I'm not for everyone.
One of the most important things that I had to learn early on in my photography career was understanding that I am not the photographer for everyone. Every photographer is different. Every client is different. We all have different things we enjoy in a photo, and things we want to avoid in photos. Finding a photographer that can meet the needs of these next 5 questions will help to ensure that you get the photos that you are wanting!
Let's get started with these questions.
What style of photography do you specialize in?
Let's say you really need a new pair of tennis shoes. You have grown to love Adidas shoes. They fit well, they last a long time, and you like how they look. You're on your way to the Adidas store to get some shoes and you pass a Nike store. You probably aren't going to go in the Nike store because you already know what you like.
The same thing goes for picking a photographer. Don't settle for the first one you see. Go for what you know you like! If you love a natural light, authentic photograph - don't stop until you find the right photographer, and the same goes for any other style! You'll be much happier in the long run, then just going with the first one you find.
What comes included with my session?
Let's continue on with the tennis shoes idea. Could you imagine buying the perfectly new Adidas shoes and finding out they don't come with shoe strings?! What kind of shoe is that?!
Not all sessions are created equal. Make sure the photographer you choose is upfront with cost, amount of time included in the session, how many photos will be included, etc.
Some photographers charge for a session and then you have to pay for photos seperately. I charge a flat amount for a specific amount of time, a specific number of photos, and then I always give the option to purchase more from their gallery if they are interested.
What is the best way to prepare for my session?
I get it! Preparing for a photoshoot can be very stressful.
You want the photos to come out great. You need your husband to smile, and your kids to behave. You need outfits in order, and the weather to be great. That's a lot!
The best way to prepare is to ask your photographer. They can help with easing that anxiety of all the "what if's?"
Don't be afraid to ask your photographer about what to wear, how to have the house ready (for lifestyle and some newborn shoots), and anything else. A well-versed photographer will have the answers and preparations to make you feel at ease and comfortable for the photoshoot.
How long should I expect to wait until I receive my photos?
This question is super important to ask, especially depending on if the reason for the photos is time sensitive. Some photographers take longer to edit than others. For example, if you get newborn photos to announce the arrival of your new baby, you probably want them back within 1-2 weeks and not 6-8 weeks.
If the photographers return time is too long, keep looking! I know you will find the right one.
Can I print my own photos?
Typically photographers are delivering digital galleries to clients with printing rights to the photos. That means that the client has the option to take the digital photo to, for example, Walgreens, and print it there. There is also photographers that sell prints. You don't take the photos anywhere, and usually what you are wanting is shipped right to you.
Figure out what works best for you, and take into consideration what your photographer does.
Bonus question (#6)
Check reviews on social platforms!
I know this isn't a question, but this is important! There is real value in being able to see people's experiences with a photographer. Use social media to your advantage. Look the photographer up on Facebook and check out the reviews.
What are people saying?
You can usually tell from reviews if the photographer you are choosing is reliable, professional, and someone you think is a good fit for you.