5 Tips on How to Choose A Photographer

So it's your senior year and you are wanting photos or maybe it is finally fall and you want some family photos, in order to that to happen, in either case, you will need to find a photographer. How can you find one? Well, this post is for you, I'm going to give you 5 things to look for when choosing a photographer. Aren't I a nice guy? :-)

1. Experience

It is important to know what kind of experience they have. It isn't wise to look at a photographer who only does wildlife shots when you want a new family photo, those genres have nothing in common. Looking for someone who specializes in family portraits or at least does a lot of them is a safe bet. The length of time they have been photographing is also a consideration. I'm not hating on newer photographers, I've only been doing it for a few years, but someone who has been doing it for a longer period of time is more likely to have their processes down and will make the overall experience better. If you know someone who has used a particular photographer, ask how it was and you will have a better idea of what to expect.

2. Style

When I say style, I don't mean how they dress, I mean how they photograph. If you look at a lot of photos today they lean towards the film look, not a bad thing if that's what you like. Some may shoot with an airy, bright style or with a lot of moody shadows, styles vary greatly. Not only what the basis of the photo looks like should be put into consideration but also how the people in the photo look. How are they posed? Does the photographer show a lot of smiling or is it more of a serious look in all the photos? How do they dress? Is it formal or informal? There are a lot of questions to answer. Fortunately, most of these can be answered by browsing their website, Facebook or Instagram pages. 

3. Services

What kind of services does a photographer offer? Some photographers only offer a CD full of images, while this may seem old school, a lot of people still like to receive it. But guess what? Computer manufacturers are removing CD drives from laptops, my mother-in-law doesn't have one and I had to make sure my wife got a laptop with a CD drive in it. Thankfully there are many online galleries available for photographers and they are easy to navigate, so make sure you can at least have digital copies. You may also want prints, for your walls or for relatives, albums, announcements, holiday cards, etc., a photographer may be able to provide all of these for an easy one stop shop. Two items that I like are metal prints, which are photos on metal, a very nice wall piece, and print boxes. Print boxes are wooden boxes where you store prints, the top of them can have a photo on them or engraved, such a great looking way to store photos.

An example of an online photo gallery that I use.

An example of an online photo gallery that I use.


4. Location

This is an obvious one. I know there are a lot of amazing photographers out there but they are not always close. While it may be awesome to have someone in California take some photos of you and you like in Kentucky, that may not be possible unless you happen to be visiting there or vice versa. An hour or two drive isn't a big deal for some, especially when you know these photos will be displayed for a long time, possibly years. I advise to limit your search to the surrounding area and then branch out from there, who knows what you'll find!

5. Price

Oh year, the big one, the factor that most people weigh the heaviest. If you noticed I didn't put price as the first thing to look for. While money is something we all need to put into consideration, I do not think a photographer who is slightly more expensive should be thrown out if the above four criteria are a match. I'm not saying go blow your budget, but if you can have that awesome photo session by saving for a few more weeks I say go for it! I think someone can sacrifice a few pumpkin spiced lattes from Starbucks or a few meals out in order to have that smiling face of you child or spouse forever captured in a photography. I promise it will be worth it.

With these 5 tips, you should be able to find a photographer in no time. So get to stalking those Facebook and Instagram pages and happy hunting!

- Will


Will MarshallComment