When you are a start-up business, especially any business which sells a physical product, finding the right photographer who can really do your products justice is crucial. With photographers, there are expensive ones, cheap ones, great ones and rubbish ones.
Unfortunately, photography is a field which is unregulated and therefore there are no laws, licenses or restrictions in place which help to guarantee work quality and weed out the bad apples. In a market where anybody can grab a camera or phone and refer to themselves as a photographer, it is important to exercise proper due diligence when hiring one for your business.
Although a photographer will usually have a professional camera, this isn’t always necessary. With the advancements in smartphone technology, amazing photos which meet your needs can easily be done with a good quality phone such as the iPhone X.
We do recommend hiring a professional or someone who knows how to take decent pictures, but if you want to try it for yourself check out Moblivious for some phone photography tips. If you’re going to go for a professional, here are three things to consider.
#1: Approaching a Professional Organization
Just because it is an unregulated industry does not mean professional organizations don’t exist. There are plenty of photographers out there who are part of organizations such as the Professional Photographers of America or the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International.
These professional organizations only have the very best photographers within their ranks and hold them to strict internal regulations and protocols. In addition to this, many professional photography organizations insure their photographers against liability and operate in a vast range of niches.
#2: Who Owns Your Images?
The most confusing part about having professional imagery done for your business is the issue of who owns the copyright to the final product. Unless you have written and signed a mandate which specifically passes the copyright over to you – the business owner – the photographer will retain ownership and rights over the image.
Under copyright law, the owner of an image is kept by the person who created it and you cannot own it without a legal agreement which transfers it to you. As a business owner, you are instead ‘licensing’ the images.
#3: Look Out for Other Costs
When hiring a photographer, you do not just have to pay for his or her services, you also need to pay for the end-product. Printing, rights over the final images and any other niceties such as retouching, preparation of the photoshoot and consultation may all incur extra charges.
When hiring a photographer, it is best to be as up front as possible and enquire about any additional charges which will apply. That way, you can make the best decisions which fit your budget and you will not be stung with any surprise bills.
Because photography is not a regulated field, hiring one can be tricky. There are plenty of professional organizations out there which internally regulate photographers, and this is by far the best way to go about the hiring process.