How Do I Choose the Best Photographer in My Local Area?

With a lot of events, you can get away with taking your own pictures. Your kid’s seventh birthday party or vacation are perfect examples.

If you’re considering something like a corporate event or planning your wedding, you want a professional photographer on the books.

That kind of event needs a professional because the photos will either go into a catalog for public use or will remain on display for years to come. You don’t want poorly lit or badly focused images for that.

So, how do you pick the best photographer in your local area for important events? Keep reading for our best tips on making the choice.

Ask Around

Recommendations are your best friend for something like this. Did you love your friend’s wedding pictures? Ask who they used.

Did you see some great pics on a local business’s website? Shoot them an email.

Those recommendations will help keep your research from becoming a long-running and miserable process.

Check Their Portfolio

Every photographer worth their salt maintains a portfolio of their best work. These days, most professional photographers have that portfolio proudly displayed on their websites.

Looking at their portfolios shows you what types of photography they do. You don’t want a landscape photographer when you need a portrait photographer.

Portfolios also tell you whether or not they have a handle on photography essentials.

Equipment and Editing Software

Camera equipment isn’t everything, but you will want to ask about it. For example, many people want digital versions of the images in addition to printed copies. If someone shoots entirely on film, that will prove tricky.

You also want someone who uses pro-grade editing software, such as Photoshop, and professional Lightroom presets.

Chat with Them

You should make a point to have an actual conversation with everyone who makes it onto your shortlist. Photographers come with all kinds of personalities. You don’t necessarily need someone who is saccharine sweet, but you do want someone you like well enough to tolerate for the duration of your event.

You also want to avoid people who come across as someone who will prove a pain when it comes time to settle up and get your pictures.


Price isn’t the most important thing, but people work on budgets. It won’t matter how great someone’s photos are if they charge twice what you budgeted. Always make sure you get a clear quote from the photographer.

Pick the one who comes closest to your ideal style and still works within your established budget.

Finding Your Best Photographer

Finding the best photographer for your needs isn’t the same as picking an electrician. With photography, there are questions of style and professional focus that you don’t encounter as much with other kinds of contractors.

Focus on the essentials of what you need, such as type of photographer, budget, and recommendations. Once you get those things pinned down, look at elements like their preferred equipment.

Looking for more tips on picking professionals? Check out the posts in our Business and Lifestyle sections.