Five Things to Ask Your Photographer

When you’re looking into booking a session with a photographer you haven’t worked with before, you should always make sure you’re in good hands. Though I might be a pinch bias, I believe that your session experience should always be a great one and that you should always be left completely satisfied with the service and products you’ve received. Here are five things that you should ask your photographer:

Five Things to Ask Your Photographer

1. How much experience do you have?
Everyone starts somewhere. It’s true what they say. Though a lot of creatives can pick up a camera for the first time and get amazing results, the more experience your photographer has, the better. Improvement comes with practice. Take a look at this comparison from two lifestyle shoots I’ve done with my daughter:

One year difference in Photography

With experience, I’ve learned about composition, light, exposure, processing, and so much more. These photos were taken almost exactly a year apart. Look at some of the work your photographer has done in the past, compared to now, and see how much they’ve improved. Experience doesn’t just to for the shoot. It also goes towards customer service. Think about going to a pre-grand opening of a huge new store. There are always some kinks to be worked out, right? But after the store has been in business for a month, or a year, or five years… their customer service is higher, the kinks are worked out, and it’s just a better experience overall.

2. What type of gear do you use, and do you know how to use it?
Having a nice camera doesn’t mean that you’re going to be able to take good pictures. When I upgraded my camera at Christmas time, I was so excited to get out and shoot. I wanted that first click to be the perfect shot, to help me feel like this expensive camera would be a huge game changer for me… And you know what I did? Overexposed it to be a completely white frame. I was too excited to check my settings and just clicked away. Once I calmed down and got back in the zone, I started producing exactly what I was hoping for. BUT I had to take the time to use it properly. Switching to manual mode changed my photography dramatically. Here’s an example of when I shot in Auto mode, with a cheaper camera and a cheap lens (in 2012), compared to a higher quality camera and a fantastic lens in manual mode (in 2014):

Five Things to Ask Your Photographer

3. How much knowledge about posing do you have? 
Posing can make a world of a difference. It can make parts of you look bigger or smaller. It can make you look younger or older. Posing is powerful and different for each type of photography. Here are two examples (each set were shot with the same settings, same location, and same light, just posed differently).

2014-06-16_0003The Power of Posing

4. What do you specialize in?
For one-time events that can be created (births, weddings, military homecomings, etc), I highly recommend hiring a photographer who specializes in that field. At the very least, make sure they have experience shooting whichever event you’re hiring them for. These are the moments in life that you want to remember perfectly. These are the times that are truly important. Why would you want to save a few bucks if that means sacrificing quality and risking not having these precious moments preserved in time forever?

5. What is included in your session?
Lastly, you want to make sure you know what you’re getting.Some photographers define their session length and shoot as much as possible during that time, while others will shoot until they feel they have enough images to provide you with a great gallery. Some define exactly how many images you’ll be receiving, while others will provide every shot that they know you’ll love. Many photographers don’t include digital files in your session fee. Others don’t include prints. Others still, include prints, digital files, and other things too. Some photographers have a minimum print order with your session. Every photographer runs their business a little differently. There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to run things. Just make sure you know exactly what you’re getting before you commit.

Are there other things you’d like to know about your photographer? Post them in the comments and I’ll add them to the list!

God Bless ♥ Victoria

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