When it comes to finding the best portrait photographer in it can be hard to find someone who is professional and creative in equal measure. There are a lot of photographers and compiling a shortlist can be difficult.

It surprises me how often I hear from new clients how difficult it has been for them to find a good photographer. New clients often come to me from testimonials and word-of-mouth referrals.

Here are my top five handy hints to help you narrow down your search and find the best Bristol photographer for your portrait project.

1. Before you start searching, knowing what you want will save you time in the long run. Why do you need the images? It can be you’re looking to up your online presence and improve your visual offering. We are online much more now, and appearing digitally more frequently, so a strong portrait that serves you well is vital. 

Photo of Poppy Delbridge by Amanda Thomas.

2. Knowing where you are using the photos will help with your brief. If you are launching a new product or service, fantastic imagery helps get over the initial hurdle. What do you need the images for, press release, about page, LinkedIn, Instagram, author portrait for your book or an online course you’ve written? Each area has different qualities, so having these initial requirements can help narrow your search and find your ideal photographer. Consider the message you want to convey.

3. Things to look for in a good Bristol photographer: they need to have a great portfolio, this is an obvious one, but you need to see their work and like it. It has to speak to you and appeal because you will live with the images for a couple of years, so they have to be on-point. Sparkling testimonials are always a bonus because you need to know the photographer is great at their job and do wonders for you. Experience is a good indicator of how efficiently they can deliver what you need. A skill like this doesn’t guarantee the best match for you, but a few years under their belt can give the necessary assurances they can do the job and do it well. 

Photo of Poppy Delbridge on location by Amanda Thomas.

4. Does the photographer specialise in lifestyle/studio/location? Can they come to your office or studio or do you prefer to travel to their studio? If you are on a tight schedule, and can’t take time out to travel to the photographer, the photographer’s option will make your life easier, and you can still make your deadlines and have a unique, knock-out portrait shoot as well. Not every shoot will be possible in your workspace, but knowing this is an option is well worth considering when making your shortlist of photographers. 

5. Strike up a conversation with at least two photographers, after reaching out via email I would recommend a real-life conversation. A phone call can cover so much more ground than a long email, and you can get to know your photographer, find out about how they work, if they are flexible and what you can expect when working with them. You can discover their personality and get an excellent feel of whether they are a good match for you; this is a valuable step in finding your perfect match. 

These handy hints will help focus your mind and make a search for the best portrait photographer in Bristol much easier. If you need help or want to find out more about what I do and how I work, please contact me via my website www.amandathomasphotographer.co.uk.

About the Author 

Amanda Thomas is a fashion, beauty and portrait photographer and has been working for over 20 years. She started life shooting rock stars and actors for magazines, and the approach always made them dynamic and approachable. This idea still applies today, and she has an editorial style, fashion-led approach to her work. 

Amanda is a brand collaborator for Profoto the global lighting company. In 2019 they invited her to be part of their associate programme, giving talks on lighting at events including The Photography Show. Amanda has written several articles on light for Photo Plus and Amateur Photographer magazines.

To find out more about her work, read other articles, follow her on Instagram for a peek behind-the-scenes at her shoots, visit @amandathomasphotographer to find out more about her work.