Hiring a professional to capture your family or take portraits is an investment and there are some essential things to consider when choosing the best person for you. If you are feeling overwhelmed with the process and options, then check out these tips to confidently find the photographer that's perfect for you.
This may be the most important tip. Every photographer has their own personal style and there is truly a photographer for everyone.
When scrolling galleries pay attention to how you feel when you see the images, do you feel connected to the look, the colors, and the story, or are there things you wish were different? If you love color then hire someone whose images have deep, bold hues and crisp edges. If you love light and airy, then look for bright processing and film-like finishes. Do you love when the final images are posed and perfect or do you appreciate an untied shoe or untucked shirt? Also, consistency is key here. Of course, time of day can change the look of an image but a photographer's style should be recognizable regardless, make sure it's obvious and you know what finished product you'll receive at the end.
If you don't feel connected, then don't push those feelings aside because other people love a specific photographer, these photos are for you and can become part of your family's keepsakes. Spend time on different photographers' social pages and see what brings out the most joy and excitement.
There is only so much you can see from the final image, it's always a good idea to talk to past clients. Most photographers won't have a problem at all giving you a list of past customers you can call or reach out to. Put together a list of questions that are important to you and get as many answers as possible.
Some things to think about:
Do you want someone who is hands-on with posing or someone who lets the kids take the lead?
Is the photographer responsive at any time of the day or do they have set hours for client calls?
Did the client feel comfortable during the whole process and would they use them again?
Were there things they wish the photographer did differently?
Narrow down your list of potential photographers and ask them for a consultation/interview. Again, this is an investment and there is nothing wrong with making sure you are making the best decision. Go over all the expectations of how you see the day going, what the contract entails, the image delivery time, and if the packages they offer are in line with your needs.
This is another opportunity to follow your gut, if you don't connect with them over the phone or in a meeting then it might not be the best match.
Photography is one of those services that can vary significantly and it's important to pay attention to what exactly you are paying for. When looking at packages pay attention to the number of digital images included (and the cost of additional ones), if there are prints or other tangible objects, how many people it includes (and the cost of additional people), are there rescheduling or travel fees, is the retainer transferrable? What is the turnaround time and are there photoshop fees etc? Oftentimes, photographers will charge a session fee that only includes the session itself and not the images, those are all separate costs. Make sure you are reading all the details and fine print so you know exactly what to expect.
I hope these tips were helpful and give you a good starting point when choosing a professional photographer. As always, please reach out to me if there are any other questions you may have about my own photography services and how we can create an unforgettable experience together.