How to Analyse a Commercial Portrait Photographer in Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington & Hamilton’s Work Without Being an Expert

The most difficult part about hiring a commercial portrait photographer is knowing what to look for during the hiring process! Every commercial photographer will have a portfolio full of photos for you to look through which is great, right?! But do you really even know what you’re looking for? Most people don’t.

So what’s the good news? You don’t have to be an expert on photography to analyse a photographer’s portfolio – you just have to know what to look for!

What to Look for in a Commercial Portrait Photographer’s Portfolio

  1. Is the Image Properly Exposed?

An inexperienced photographer can often produce photos with incorrect exposure. Don’t know what they look like?

  • Underexposed: overpowering dark areas and shadows with dull colour. You won’t see any bright highlights that typically catch your attention in any photo.
  • Overexposed: the highlights appear as a burnt-out white colour and no detail will be visible in these areas.
  • Properly Exposed: You will see bright highlights and dark shadows. Colours will remain vibrant, and you can see the detail in most highlights and shadows.
  1. Are the Conversions Exciting?

Any amateur photographer can change the photo to sepia, black and white, etc. But has the change in colour actually added something exciting to the photo? Does it bring another element? A good commercial portrait photographer will only use these conversions when it really makes the image ‘pop’ by doing so.

  1. How is the Saturation and Sharpness?

These two separate adjustments often go hand in hand. A less experienced commercial portrait photographer will have unrealistically bright colours which take away from the actual photo. If the photo is too sharp, it will almost appear as though everything (or everyone) in the photo has an outline around them. Soft lines and soft colours look more realistic and natural.

  1. Are the Colours True to Life?

You spend a lot of time setting up the shot, getting colours right, etc. – and that should be visible in the photograph. Colours should be 100% true to life. Of course, photographers will often manipulate photos with funky colour casts in the end, but the colours need to be true to life in order for those to work well.

  1. How’s the Editing?

With digital photography, the photography hardly stops when the shoot is over. Next comes digital editing. Programs (such as Photoshop) offer pre-set actions that just don’t work on every photo. Check that the colours are right, that they haven’t over edited the photo making it look fake. Check for brightness, sharpness and exposure.

  1. Do You Like Their Style?

This may seem basic, but it’s incredibly important. If you’re hiring a commercial portrait photographer, make sure you see similar work they’ve done in the past. Have they only done weddings? Travel photography? Children only? These guys probably aren’t for you. Choose a photographer who not only has experience in the type of work you need done, but make sure you like the style in which they do it!

Looking for commercial photography in the Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington and Hamilton area? Give us a call to check out our portfolio!

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