1. Your Photographer Should have Excellent People Skills
Having people skills is one of the most important things you can ask for in a photographer. There is nothing worse than going to a shoot and not having a very friendly photographer taking your happy family photos. This job is most photographer’s passion in life, so therefore, that should shine through during the session. So, make sure you and your future photographer connect in some way before booking them and get to know them a little better as a person. I find this especially important when you have little ones.
Also, if it takes forever and a day for your photographer to respond back to you (I’m talking longer than 48 hours typically) before you have even booked them! Then that is a huge red flag. Of course, there are exceptions, but those are far and few between. For the most part, your photographer should stay in constant contact with you before, during and after your session with them, and if they don’t then do not move forward with booking them.
2. They need to have a Good reputation
Another very important detail is they must have a good reputation. Go through their website, Facebook, Yelp, Google, etc. and see what people are saying about them. If it’s all good things then great, book them! If you can’t find many good reviews, then don’t let that deter you because they could be new to the area, just starting out, doing this part-time etc. But, for the most part, there should be positive ratings and comments about their work and their experience somewhere on one of their sites.
3. Find one that offers prints and products
A professional photographer will have an established pricing guide where they offer a variety of prints and products. I, for example, offer prints, canvases, mounted prints, digital files, custom framing, digital albums, and albums. Your ultimate goal should be to print the photos you hire the photographer to take, therefore, they should provide you with a wide variety of options to choose from that will work for you and your family.
4. Make sure they are insured
Insurance is often one that is frequently overlooked. Every business should have some sort of liability insurance for your protection and theirs. Just in case anything were to happen, just know that you are protected with a photographer that is properly insured.
5. Check out their Portfolio
Make sure you like their work. If you like what you see then book them, if not, then don’t. Every photographer has a different style and so do you. So, go find the one that fits your style best. The best way to check out their artwork is go to their website, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. The photographer you hire will have a great portfolio, and if they don’t then, that may mean they are just starting out, or it may mean you want to go with someone else. Or, if you don’t like it, then don’t book them. Trust your instincts.
6. Know their Turnaround time
Last, but not least, make sure you know their turnaround time before you book your session. I cannot stress this enough. There are some photographers who over-book and then end up not getting your photos to you in a timely manner, and then there are some who just naturally take a long time to edit the photos and get them back to you to review. My turnaround time is 1 week for you to review, then 1 week for the prints and products to come back in. So, all in all I have a 2 week turnaround of product delivery, and during those 2 weeks I like to stay in constant contact with my client to make sure my they don’t think I have forgotten about them 🙂
I hope this helps some of you who are looking to book a professional photographer this fall and holiday season. If you are interested in learning more about my sessions then please head on over to my Pricing Page so you can learn a little more about my services.