Photography is an investment that becomes more and more valuable over time, yes, but when it comes to spending your hard earned money, I think there are a few things to consider when you’re searching for your next favorite photographer. Maybe that photographer is me, maybe it’s not, but either way, I want you to do these 4 things before you select a photographer for your next session.
- Visit their blog. Remember-the photos that are shared on social media are just a teeny tiny taste of the big picture. Visiting a photographer’s blog is a great way to view a larger variety of their work and see what a full session with them might look like. I’d hate for you to book a photographer because of one image you fell in love with on their insta gallery only to find out that that may be the ONLY image from the entire session that you’d even like! If you’ve scrolled through their blog and still can’t quite get a feel for what a FULL session’s worth of images would look like, just ask if they wouldn’t mind sharing a gallery they recently delivered. Chances are, the photographer is going to be thrilled that you’re doing your homework and will be more than happy to share a gallery or two with you.
- Study their style. What is it about your potential photographers’ photos that sucked you in? Was it the editing? The posing? The outfits the subjects were wearing? The location? It’s easy to look at an image and fall in love but I challenge you to pick 5 or 6 images from your potential photographer and really study WHAT it is about their photos that makes you want to hire them. Write these things down and refer back to them once you’ve made notes about all of the images. It’s YOUR job to make sure that the photographer you hire fits your style and photography needs-it is not your photographer’s job to fit into your style and needs.
- Consider the investment. Remember that photography is a luxury. It’s not a need, it’s a want and there are going to be photographers that are on the low and high end of your budget. When you see the investment, I encourage you to look past the number for a minute and think about the following things. What are you receiving for the investment? Oftentimes photographers will show their investment as a much smaller number if clients are expected to purchase prints and albums after the session so it’s important to ask what the ENTIRE investment looks like from start to finish. You’ll find that other photographers will show a bigger investment up front because they’re including digital files OR they’re already including prints or albums in their investment price. There are so many things that photographers offer these days from wardrobe assistance to phone consultations to heirloom photo albums that it’s crucial to understand what you’re getting in return for handing over your hard earned dollars. If their session investment is completely out of your financial reach, inquire about whether they offer mini sessions throughout the year or any seasonal discounts during the winter months. Hopping on their email list is also a great way to be the first to know when they launch something that might be the perfect fit for you.
- Pay Attention to the Experience. Good photographers should be pouring into the client experience long before a client signs a contract and books a session. Pay attention to the way they write their correspondence, their blog posts, and their Instagram captions. Do they feel warm and genuine or business first and play later? Does their website make you feel excited to work with them or does it leave you with more questions than answers? All of these things can give you a pretty good idea of what kind of experience you can expect. There is nothing worse than feeling like you’ve thrown money out the window by hiring a photographer who simply shows up, takes your money, and delivers your images. You deserve better than that, I promise! Do yourself a favor and consider that your photography experience begins the minute you hop over to their Instagram page or website so don’t settle for booking a photographer who oozes mediocrity online because chances are, your experience with them in real life will also be lackluster.
Finding a photographer that fits your style and budget might feel impossible when your search begins but if you simply do these 4 things while you’re searching, I am confident that you’ll find your next favorite photographer I’d also be willing to bet that you’re going to adore the experience and treasure the photos you invested in (and your photographer!) for years to come. If I am lucky enough to be a photographer you’re considering, I’d love to hear from you! Click here to get the conversation started!