Hey there you beautiful person, you! Have you been thinking about hiring a professional photographer? Have you been wondering if it's worth it? Are you afraid it'll end up being a waste of money? Are you worried your husband or children won't cooperate?
These are all totally normal thoughts and concerns. So I thought it might be a good idea for this Palm Springs Family Photographer to give you 5 Tips for Finding the Right Photographer for You. See, every photographer is different. There's different styles, different business practices, different personalities. There's more involved than just finding someone to click a button.
1. Find someone who specializes in the type of session you're looking for.
There are photographers out there who say they photograph EVERYTHING, and that's fine. However, wouldn't you prefer to go with someone who specializes in a certain genre? For example, there is a very big difference between someone who does boudoir photography, and someone who does family photography. Can a photographer do both, of course. But they are very different genres. There's different posing, different elements, and different emotions involved. I specialize in lifestyle portraiture, specifically in families and birth. However, family photography includes other genres: Couples (moms and dads weren't always moms and dads), maternity, and newborn (lifestyle newborn for me). I don't specialize in seniors. I don't specialize in weddings (even though I have photographed them). I also don't specialize in posed newborn sessions. These are all things I would refer to another photographer who DOES specialize in them. The saying "Jack of all trades, Master of none" is real for a reason. While you can get "good enough" at a bunch of different genres, it's hard to really shine as brightly in all as you would in just one or two.
2. Find someone who captures the moments you want to capture.
Some photographers are "sit and smile" photographers. Some are lifestyle photographers who choose to do more directional posing and moment capturing (that's me). Some are documentary photographers. They literally follow you around and capture the moments as they unfold naturally before them, with ZERO posing. If you're looking for someone to only capture you and your family looking at the camera, I wouldn't really be the photographer for you. If you're looking for someone who will capture you naturally snuggling your little one, or loving up on your main squeeze, that would be me. It's all about knowing how you want your session to turn out. This will work out so much better for you because you may end up disappointed that you don't have any of all of you looking at the camera when that isn't what your photographer really does. Be sure to look for this when you're searching through photographers work. What you see on their website is likely what you'll get for your own session.
3. Find someone who offers the products you're most interested in.
What are you looking to take away from your session? Digital files? Prints, albums, wall art? A mixture of both? It's also important to ask yourself WHY you only want digital files, if that's all you're after. I see so many people who claim they only want the digital files, but then they never get their images printed, or framed. This results in the images sitting on their computer, maybe getting shared to Facebook and that's about it. When life gets busy, getting your images printed gets put on the back burner. Why not leave that up to your photographer? This way, not only are you ensuring that you get a real tangible product, but a) you didn't have to worry about it and b) it'll be much better quality than anything you can get from consumer labs (like Wal-Mart or Costco). I believe in an all-inclusive approach. I understand the desire to have the digital files but I also want to ensure my clients get a tangible product. Digital files make people feel like they have a safety net. However, tangible products will actually out last digital files. Think about it, computers crash. Hard drives fail. CDs, DVDs and soon USBs become obsolete. I still have albums from my childhood that I look through. Nothing beats a tangible product.
4. Find someone who produces consistent work.
I feel like this is important to mention because I have seen clients on Facebook upset because they didn't get what they were expecting from their photographer. Maybe the gallery only had a few images that were closer to what they saw on the website. Or maybe the photographer decided to edit their images completely different from what was shown on their website or social media pages. I always suggest looking at a full gallery of images from a single session. This will help you know what to expect from your own gallery. This is part of the reason I blog my sessions. You can see all the photos that the client received. It's easy to look and see what a full gallery from me would look like.
5. Find someone who is worth investing in and who you click with.
One of the biggest hiccups when it comes to hiring a professional photographer is the price. I understand price is a big concern, however, with the proper planning you should have no problems saving up for the photographer you really want. Every photographer has different costs involved with running their business. Some aren't paying taxes, which means they aren't running a legitimate business. Some do not have insurance. Some do not have studios, etc. Each one is different. Keep in mind, you're also paying for that photographers experience. Someone just starting out is likely not going to be charging hundreds of dollars, and someone who has been working at their craft for many years likely isn't going to be on the inexpensive side. While price is a necessary consideration, it should be your last one, in my opinion. We spend all this money on Starbucks, or name brand purses, yet we have a hard time investing in memories that will last a lifetime. Why is that? Why do we place a higher value on material objects over our memories with our loved ones? Being willing to invest in the right photographer for you will leave not only you, but your children with memories to look back on, reminisce about. These moments are important, cherish them. Treat them kindly. It's important that you and your photographer click and that you each get good vibes about working together. I like to build real relationships with my clients. They become more like friends. This is important to me because I want us to be apart of each others lives. If you're investing in me for your memories, I want to invest in you as well and that means taking an active part in your life. I want to see your family growing through social media and cell phone photos you take randomly. I love that stuff.
Finding the right photographer for you is important. I hope these tips are helpful the next time you're considering a professional photographer to capture your most precious moments.
If you are considering hiring a Palm Springs Family Photographer, I would love to be considered! CONTACT ME today to talk about your own session!