When you look for a photographer, whether it’s for a family portrait, newborn, wedding . . . . whatever, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
The Photographer’s Style
And no I don’t mean if they have a fashion sense . . . . .what type of photographs do they take? Are they candid shots, are they images filled with props (ie, a newborn in a bucket), are they strictly posed? Do they use a lot of bright colors with sharp images or soft focus with a lot of pastel colors? There is no right or wrong answer per se, it comes down to what YOU want in your pictures. Say for example, you want a picture of your baby dressed up as a ladybug and you go to a photographer that does natural, lifestyle type photos . . . . . . then you probably won’t be happy with the results.
Photographers each have their own style and making sure that you like that style is one of the biggest considerations you should have when hiring a photographer.
The Photographer’s Ability
Okay, I know, yes almost anyone can pick up a camera, point it in a general direction and push the button. Sometimes, this turns out pretty good. Other times, not so much. A professional photographer knows how to use their camera in manual mode. They know how to use the light – whether it is available light or added flashes or strobes – to make the image better. They know how to use angles and perspectives and composition. I encourage you to ask a lot of questions when talking to a perspective photographer. Find out their experience and what they know. This is not anything against a new photographer – we have all been there (and honestly – we should be constantly learning more), but you need to take their abilities into consideration when hiring them. These are your memories we’re talking about – not something inconsequential. Your baby is only a newborn once, your wedding day only happens once, graduation only happens once . . . . . . see what I mean, important stuff.
The Photographer’s Personality
No, you do not have to be besties with your photographer, but if you don’t at least get along with them, it’s going to show in those pictures. Having a photographer that you are comfortable with is very important. Better yet, having one that can bring out smiles a laughter is even better. Then you can relax in front of the camera and the photographer can capture your personality better. If you don’t like them, that dislike is going to show in the photos. You don’t want look at your photos 10 years from now and see a grumpy face just cause you didn’t like your photographer.
Cost & What’s Included
I left this for last for a reason. There are a lot of prices ranges out there. I know times are tough and money isn’t always abundant, but you have to weigh what you are getting with the cost. Nope this isn’t about – this photographer will give me 100 images and a disk and this one only gives me 20 and no disk. All those things above . . . . yeah, that’s what I mean.
Still, if your potential photographer meets all the above, you do need to be aware of what you get when you pay your session fee. Does it include a CD? What about editing? If you’re looking for extensive editing in your images – is it included or is it extra? What about basic editing? Prints . . . . are any prints included and if they are not . . . . what are their print prices? Do they give you a print release or do you need to go through them in order to get prints? There aren’t really right or wrong answers here. You just need to make an informed decision when choosing a photographer to capture your memories.
So when looking for a photographer, talk to a few, ask questions and weigh all your options. The little bit of extra effort know will pay off with images that you will cherish forever. The kind that bring a smile to your face, every time you look at them.