It’s fall, which means is picture season! People start thinking about their Christmas card and that leads to the picture that is going to go on the Christmas card. Who do you want to take your family pictures??? Well, here are some tips to help you in choosing that specific photographer.
1. Look at their portfolio.
This can be their Facebook feed, their website, Instagram…wherever they put images out there for people to see; check out their work. One of the questions I always ask new clients is, “Did you view my website or Facebook page?” I want to know they have seen my work before they book with me. If you haven’t looked at someone’s work, how do you know what to expect your gallery to look like? I have had a handful of people over the years say they had not viewed my work before wanting to book with me. I wouldn’t book with them until they had seen my work.
2. You are hiring a professional. Allow them to do their job.
When you go to the doctor, do you walk in and tell them what prescription to write you or what diagnosis you want them to give you??? Well if you did, the doctor would look at you like why did you come to me if you already know what is wrong. Sometimes I feel that way with pictures. Hire a professional that knows what they are doing and allow them to do their job. You can stifle a photographer if you put them into a box with your demands. If a client starts telling me basically what they want me to shoot, I am limited to what I can do for them. They are putting me into a box. Hire someone you trust. Allow that artist to create something for you. Put down the control stick and step aside. If you don’t feel confident in hiring someone you trust (based on their portfolio or recommendations), then don’t hire them.
I know, easier said than done. You’ve forked over some money for pictures and the perfect outfits, you’ve got everyone to the shoot on time, and you’ve bribed everyone with something because this needs to go perfect. Breathe! If you are stressed, it will come through in your pictures. Having portraits made should be a time for your love of your family to come through. Your job is done and now you get to relax and enjoy this hour. The photographer is there to work and you get to relax. Believe me, we can tell if you aren’t relaxed and there isn’t much we can do if you can’t settle down. Your family will know and will follow your lead. So please…sit back, relax, and have a good time with your family.
4. Interview a photographer.
Photographers work with all kinds of people. People work with all kinds of photographers. Find a good match and hire that person. Have a conversation with him/her. I promise you will know within ten minutes if you are a good match. I have repeat clients because we are a good match. And a lot of my clients also become friends of mine. Funny how that works out…but it’s because we are a good fit for one another.
5. You get what you pay for.
Don’t expect artwork from the photographer charging a low price for an entire disc of edited pictures. There is a reason they are giving all of that away for a low price. Budget ahead of time if you want an entire session of beautiful pictures or get on your favorite photographers’ mailing list so you don’t miss their specials. Either way, be prepared for the cost and have your expectations set according to what you are hoping to spend.
For me, the most important thing is creative freedom. If someone limits what I do, I honestly just will not work with them again. Why? Because there is someone else who just wants to make money and they may not care about that. I care more about having the trust of my client than my bottom line. It’s important to me to produce a great gallery and that will not happen if clients are telling me what to do. So hire someone because you like their work.
I hope this helps as you are looking for that perfect photographer this fall season! Get on it because photographers fill up this time of year!!