5 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Photographer
Professional photographers do more than take pictures: they use their training and experience to consistently capture those once-in-a-lifetime moments. If you’ve ever used a professional photographer, you understand that.
But, how do you find a professional photographer that’s right for you? Here are the 5 most important questions to ask:
1. Are You Insured?
If the answer is “yes,” ask as many questions as you like to determine if the relationship is right for you. If the answer is “no,” however, do not pass GO! Simply find another photographer. What happens if you hire a friend of a friend and he trips, injuring himself or breaking his brand new camera? When facing large medical bills, people sue easily! You need to be protected.
2. What is Your Photographic Style?
A photographer’s style is reflected in their portfolio and asking them to shoot a radically different style is a recipe for disaster. Look for images that you can see yourself in. Tell the photographer why you’re having images created and the story you want your photographs to tell. Think of three words that describe you and share those with your photographer. You’re counting on their knowledge of art, lighting, posing and more to create images that fit your vision. The more comfortable you are with the person behind the camera, the more comfortable you’ll be in front of it, allowing your photographer to capture more authentic, intimate and emotional images.
3. What Does Your Fee Include & What is the Deliverable Time?
You’ll want to understand what you’re getting for your money: how much time, how many images, album types, the format for delivering proofs, what’s included in your package. How much editing can be done? How long after your session will you have to wait to see something? How much time will you have to order after you see the proofs? Will you get images that you can quickly share on social media? Seriously, ask all these questions, because you would not believe how often people assume that they are getting something and end up in an icky situation because the expectations were mismatched.
4. Do You Have Backup Equipment?
While it may be cheaper to hire someone who does this on the side or a family member, you risk not getting any guarantee of the quality of images and risk losing your day or event forever should their equipment fail. Because memory cards do fail. Lenses do break and batteries do, unfortunately, die. All at the wrong time! A professional photographer will always show up early with one or two backup cameras, lenses or flashes and additional lighting equipment. Well-connected and experienced PPA photographers (Professional Photographers of America - trade organization for Professional Photographers) will always have contingency plans and backup equipment. Most of the time, things actually do happen in the background that photographers handle without anyone noticing, things like camera swaps, flash changes, and extra lights.
5. Do You Require a Written Contract?
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. How will the photographer ensure your satisfaction, what are their backup plans in the event they’re late or called away by an emergency? What happens if there’s equipment failure or some other unforeseen issue?
Pat Saizan Photography welcomes these questions. As a member of PPA (Professional Photographers of America) we adhere to high professional standards.
Sourced: PPA (Professional Photographers of America)