Anyone can take a photograph, but it takes a well-trained eye to take one with the quality you’re looking for. And, if you have a special occasion or need high-quality photos for any other reason, that well-trained eye belongs to a professional photographer.
If you’re in the market for a photographer, you may not know where to begin. From price to quality and beyond, there are plenty of options to choose from.
Fortunately, we’re here to help! Below are some tips for choosing a professional photographer.
Get to know you’re potential photographer. Determine whether or not you’ll be able to work with this person before shelling out your hard-earned money!
Determine Experience Level
Experience isn’t the only determinant of quality, but it helps. Be sure your chosen photographer has abundant experience if you want professional quality.
Ask for References
As the Better Business Bureau recommends, ask for references from any photographer you are serious about hiring. Past clients should be happy to provide a good word for a job well done.
If nobody will give your chosen photographer a good reference, think twice about your decision.
Ask for Samples
Ask for samples of past work. Chances are your chosen photographer will have a website highlighting his or her best work.
Who Will Photograph You?
It’s not always a given that the photographer you first meet is the one who will take your photos. Be sure to inquire about who will ultimately hold the camera and meet this person before making your decision.
When, Where and How Long?
Naturally, you’ll want to be sure your photographer will be available in time for your photography needs. For example, if your school has scheduled senior portraits three weeks from now, you’ll want a photographer who will be available on that date.
Also, be sure your chosen photographer can travel to your location, if necessary. In the mentioned example of senior portraits, if your school is located in Washington, DC, the best photographer on Earth won’t do you much good if he’ll be in New York the day you need him. Verify your chosen photographer will be in town and available for onsite work.
Additionally, while a photo shoot isn’t something you’ll want to rush, it’s a good idea to know how long it will take for scheduling purposes.
Know the Fees
To an extent, you get what you pay for. That said, you should still be conscious of the fees you’ll be charged.
Also, ask about the payment schedule for budgeting purposes.
Determine How You’ll Receive Your Photos
With modern technology, there are a variety of methods of receiving your photos. These include the Internet, DVDs and, of course, physical copies.
Ask your chosen photographer how he or she will deliver your photos and be sure you’re comfortable with the delivery method.
Get it in Writing
Once you reach an agreement with a photographer, get it in writing. Read everything over and ask any questions you have before signing the contract. Doing so is in the best interest of both you and the photographer, as everything - including the work to be done and the associated fees - will be clearly spelled out to avoid confusion later on.