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Tips for Asking for Recommendations

When you need a plumber or your headshot created, often your first step is to ask for a recommendation from your friends or groups on social media. That is a great way to find someone to fill the need. But how you ask will effect whether you get the correct person or business. Here are some tips for asking for recommendations.

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I Need Someone to Shoot Me

For example, let’s say you need a headshot. When you ask in a vague manner such as, “Can anyone recommend an inexpensive photographer to shoot my headshot?” you will get a wide net of photographers with varying experience.

The problem in the above question is that “inexpensive” is not a good qualifier for finding a photographer. Developing a good question will automatically filter your search for you. To use the word “inexpensive” may cause a professional photographer, who might be in your budget, to not reply. Inexpensive is relative and too big of a qualifier.

Define Your Problem

So ask yourself some questions to help you define what your problem is. You need a headshot, but for what? Do you need it for your social channels? Or maybe for a business conference brochure? Defining how you will be using your headshot helps you and the photographer make a plan that ultimately makes the project smoother.

Another question would be where you want to be photographed. Do you want a studio shot or an outdoor setting? Some photographers are better at location shooting, others at the studio. Some photographers do not have a studio or rents a studio. Of course, a professional commercial photographer is trained in both location and studio shooting, so going that route is a safe bet. What if you want to change outfits on a location shoot? Some plan will need to be in place for changing clothes.

Other questions to consider. Is this to promote you and your business? Or are you looking for a large team to get photographed all in one day? Are you a yoga studio owner looking for a photographer to come to your location to shoot? All these distinctions should be in your question for recommendations.

An Improved Question

Let look at how we can improve the original question, “Can anyone recommend an inexpensive photographer to shoot my headshot?” Let’s rewrite the question so it is more targeted like this: “I have a team of 20 lawyers that need business-style headshots for our website. I need a photographer that will shoot all 20 lawyers in one day at my offices. Our offices include a conference room with two walls of windows allowing for natural light, or if you choose, close the blinds. I will schedule the lawyer’s time slots and provide the schedule in advance with all the lawyers’ names. Do you have a recommendation for a photographer that can meet my specifications?” Being that specific with your needs can provide a more targeted option, saving you time trying to figure out who is the best candidate to do the job.

Be Specific for Best Results

The more thorough you can be when asking, the better. Whether asking for a graphic designer, photographer, videographer, or printer, being specific helps clear up areas you may not understand. For example, graphic designers can have areas of specialty, from illustrative to flat graphic style. Plus, many people confuse production artists with graphic design, so getting very specific with your needs can help you find the right partner. Asking for a recommendation can be more complex than it appears, so if you need any assistance, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We are happy to help you write your question.