Before you book a photographer, quiz possible pros on important points
The key to finding a photographer that you love? Interviewing them before you sign the contract. In addition to loving their style, having an in-person or phone interview is a great way to make sure you feel comfortable with them and confident you’ll get the most out of your investment. Not sure where to start? Aside from your gut-instinct, ask these questions before choosing a photographer.
What is your style of photography? Do you have a portfolio?
Why you need to know: Most shooters use a blend of several different styles of photography, but you’ll want to make sure they shoot portraits, for example, if they’re important to you.
Pro tip: Ask for a link to their portfolio and surf their social media pages to see their work. Going with the style a photographer likes to shoot best (and has the most experience shooting) will give you the best results.
Do you require a contract? What happens if one of us needs to reschedule?
Why you need to know: A contract protects both you and the photographer. It should spell out the expectations of you and the photographer so that everyone knows what to expect, including what will happen if one of you needs to reschedule.
Pro tip: If a photographer does not give you the option to sign a contract, it could be a red flag.
What is the deposit and total cost?
Why you need to know: In addition to the bottom line number, you’ll need to ask when the deposit is due.
Pro tip: If you don’t see a package that meets your needs, ask about add-ons.
Do you provide digital images or prints?
Why you need to know: Some photographers include prints while others include digital images with print rights.
Pro Tip: If applicable, ask what kind of paper is used for prints – the answer you want to hear is “acid-free and archival quality”, which will stand the test of time.
Do you have a list of preferred locations?
Why you need to know: A list of preferred locations creates options you may not have thought of yourself.
Pro tip: Be sure to ask what time of day provides the best lighting at your location of choice.
Will the images be retouched and color balanced?
Why you need to know: Interpreting images in a beautiful way requires a great amount of experience, skill and time. Some photographers charge extra for this service.
Pro tip: When it comes to investing in a good photographer who is an experienced editor, your money will not be wasted.
What is your turnaround time on proofs and final edits?
Why you need to know: You’ll want to see the photos right away, but if you know what to expect in advance, you can manage your expectations.
Pro tip: This should be covered in your contract.
Take advantage of your time in conversation with the photographer. If you feel comfortable with them and they’re the right fit, tell them a little bit about yourself and what your hopes are for these images. If they’ve made it through your questioning and provided an answer you’re happy with, chances are they are going to do everything they can to make sure you get the most out of your investment and make it their goal to bring your vision to life.