There are so many custom photographers not only in Annapolis, Maryland and Washington DC, but around the Country. With so many options, it’s hard to pick which one is right for you. When you’re picking a photographer, wither it’s for Family Holiday Photos or you’re bringing a new life into your families, there are certain questions you should think about before hiring someone.
#1: Do I like their style?
Every photographer has a key style. Some photographers go for bright colors and hues with extreme contrast and saturation in their images. Some photographers put a Matte on all their images to give a more vintage and rustic look. Some use pastels, others edit only in Black and White. When you’re searching for someone, look at their portfolio. Not just their most recent work, but see if they consistently produce similar looking images.
#2: Are they a Professional Photographer?
Now this question can always lead to some controversy. So, here’s my take what makes a Professional photographer.
- Operating a Legal Business – While it varies from state to state as to what they are required to do by law to register themselves as a business, the main one that is consistent is paying taxes. Cause taxes are ALWAYS required. Every legal business pays both state and federal taxes. Another key factor is having insurance for their business, especially if they have a studio. Some states require a DBA and a business license. Most legal businesses will have a contract stating so.
- Training – Not everyone needs to have a degree; hell, I don’t have one in anything photography related. BUT most of us know that there are several courses that you can take with other photographers, other businesses, or with colleges, that will give you training in how to light, pose, expose, etc. I personally have taken A LOT of classes and most recently attended The Baby Summit in Australia to continue my education for my clients.
Now, it’s really up to you wither this portion matters, for me when I hire someone, it does. I want to make sure that I’m promoting and giving my business to someone who’s putting forth the effort and time to make it in the business. Being a small business photographer is HARD, but I want to show the commitment to my clients and myself to put my best foot forward and I feel like most that call themselves Professional Photographers do as well.
#3: What comes with their sessions?
Like with their editing, each photographer runs their business differently. Some charge a sitting fee and not a session fee. Some charge by the hour, some have no time limits. Some offer a CD or USB or prints, while some offer those items completely separate from their sessions. It’s important to ask the photographer BEFORE hiring them what comes with their package. Now, I know this can be an uncomfortable question and sometimes you just assume that if you pay for a session, you’re paying for the photos. But, this isn’t always the case and instead of feeling blindsided, it’s best to ask this question before signing on the dotted line. Some Photographers don’t like this question because as a business owner, I can tell you, it makes it feel like our services aren’t being appreciated. None the less, it needs to be discussed so that both you and the photographer is happy at the end of the day.
That being said, with my sessions unless otherwise stated, my client receive ALL edited images on a USB. I do offer prints and products for my clients so they can put high quality prints on their walls but that is completely up to you.
I hope this little bit of helpful tips comes in handy for you. If you have any questions regarding my business, please don’t hesitate to email or call me. I hope to work with you all very soon!