You have been wanting to capture some special moments - whether that be family portraits, engagement photos, or just have someone take your holiday card picture. Trying to find a photographer is probably one of the hardest decisions you have to make. You want to find someone that not only fits your price points, but also your style and a million other factors that you might have not even thought about yet. It may seem overwhelming and almost impossible to find your "perfect match." It's okay. This post is to help you find out the "must-haves" for a photographer to things you might just want to look out for.
This post will go over the top 5 things to look for when hiring a photographer. I will be integrating what you will need to do in order to hire the photographer as well.
First things first, just look up who is in your area. If you are brand new to the area, that might mean using Google. If not, ask around first. Ask your friends who they have used before. That way you are able to get some testimonials from people you know and trust.
Then, you will need to look up their website. Having a website is crucial for a photographer because they should want to show you their work. Nowadays, it is very easy to make a free website. So not having a website does not help the photographer. Once you find their website, explore it. Find all the information you need from their website then ask the questions you need to know by contacting them, or filling out what they will have as an Inquiry Form. This just lets the photographer know you are interested in their work and you are considering doing business with them.
Some things you need to consider before hiring the photographer:
- What are the prices and does it fit my budget?
- What is the photographer's niche? What is his/her style?
- What are his/her credentials or experience?
- How do we receive the photographs? (Print, digital, or both?)
- What can you do for me?
Knowing how much you are willing to spend is very important before you even go into searching because you might set yourself up for disappointment. Either you end up really loving the prices and the photography is not the greatest or the photography is amazing, but it's way too much money for you. It also depends what you are needing a photographer for. Hiring someone for a wedding is going to cost significantly more than hiring for a small family portrait session. Do some research and see what is typical of a photography business to charge for what you are needing.
If a business doesn't have their prices listed (there is various reasons why) then just message them and ask. I keep mine hidden for multiple different reasons - including the fact that I want to talk to you about what YOU want.
Niche and Style
What does this mean? What is their specialty and how do they go about it. For example, Kaytee Lorentzen Photography specializes in lifestyle portrait photography which means I take for the most part posed pictures of people in natural environments with natural lighting. This would include family portraits, engagement photos, maternity portraits, and senior photos. I go out into the world to find my backdrops and I schedule my appointments by when the lighting is right for the portraits.
However, there are others that use a studio, flash, or do even photography, such as weddings. There is absolutely no "right" way to do photography. Some ways are better than other and some photographers are better than others at specific jobs. I am able to do studio work and do product photography, but I love to interact with people and make those memories stay alive than working with an object or product.
Credentials and Experience
How long have they been doing this? What types of photographs have they been doing the longest? Did you go to college for this?
These are just some of the questions you need to be asking the photographers. I have been taking photographs ever since I can remember. So I decided in high school to take up the photography classes offered. We were only allowed to use film cameras in first year. This allowed me to learn how to take manual photographs to get the best photographs possible. As the next year came, we were able to bring in digital cameras and we learned how to edit. Once I was in third year, I chose to go to college for photojournalism because I loved the idea of traveling all over the world and not just taking portrait work.
I went to Ball State University and graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelors in Photojournalism. During that time, I was able to capture many moments from the world. Then, I decided I wanted to open my own business because while I was at BSU, I was offered various photography jobs and did more portrait work as well.
I have had a lot of years to train myself for photography. Now, I am learning more about the business everyday. You need to make sure the photographer you hire also has experience as well.
receiving the photographs - after the session
Something that seems to happen after the session is the "Okay, what now?" stage. After the session, the photographer needs to let you know how you will be getting your photographs. Is it going to be in digital form? Print? Both? What are some options? Can I see them before I purchase them? What do you offer?
Some people get really hesitant about this because you just handed a photographer money to take your pictures, and you are praying you will get to see them afterwards. (It has happened to some people, as rare as it happens).
After a session with KLP, you will give the photographer time to edit the photos. Part of the editing process is picking and choosing from the thousands (Yes, thousands) of photographs that I have taken that day. Then, I just do little touch ups (like removing the hair out of your face from the wind) to make them perfect for you. Then, I will give you a call and we will schedule a viewing party. The people that are in the photographs and a few more may be invited to look through the photographs that I have provided and from there you will be able to order which ones you like. I do offer print photographs as well as a personalized app and a blog post.
customer satisfaction - "what can you do for me?"
This question seems broad and might catch some photographers off guard if they have never been asked this question. I honestly think it is a pretty good question because a customer is buying their service. If you want to elaborate on this question you can ask questions like "What do you offer complimentary?" "What are you going to do to go above and beyond for me?" "What do you do to help prepare me for my session?" You need to be asking these questions because these could make or break your experience.
Something I feel very passionate about is customer service (which everyone in the business world should). I offer a complimentary consultation before you decide to book, a complimentary viewing party before the photographs are purchased, a complimentary personalized app with your favorite 20 photos if you buy the biggest package, and a complimentary preparation email subscription to help prepare you for your photo session.
I like to go above and beyond by making sure your never in the dark about your session. I get to not only know you, but anyone else involved in this decision and in your session as well. I want to make sure that you get everything you would like out of the session and the photographs.
I help prepare you for the session by subscribing you to my emails that prepare you for the photoshoot. This is about five emails that you will receive to give you almost all of the information you will need.
Feel overwhelmed? Don't be. I made this a blog post so you can refer to this anytime you need to. Once you are able to find all of the information you need, you should be able to hire a photographer with less hesitation. You are more than welcome to add to this list of questions when interviewing a photographer. This is just to get you started and get the ball rolling with your own ideas.
If there is anything you think I should add to this list of "must ask" questions, let me know and I will give you my input.
Owner | Kaytee Lorentzen Photography