Someone told me once that they hated getting their photo taken because they didn’t like getting all dressed up for 20 minutes yet they didn’t know there were other options. I mean, there are probably 100 or more photographers in the city of Boise right now that are accepting payment for their work and call themselves professionals. As a matter of fact- I know there are waaay more than that. How do you pick the right photographer for you and what questions should you ask them before you sign on the dotted line?
Do they have a license and insurance?
It’s hard to be a legitimate business. And when I say ‘hard’ I mean lots of work! But a real business person doesn’t shy away from the responsibilities of being a REAL business. Don’t be fooled by people that are trying to make a little money on the side under the table. They won’t be able to handle your immediate requests if they aren’t doing this full time. If you value customer service, it’s time to make sure your photographer is legit. And while you’re at it- make sure they have liability insurance! If you get injured during the photo session, it’s their responsibility to take care of you. Don’t take this lightly.
Can you see a portfolio that looks consistent?
Sometimes, photographers that are starting out have a wide variety of styles they play around with. Styles will vary in editing and posing and non-posing. Look for photographers that have found a way to stay consistent in terms of their work. If you see a lot of differences in their style, it means you could get different styles in your session and maybe not the one you were expecting. Professionals look and act professionally in every facet.
How long have they been in business?
While the length of time they have been in business doesn’t necessarily make or break your client experience, it does show a level of sustainability in the work they do. Because there are so many photographers in the area, it’s hard to find ones that have stood the test of time. This also helps in an event of emergency need of your photographs have been ruined in either fire or flood or natural disaster etc. it’s extremely important they understand how to store and take care of your images for a good amount of time. Experienced photographers understand the importance of keeping good backups and records.
Do they have a contract?
This is something that understandably is forgotten a lot. A responsible photographer will have all the necessary paperwork to protect both of you in the rare case there are misunderstandings in the deal. Read it carefully and make sure you understand what is covered and what is not in the contract. Ask questions! That is the Photographer’s job to know their contract and understand it well enough to help you navigate it.
What do they specialize in?
Unfortunately, there are several photographers that will just do whatever kind of photography they can get their hands on because they can. However, a person that says they can do it all, rarely can. Look for someone who specializes in the type of photography you are looking for. If you want candid photography look for a documentary photographer. If you want a sports photographer make sure they understand high-volume sports photography. Families, vs weddings vs newborns. They are all a different specialty. Make sure they know how to do what you want!
I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard people complain about a photographer because the expectations weren’t set and made aware from the beginning. But if you go with these steps in mind, in no time you will find a photographer just right for you! Don’t be afraid to talk to a lot of photographers as they are here to serve you.
P.S. Did you see my last post; be honest with these six questions regarding your photos? Go check it out! And if you would like to schedule your own family photography session, make sure to contact me!