Choosing a Photographer

Tip Tuesday

It is time for family portraits.  You have no clue where to go.  There are all types of photographers: studio, on-location, fashion, landscape, etc.  Here are a few things to consider when in the market for a photographer.

  1. Ask to see their portfolio.  This is the first step towards choosing a photographer.  If you do not like their style there is nothing more to discuss.  Pricing should not be the first thought.  If their work doesn't impress you, no matter how affordable they are, why bother?
  2. What is your budget?  This is a major consideration.  You may not want to spend $500.00 to capture your one year old's first birthday, but the same $500.00 might be a great price for your engagement shoot.  There are many levels of pricing and skill for each type of event.  Be honest with yourself and about the importance of what you are trying to capture.
  3. What is the occasion?  Most photographers are capable to shoot any event or occasion.  You should take into consideration that there are specialties in photography.  Everyone has one or more things they are exceptional at performing in life.  Would you want a headshot specialist capturing your wedding day?  A portrait photographer would most likely do well capturing a wedding and vice-versa.
  4. Will you be printing or sharing digitally?  A decent amount can be saved from choosing digital pictures over printed.  The cost of supplies can add up, and don't forget the time taken to prepare the picture for print, and to mount the picture.  A good photographer will not hand you just a print.  He will take the time to mount the print (or send it out).  Very few offer framing, because that is such a personal choice.
  5. Schedule multiple calls or meetings, to get a feel for the personality of the photographer.  There is nothing worse than having a personality clash ruin a big day.  For large events you should have multiple interactions between you and your chosen photographer.  An interactive photographer helps the day develop stress free and makes the day more enjoyable.  Don't be afraid to tell the photographer its not a good fit early in the process, so you still have time to find a replacement.  Just be aware you may lose your deposit.
  6. Be direct with expectations and questions.  As a photographer, we can only capture what you instruct.  We have a vision of the shoot and we will discuss it with you.  You hired a photographer to capture your day because of his portfolio and personality.  Something about them drew you to choose them.  Don't hesitate to tell them what you envisioned.  Ask them how the two visions fit together.  You have to trust the person behind the lens, but at the end of the day it is your shoot.  Communication is key to choosing the correct  photographer, as with everything in life.