Choosing a professional photographer can be challenging, time consuming and overwhelming with so many to select from. I’m going to share some considerations so you are prepared to choose the best photographer to fit your needs.
Location. Do you want your pictures taken inside at a studio with backdrops? Would you prefer your session to be outside in a wooded park, urban setting with alleys, or a field with tall grass? Perhaps you want the session in your home? If you find that you like many locations, I suggest mixing it up each time you hire a photographer or consider what background looks best on the walls in your home.
Style. Do you tend to prefer pictures where everyone is posed and looking at the camera or candids? Studio session tend to produce a more posed and traditional image. If you find yourself attracted to multiple styles and locations you are not alone! Outdoor sessions give you a lot of variety for location and style. Many photographers, such as myself, will combine posed and candids to give you variety of looks at your session. One of my favorite types of sessions are “A DAY IN THE LIFE SESSIONS” where the photographer comes into your home for a few hours. It’s designed to tell a story about your family and are GREAT for young children who do not want to sit still for a posed picture. It’s also perfect if you are looking for some variation to your typical yearly picture and a great keepsake for years to come.
Contract. A professional photographer will ask you to review and sign a contract. This is a legal binding agreement between you and the photographer. It’s important that you read it carefully and discuss any concerns before signing it.
Prices, Prints and Products, oh my! Professional Photographers are in business and like any other business, costs are associated with running it. Once you book a session you will likely be asked for a retainer. This is a fee paid in advance to secure your date. Before you book your session make SURE you you have reviewed the fees and cost of prints and products. You don’t want to book a session only to find out that the print prices are way out of your budget. The investment you make for your experience and customized session should give you memories to cherish for a lifetime so it’s important that expectations are set and met.
What is the end goal for the images? Are you looking for professional prints to hang on the wall or put into frames? Digital images? Perhaps you want a professional canvas wrap to hang over the mantle or a lay flat album for the coffee table. Once you have an idea of what you want from your images, make sure the photographer offers prints and products that suit your needs. Even if you order digital images, I HIGHLY recommend ordering your wall prints from the photographer because not all print labs are created equal. You’ve already invested time and money picking the very best photographer so I’d also pick a professional lab to display your precious images! If you’re not quite sure what prints or products to order, many photographers offer in person ordering sessions and can show you samples before you order.
The day of your session. You’ve put a lot of work into choosing the very best photographer so now it’s time to relax, have fun and show off!
The Professional Photographers of America (PPA) recommends the following tips when selecting and working with a photographer:
- Make sure the photographer has a clear understanding of your expectations
- Interview several photographers
- Ask what services are included
- Look at samples of work
- Ask for credentials
- Ask about style
- Check references
If you are looking for a photographer, contact me and let’s see if we are a good fit!