It’s time for your annual family photos or you’re planning to have a baby soon and have started the process of looking for a photographer. So you turn to Google, Facebook, and friends to find your perfect match. There are hundreds of photographers out there now. It can be overwhelming choosing the ‘right’ one. Here are some helpful tips when conducting your search.
1. Quality – I’m a photographer so this will always be my number one point. Look through their portfolio. Do they have several great photos from each session? This is where you might find the separation between beginner and seasoned photographers. Is their style cohesive? Are they creating sharp, in focus, and timeless photos?
2. Your Style – Your friends will have a list of photographers to check out but it comes down to who is the right fit for you and your family. One question you can answer is: Could you substitute your family members into one of their photographs and still love that photo? Are you interested in more formal photos with everyone smiling at the camera or do you love the candid photos where everyone is in stitches? Do you like a mix of both? Is there a certain ‘mood’ to the photos you enjoy looking through? You will most likely have these photos forever so you definitely want them to be some of the most loved items you have.
3. Price Range – It’s best to know what your TOTAL budget will be for your photos. If you hire a photographer that you love but is outside of your range you are setting yourself up for disappointment. You wouldn’t take a job that didn’t cover your expenses. If you did you would end up hating that job even if it was something you enjoyed. In this case, know what you can afford so you don’t end up disappointed with only a few 5x7s from your amazing session. Ask your photographer to lay out all the costs up front for you (session fee, print prices, albums, disc of images, etc). If you’re budget is unlimited then you’re good to go. Also, call me ASAP.
4. Customer Service – I want to be treated like a real human being. It’s no fun walking into a retail store and ask a question only to be brushed off or made to feel like you were in their way. It’s a bit different in the photography industry since you are the one choosing here. My advice is to find someone who will take care of you. Find someone who will treat you like the most important client because YOU ARE. Respect, honesty, and professionalism should be top priorities (and will be recognizable within minutes of talking with them).
Extra tip–Talk to them on the phone! I know it’s scary and our world is moving more and more online but it’s so important in this process. Which brings me to my next piece of advice…
5. Personality – This person will be handling your newborn, talking with your kids, and capturing natural moments between you and your significant other. You want someone who connects with you on your level. They may have beautiful photos but you need someone whom you feel comfortable with. Ultimately, they need to be like a friend. Someone you can trust and talk to. Someone who just GETS YOU.
The process can be intimidating. I hope these are helpful in your search.