Yup, I've heard this a thousand times. Why are photographers so expensive? Wait, scratch that. Why are professional photographers so expensive? Now, I'm going to tackle this question first. Then we will proceed to answer other questions about the decision of hiring the right photographer for you!
So, 500 dollars for a session, huh? I mean, she's just using a camera. She's just taking pictures. Why so much?
These are questions I either hear or read about often. The quick answer is any professional anything is going to be expensive. Want to get your hair done for 50 bucks? Go ahead, but you might not like the results. Want a contractor to finish your basement for 5k? Sure, you can find that guy- but be ready to be disappointed in the end. The point here is, you are paying for value not images. I know photographers that charge 75 dollars an image. Gasp. And good for them I say! They have logged hundreds of hours in photoshop (no easy task), taken thousands of pictures and probably use a lens/camera combo that is worth more than your first born. Just kidding, but you get the point. We're not trying to swindle you with our prices, we are simply valuing our work and we all hope you do too!
Besides price, here are a few other questions that might come to mind when hiring a photographer: What style do I want? What if she/he is mean? Why can't we wear all different colors and patterns? What the heck is golden hour? Consultation? How will my photos be delivered? Contracts and photo releases, what's that? Professional prints? Walmart is cool, right? Your head must be swimming! Ok... enough to start, you think?
There are probably hundreds...... or maybe 10 questions that go through your mind. The key is to get as many answered before making your final decision. There will always be a level of risk involved when hiring anyone- photographers included! So let's try to answer these most common ones, shall we?
1. Price- We talked about this but it's important to reiterate- You get what you pay for. Enough said.
2. Style- Photographers, just like people, come in all shapes and sizes. Meaning, there are tons of different styles to choose from. From light and airy photos to rich and saturated, the list is pretty long. You also have your specialities- such as newborn and wedding. If you are looking for a newborn photographer or wedding photographer, look for that speciality. Then try to pinpoint your favorite style to a corresponding photographers style. Look at their website and Facebook page. It's important to do your research on this! Same with family, maternity, child, individual, birthday and even event. Match your style with theirs.
3. Personality- Personality is huge! Try to talk with your photographer either on the phone or face to face before your session. Connecting with him or her can be so important to the success of your shoot. If your chosen photographer doesn't want to connect, you may need to ask why.
4. Clothing- Get tips from your photographer about clothing. What you wear is about the most important aspect of your session. Your photographer should know how to coordinate outfits and color. What will work and what will not work is part of the job. Reach out and ask for help! They're usually extremely happy you did!
5. Golden Hour- Golden hour is the best hour of the day to photograph. It's gold, rich, colorful and just all around magical. It's the hour before sunset or the hour after sunrise. Shoot to be photographed during these times. If you can't do that, ask your photographer for a good time based upon your location.
6. Consultation- Not all photographers offer this feature. I do and I'll tell you why. I want a hand in everything we do. From picking out outfits to final delivery of images, I'm in! Consultations help me get to know my clients before I shove a camera in their face. It helps kids be less shy. It gives me a chance to connect. If this is important to you, hire one that does consultations.
7. Delivery process- Understand how your images are being delivered and if there are any extra fees associated with them. This can be tricky for both photographers and clients alike. We want you to have the best experience possible and know we are doing our best to provide that experience. I truly believe you are not just receiving digital photos, but a personalized high quality experience. This could mean lower session fees to buy the digital images you choose or a bit higher session fee and they give you images with a package. Simply make sure you fully understand the situation and how your photographer chooses to do business.
8. Contracts/photo release- If your photographer is not offering a contract or photo release- run! Especially if you are paying. These are standard procedures for professionals and it protects both your rights and theirs. The contract should include names, date and time of session, where, how many final photos you are getting, fees and delivery date. Along with all of the conditions associated with your session. The photo release is to protect you! It gives the photographer the right to use your photos for self-promotion only and does NOT give them the right to sell them to make profit. This is something you sign to allow the photographer to use your photos for their website or social media outlets. Despite what some might say, you do not need a release to print them. I have NEVER come across that. Only famous photographers would require this... Lord knows we're not famous...but some photographers have egos and if they want to offer this thinking you need it, graciously accept with a smile.
9. Prints- I get this question a lot and it goes something like this, "You offer prints on the gallery Jenn, but I went to Walmart and they cut off my child's hand. What do I do?" Usually it's followed by me saying to use a professional printing company. Then I suggest the one that is set up with their gallery. This comes back to- you get what you pay for. While there are a lot of photographers that take this part into their own hands, and I've given it a good amount of thought to follow suite, others offer help while others give you a CD and run. What do you prefer? Try to think about this as a full process from outfit selection through printing your beautiful photos. Every piece is important and you're not doing yourself any justice by spending hundreds on the session only to degrade the images by printing on the cheap... and don't even get me started on color quality! Ask your photographer for help! That's what we are here for!
10. Have Fun! This is supposed to be a fun and enjoyable experience. Make it that way! Enjoy the process and know, if you did your homework, you have chosen the best photographer for you and your family or event!
Next post... well, I haven't quite figured that out yet. So stay tuned. Now off to lunch.. and if we are facebook friends, get ready for a food picture!
Until Next Time. Keep Smiling!