What Makes a Good Portrait Photographer?

Everyone at one point in time has probably imagined how they would look on the cover of a magazine, yet not everyone might actually take it upon themselves to hire a photographer. Why? For many, the idea of hiring a professional photographer comes across as an intimidating prospect as they have no idea what to expect. Hence, we decided to create a checklist of what we think makes a good portrait photographer, to help you find one that best suits what you’re looking for, amongst the sea of photographers in the market today.

1. Do I like this photographer’s portfolio?

If you have seen our post regarding how to find the right wedding photographer, you will realize that this was also the first point on the list, and for right reasons! If anything, the personal style of a photographer can be seen all the more through portrait photographer, hence the need to find a photographer where their aesthetic coheres with yours. Of course, photographers are inspired by other fellow photographers, hence there is no shame in suggesting pictures and aesthetics to the photographer you’re seeking out. However, it is important to note that the photographer’s style is unique and there can never truly be a 100% imitation.

Nanyang Tales Photography is always seeking out new themes and ideas to try in our portrait photoshoots, but as you can probably tell, there is a distinct style to our works. The strong contrast and hazy lights are some of the commonalities throughout our works. Hence, even when referencing other photographer’s, the works always end up with us incorporating our own style into it, as that is what sets us apart from other photographers.

2. What photoshoot locations does this photographer provide?

Photoshoot locations can be shot both indoors and outdoors, with indoor locations generally having to be rented. For specific photoshoot themes such as a Peranakan or studio backdrop shoot, these kinds of themes are better carried out indoors within a pre-existing studio or location. Renting locations are often an additional add-on cost, and hence you should check with the photographer beforehand regarding the cost.

Another reason to check with the photographer the kinds of location they offer, is to make sure that they have a suitable backdrop for your desired theme. You can have the best hairdo and makeup, but the wrong location could cost your entire photoshoot. Hence, we recommend finding a photographer that is able to provide suitable photoshoot locations, especially if you’re shooting a distinct theme.

Our photography studio offers both a variety of indoor and outdoor locations for your photoshoots with no extra costs. Thus, we ensure that you will be able to find a location that is tailor-suited to your photoshoot desires.

3. What kinds of services does this photographer provide in their packages?

Some photographers provide a one-stop service where everything from outfits to hair and makeup are provided, while others only provide photography services. If you do not have the resources to dress up on your own, we recommend you finding a photographer who is able to help you get dressed up for this special day for yourself. However, it is important to note that not all portrait photographers are obliged to provide such one-stop services to you, so seek out your photographer to ask them about the services within their packages.

At Nanyang Tales Photography, we provide hair and makeup styling from an established makeup artist we have partnered with. We also provide a range of outfits for different themes, ranging from Peranakan Kebayas, ethereal dresses and even suits! These outfits are meant to suit a range of sizes as much as possible, hence might be adjusted using safety pins to fit you better. If you desire an outfit that fits you to a T, it is better to bring along the dream outfit of your own, and let our makeup artist handle the rest!

4. How will the post-photoshoot process be like?

Photographers, including us, generally have a set number of pictures that we will fully edit for you. What you should be looking out for is whether or not the photographer allows you to choose you own photographs or whether they choose it on their own. Ultimately, it depends on how much you trust the photographer. Also, some photographers do not return the raw, unedited photographs. Hence, if you are someone who likes to keep all the photos, edited or not, you should find a photographer who is willing to return the raw photographs to you.

Another thing to take note of is to communicate with your photographer on how you would like them to edit you photographs, especially if you might want to edit parts of your face a certain way. Don’t feel embarrassed to tell the photographer what you would like, as it is ultimately an image of your face that you will keep for years and look back on!

Personally, we return the raw photographs to our clients, and allow them to choose the photographs that they would like to edit. Of course, we are more than willing to advise our clients on what photographs look better edited! Regarding the editing of facial features, we believe that everyone is beautiful in their own ways, and thus will not edit one’s facial features to the extreme unless requested by the client themselves. If everyone looks like the next supermodel on Vogue, how boring would this world be? 

5. How may I book a time slot with this photographer?

After this entire checklist, have you found the right photographer for you? It is okay to seek out a photographer to ask them more in detail, before deciding to book a time slot with them. In fact, discussing with the photographer beforehand might let you see if you vibe well with them. A photoshoot should be an experience where you get to pamper yourself and feel like the star you deserve to be, hence we hope you are able to find a photographer that can make you feel comfortable throughout the experience.

At Nanyang Tales Photography, we make it a point to find the unique points of each of our clients, and help them feel comfortable while shooting. Even if you are unsure of how to pose, our experienced photographer and team will be able to direct you well and leave you feeling more confident. If you are looking for a portrait photographer, we hope that you might leave us a message, so we can help capture you in your most breathtaking moments!