Do you hire professional photographer for shooting your latest millinery collection?

I am curious, do you hire a professional photographer for your millinery work which goes on your website or do you do it yourself? I think hiring a professional model and MUH professional are a great investment.  But I am wondering if it is worthwhile for simple photos shooting on a clear background with DSL camera is good enough for the portrait photos. i also have  Adobe Lightroom so I can edit them although I am not great at editing photos.

It might sound a bit too obvious for you but I am curious what your answer is and the reasoning behind it. Also, anyone feeling comfortable to disclose budget estimates for overall shoot? I am just trying to plan my upcoming collection and don't really know what to expect as expenses. My previous collection I did with friends and to be honest results were not so great but I was so grateful for them doing it with me.

Thank you! 

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Apart from the hassle of organising photographers and models and not being able to quickly snap a hat that I have just made, it was expensive to have people in.  With the money I was saving, I decided to buy a good camera (Canon) with a macro lens. The other pieces of equipment I acquired gradually and by dropping hints for birthday and Christmas pressies from the family.  I now have spare rooms at my house after the kids have fledged and I set one up as a permanent location for my photography. 

The other pieces of equipment I purchased were:  White vinyl background roll, background support stand kit,  2 continuous lighting stands and a mannequin head, (I am pleased with this as it is "elegant with attitude").  I prefer not to have live models, apart from the cost, I think it suggests an age of wearer which I try to avoid.  I also purchased Photo Shop to edit the photos, but quite honestly I get on better with Picasa, which was free on my computer and is not so complicated.  I am sure the professionals would see much room for improvement, but it gets my message over to my customers and the macro lens allows close ups of important bits.  Check out my results   Have fun 


Hi Polly!

A little late to answer your question- but yes, I absolutely do! A couple reasons for this- one, aside from product photos, I also like to have styled shots for social media and marketing. And two, I'm a terrible photographer! I think if you've got a good eye, then don't waste your money, because it is expensive and it takes at least 2-3 weeks to get your photos back, sometimes longer.

Let me know if you need any more advice- I'd be happy to help!

I am a terrible photographer too and although I got DSLR and Lightroom I just dont understand this art form at all... It is a big investment for me now so I might need to be creative this time. 

Thank you so much for your advice and offer! 

You might find these photography DIY guides helpful: Millinery Photo Fundamentals & Millinery Product Photography

Thank you Elaine! As always resourceful and so kind.

As a photographer can I add my 2 cents;

- A good photographer will consult with you in depth before a shoot to ensure they understand your key objectives, they will also relate to your creative passion first,(they are creatives too),not the £'s
- I always use models and again a good photographer will have a pool of 'free' models who will offer their time on a 'trade for' basis i.e. they model for free but get images to add to their portfolio of work. Models bring character to a hat. Not every model suits every hat as their 'look' will determine what hat suits them
- understanding light is critical because how it falls and is directed can turn a hat from 'flat' to 'dramatic' which will be more impactful visually which in turn adds attention to the milliners work.
- smartphones are ok but are very limited and have no manual exposure controls, same for DSLR cameras. Ask a photographer if they shoot in manual mode. If they don't it's probably because they don't understand exposure. Exposure is the secret sauce of photography.
- lighting set up can and usually is defining, for example directing it onto detail aspects can be done subtly with light modifiers
- my other tip is always to declutter the background and ideally crop to head or maybe head and shoulder. The human eye naturally wanders as we are a very visual species. If there are distractions e.g. somebody in the background walking by we will look at them as well as the hat, essentially the distraction becomes a competitor for our attention. A professional photographer will eliminate those.
- as a rule of thumb 2-3 weeks is a very long time to get images back (although less unusual if the photographer is unpaid). You should be getting first review images within 48 hours for you to select the ones the photographer needs to retouch.

I hope that helps but as with millinery as with photography you get what you pay for and it depends on how much your budget is and how much you want to speculate to showcase your work but again a professional photographer should guide you as part of your assessment. Typically, and speaking for myself, it's about building a sustainable and productive long term relationship.

wow, thank you for the incredible information shared here. It is so interesting to hear about this photography tips. They will really help me actually. 

I wish I was in the UK to participate in your photo shoot offer! All the best to you! 

My pleasure Polly, glad it was of some use.

I would if I could afford one.


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