I wanted to take a moment to help you when you are looking for a photographer. Photographers are a dime a dozen these days. In your community, you might search for a photographer and there are so many choices that it can become overwhelming. It can be impossible to figure out who is worth your time and money and who isn't. I hope that I can provide you with a few questions to ask as you begin to sift through all those Google results.
1. What is your experience and education?
When you book a photographer, you are making an investment. With that investment, you have certain expectations. You want a photographer who has experience in creating beautiful, artistic images. A good professional photographer has probably spent a great deal of time and money on education. This is extremely important. While equipment is also important, I would argue that experience and education are more important. Unless your photographer has studied light, composition, color, technique, editing etc., you will most likely not be getting a good return on your investment. Knowing how to combine all of the elements to make a great photograph that you will be proud to display as art in your home, comes from years of experience and education.
2. What products do you offer?
The first question that I usually get from a client is, "do you give the digital images?" I'm about to tell you a little secret. It's the wrong question. Digital images are nice to have, but your photographer should be providing you with products. It is part of the service that a professional should provide for you, given your investment. When I first started my business, I gave digital images to my clients and they just didn't have the knowledge about paper types, crop factors, substrates, and color management in order to use those digital files and turn them into fine art prints, wall galleries or albums. Professional photographers take great care in not only creating the images, but also creating the tangible product. My clients eyes light up when I deliver their wall galleries or albums to their home every single time.
3. Can I see some of your recent work?
A professional photographer should know how to consistently create professional results. An amateur might get a good shot every now and then. Ask your photographer to see an entire session or two of images or a compilation of images from different sessions to get a sense of the depth of their work. If you wouldn't frame more than one or two shots, then you probably aren't dealing with the right photographer for your family.
4. How should I prepare for our session?
A professional photographer should be able to give you tips so that you can feel comfortable and relaxed at your session. This is when you should discuss clothing choices and colors. Consideration into where your images will be displayed in your home might determine your clothing color and style choices. Ask your photographer how he/she will handle a fussy child and if it's possible to schedule around nap times. It's also important to know how long the session will be and if there will be time for breaks if needed.
5. What is your style and/or specialty?
There are many different styles of photography. Your photographer should specialize in one or two areas. Lifestyle photography focuses on the art of everyday. Your images will depict your family in everyday situations and capture your connections in an artistic manner. A portrait photographer will aim to capture your personality using effective lighting, backdrops, and poses. Make sure that your photographer's style matches what you are hoping to achieve with your session.
I hope that these questions will help you as you are sifting through the sea of photographers in your area. Spring is right around the corner and I'd love to chat with you about what a session with me would be like. Please contact me here for spring bookings.