How to Tell a Seasoned Photographer from a Noob / by Melanie Grizzel

This is one close to our hearts. Photography has been such a journey and one that I have grown and learned from. With over 10 years of experience, I'll make the claim - I am a seasoned photographer. We're also big supporters of new photographers honing their craft! It takes time and practice to find your strengths.

We feel it's important that you have the tools to make the differentiation between someone who has been in the industry for awhile and someone who is new. Here are three questions that will help with that task:

1. "Are all of the shots on your website yours?"

You may be thinking, "What a silly question, why would a photographer put photos up that they didn't take?" My response - I don't know but people do it. Especially if a photographer is new and doesn't have a large portfolio yet, they may use stock photography to show the style they're inspired by. It's an easy question with an easy answer that can provide a lot of value.

2. "Please send me a link to three full weddings you've photographed."

This is another important request to get a sense of what to expect from a photographer. You can see if the photographer is more portrait-focused or likes to capture candid shots. Which is important to you? With new photographers, they may not have three collections to share, if any at all, which is okay! Ask them to share any examples of their work they have.

3. "Do you have any references?"

All photographers should have references, period. If a potential photographer doesn't have any past clients or professional contacts who are willing to vouch for them, you shouldn't be either. Treat it as a job interview. So, when you reach out to references, ask specific questions such as:

- "How did the photographer interact with your guests?"

- "How many photos were delivered in your wedding collection?"

- "What is one thing you wish the photographer did/delivered that wasn't?"


Have a photography experience you'd like to share with us? Post a comment below or shoot us an email to Seasoned Photographer