Choosing a photographer is a tricky business - I know as I've done the same thing over the years to capture my own growing family.
When I started taking photographs with a SLR over twenty years ago, not many people owned a good quality camera - now mobile phones take decent photos!
So with that in mind, how do you know you've chosen the right photographer for you, when there are lots of people offering you this service?
Here's some ideas that may help you:
- Have a look at their website - can you see a large variety of images that suit the style you have in mind? The photographer's style has to suit you. There is a photographer out there to suit everyone. And what about client comments - what do other people say about their experience on the guestbook page?
- How much experience does the photographer have in the particular area? This is especially important for newborn photoshoots as safety is paramount and you would expect that the photographer has been trained appropriately.
- Does the photographer have a studio? Would you need to travel to them or would they come to your home? A studio may offer you more variety with different backgrounds and props, but you may prefer not to travel.
- What information does the photographer tell you to prepare you for the shoot? A good photographer plans and therefore would want you to be well informed about the session.
- What products do they offer? If you have a particular outcome in mind, such as a canvas, can you see examples before you order?
- Find out about the pricing structure before you book. A good photographer has nothing to hide and all information about packages should be readily available.
- Beware cheap photographers - each session may take hours to shoot and twice as long at least to edit. If it seems cheap, the photographer may be inexperienced and you may not get the end product you are hoping for.
- When you chat to your photographer, does he or she sound friendly? This may sound obvious, but good photos often come from a relaxed atmosphere, so if your photographer has a natural rapport with children, you may get more natural smiles.
- Other things to consider include: does the photographer have professional insurance; are they members of any professional associations? A photographer who is keen to offer a professional service will have public liability and professional indemnity insurance and will be keen to progress in their chosen field though training and support offered by photography associations.
- Gut feeling! Usually this serves us well; if they sound great once you have asked the appropriate questions, then they probably are the photographer for you.
I hope you find this useful. Unfortunately my wedding photographer all those years ago did not provide the end product I hoped for and I've regretted it ever since, but that's my fault because I didn't ask the right questions!
Photography can be a big investment and the true worth of the end product can only be measured by the passing of time.