How to Choose a Photographer
With so many photographers out there, it can be overwhelming to find the right one for you. To help in your quest to find the perfect photographer match below are some tips I have come up with after many years of being a professional photographer and as a photography client.
1. Not all Photographers are Created Equal
They typically have a unique style. Look at their body of work and gauge whether or not their style matches what you are looking for. You want a photographer who is excited to photograph your needs.
2. Ask to see an Entire Gallery
Most photographers can come up with a handful of great images from a session to post on social media or their website. However, not all photographers can produce an entire gallery of great images. To get a better sense of the scope of a photographers work, ask to see an entire gallery from a recent session. See if their work is consistent. Do you like their edits? Do you like their poses? Are their images sharp and in focus? Can they light well?
Cost can be a big factor, sometimes the deciding factor. But the most important thing to figure out is what is included in the cost of the session. If something is unclear ask for clarification before you sign a contract.
Know that if a photographer is very inexpensive you may want to ask yourself, “why are they so inexpensive?” Are they investing in great equipment that will result in great images? Do they have the proper licenses? Are they paying taxes? Are they booking seven sessions a week and won't have the time to give your session the attention it deserves? You must factor in a photographers time invested in your session, their expertise, as well as their costs when taking into account their pricing. If a deal is too good to be true, it probably is.
4. Be Sure You Understand all of the Photographers Policies Before Booking
Here are some questions you may want to ask if they are not clear.
- Are there any digital prints included?
- Is a print credit included?
- What are the print prices?
- How long after the session will the gallery be posted?
- What is the cancellation policy?
- What will happen if the weather is bad on the day of my session?
- What time of day do you shoot?
Pricing should be clear and easy to understand. There is nothing worse than being surprised with extra pricing after all of your beautiful images have been taken.
5. Get to know the Photographer
A great place to start to get to know the photographer is the “about” page on their website. Also, check their blog and social media pages. Do you like them? If you are still unsure, schedule a phone call to chat. A photographer is someone who you will spend a bit of time with so if you don’t feel a connection, move on to another photographer.
6. Your Photographer Should be Someone You Trust
Once you have a photographer that you love, stick with them! I love documenting families as they grow. I love when kids remember me and are excited to see me. I feel each session gets better because I am connected deeper with those people every time we shoot.
Things to keep in mind
You want to be comfortable, captured in a flattering way and looking great. Randomly choosing someone with a camera can mean sacrificing one or all of these. Professional photographers in the area who do photos on a regular basis will understand all the do’s and don'ts, be able to give important advice and how to get the best shots. The one you choose should also be able to work under different conditions to ensure that a little mishap does not ruin this important day.
Owning a Camera and Having Experience is Not the Same
Many people walk around calling themselves “photographers” when in fact they merely bought a camera and computer graphics software. This is not the same as being a trained professional and the quality of photographs they develop often confirms this. You want to make sure that the individual you choose has all the necessary equipment and skills required to develop timeless portraits for you.
Photographers who genuinely love taking photos are likely to put more effort and pride into the process. They are also likely to be more patient and natural.
Do you have additional pointers and experiences that can help others learn how to successfully choose a photographer? Please let us know!