographers under the brand of the main photographer. While the main photographer sets the style, the actual photo sessions might be conducted by different photographers with varying skill levels. This can lead to inconsistencies in the quality and style of your photos.

Different photographers have different skills and artistic visions, making it nearly impossible to match the exact style of the leader. Moreover, quality control becomes challenging, and it is hard to guarantee that the photos will look like those advertised on their website.

Photo Team


What you Can Do

  • Ensure you know exactly which photographer will be taking your photos. Ask to see the portfolio of the specific photographer assigned to you, not just the portfolio of the company. This way, you know what to expect and can be confident in the photographer's ability to meet your expectations.


3. Choose a Photographer Who Talks to you.

The Problem

If your photographer cannot speak your language or even worse, if the company providing the photographic service does not allow you to talk with your cameraman for planning, better run away. You should be able to be part of the entire image creation process.

Unfortunately, in Japan, most kimono rental shops have underpaid, undertrained photographers who in addition have poor language skills. No wonder it's difficult to communicate directly with them!

Language barrier

What you can do

  • Ask if you can talk to the photographer before your shoot in order to plan your session. If you can’t communicate freely and easily with him, don’t hire their service, find another.


4. Choose a Photographer Who Edits His Photos for the Best Results.

The Problem

To reduce costs, many photo companies delegate the editing process to a third party. Somebody you never met, living in a different country (with lower wages) will receive your precious pictures and edit them without considering your taste, your preferences or those of the photographer. They managed to kill the art and craft of portraiture turning it into an industrial process, just like a fine dinner turned into a Mac Donald’s burger.

A photographer should be proud of his art and deliver a finished product. One he worked on from beginning to end. He should also help during the curation process allowing you to choose the best pictures taken.

What you can do

  • Ask if the photographer curates your photos and if he is the one editing them.


5. Choose a Photographer Who is a Specialist.

The Problem

You are looking for photos of you and your loved ones and start scouring websites, finding many photographers claiming to be good at everything:  weddings, maternity, newborns, families, portraits, landscapes, nature, architecture, real estate, etc.

I know photographers who even offer boudoir photography and photos of conferences on the same website! To say the least, this is weird. Just like in any other profession, competent photographers specialize in one or two areas in their field. If you want the best, you should not go for a generalist.

Choose a specialist photographer

What you can do

  •  If you are looking for portraits, get a portrait photographer. If you want photos of food, get a food photographer, it’s that easy. You would not want a landscape photographer to take your pre-wedding photos.


In Conclusion

When hiring a photographer, you want the final results to be exactly as you had them in mind. After all, these memories will be forever frozen in time, images that represent a moment in the life of you or your loved ones. You may not be aware, but it happens that you can only create your photos once. This is why choosing a great photographer is so important. I hope this advise helps.

25 Sep 2022 Posted in: Photography
Tags: Kyoto