Finding the right photographer for you and your family can be a daunting task. Because of the increasing availability of digital equipment, professional photography has become an extremely competitive market.
There are lots of websites to sort through, blogs to pour over, and advertisements everywhere. It can seem almost impossible to find a perfect fit!
The good news is that with a little time and effort, you can do your own research and find a photographer that’s just right for you.
Searching For Your Photographer
Start Close to Home:
A great way to start your photographer-seeking journey is by asking friends and family if they recommend anyone in the area. Chances are good that they’ve worked with (or know someone who’s worked with) a great photographer for portraits or life events. Chances are also good that a photographer who’s worked well with people close to you will also work well with you!
Using Facebook and internet searches are also great ways to find local photographers. Most professional photographers have a strong online web presence with portfolios of their work for you to browse. Once you’ve found a few studios you’re interested in working with, don’t be shy about setting up interviews! Schedule a phone call or casual in-person meeting to get a feel for the photographer and his/her process for creating images. It will quickly become clear whether it’s a good fit for both of you!
Hint: It’s always a good idea to ask a photographer to see a complete gallery of images from photoshoots. A good photographer will have a consistent style they carry throughout an entire set of photographs. You want to be sure that you will get an entire gallery full of images you love, not just one or two.
Finding the Perfect Fit
It’s no secret that great art is expensive, and this can be the case for photographers as well. Remember that these images are an investment – in yourself and in your family. Good photographers intend for your images to be family heirlooms and plan for this by offering archival-grade print products built to hold their color and detail for a lifetime.
Although choosing the least expensive photographer may seem like an attractive option, there is most likely a reason they’re so cheap! Great photographers with good client service are typically booked solid and price themselves to reflect this.
If budget is a main concern in selecting a photographer, try contacting a few “dream” photographers and let them know your intended price range. They may be willing to work with you and offer payment options or smaller packages to fit within your budget.
Have you ever met a new friend, significant other, or business contact that you just “click” with? Your personalities seem to fit as though you’ve known each other far longer than you really have, and you feel comfortable in conversation. Finding the right photographer should feel this way as well – at least to a certain extent! You are hiring a photographer to document you or your family; to understand what makes you special and bring out the best in you on camera. It’s essential to find someone you feel comfortable with, someone who can really see what makes you who you are and translate that into visual art. This special chemistry will make all the difference in the final images!
Hint: Photography is an art; as such you can expect every photographer to offer a unique style of imagery. You don’t have to be an art expert to decide whether or not you like a style – just browse through their portfolio. If the photographs you see make you feel good and are something you could envision in your home, chances are the photographer is a stylistically good fit for you!
A photographer will generally tell on their website what kind of photography they specialize in. Here’s (generally) what it all means:
“Lifestyle” photographs are natural and unposed, documenting small, intimate moments throughout your time in front of the camera. Lifestyle images should look free and easy in front of the camera, focusing mostly on the personality and interaction of the portrait subjects in a relaxed setting.
Posed images are a more traditional approach to portrait photography. The photographer will direct you throughout your photo shoot in a variety of poses. Great posed images should not look stiff or stoic, but have a definite “I’m being photographed” styles to the subjects.
Natural Light photographers use only natural light in their work. Great natural light portraits are radiant and often have a warm glow to them. Generally, natural light photographers only work during certain times of the day when the light is at its best (usually sunrise and sunset) so be prepared to schedule your day around the photo shoot.
Studio portraits are taken in a controlled environment with professional lighting set ups. Studio portraits are carefully composed and have a deliberate look to them.
Amanda is a natural light photographer who shoots in studio and on location, occasionally in client’s homes. The majority of the images you see on ARG Photographs are “lifestyle” by definition – but you’ll never be left to wonder what you should be doing. By utilizing relationships, flattering angles and your family dynamic, Amanda is able to gently pose you to result in the best lifestyle images possible. Whether on location or in the light filled ARG studio, you’ll love your images.
Interviewing Your Photographer
If you’ve found a photographer whose portfolio strikes your fancy, the next step to take is to pick up the phone (or schedule an in-person meeting) for a little interview. Don’t be afraid to ask the questions you want answered and feel out if it’s a good fit for you and your family. We’ve created a little interview outline here for you, but feel free to add your own questions and ideas to the list!.
Q: How long has your studio been in business? ARG Photographs has been in business since 2011 and we’ve loved every moment of it!
Q: What type of photography do you specialize in? Amanda specializes in glowing natural light images in relaxed, lifestyle settings.
Q: What are your session policies? ARG Photographs is happy to provide session policies to you in an easy-to-read .PDF guide upon request for the intention of booking a session and many of your questions can be found on the website!
Q: What products do you offer to display images? ARG Photographs offers a wide range of handmade, archival quality photo products to make your memories last for a lifetime in beautiful physical form, including albums, gallery canvas, hand retouched prints and beautifully framed, ready to hang, wall art.
Q: Do you limit the amount of sessions you book? Amanda limits bookings to 6 per month to ensure incredible service for our clients. Our goal is exceptional quality, not quantity.
Risks of Purchasing Digital Images Only
When you choose to purchase only digital files from a photographer, there’s a big risk that your final products won’t be to the quality or standard you were hoping for. When you purchase a print product from an experienced photographer, they may spend hours perfecting the crop and colors of the photograph to produce the best possible result when printed. This process of color correction is often overlooked, but absolutely essential to reproducing what you see on your computer screen accurately onto printed media. Most consumer-facing print labs also do not offer the standards of color quality that professional labs do, and you may find yourself with prints that are muddy and awkwardly trimmed!
Why Buy Archival Grade Print Products
Photographs are meant to be printed. There is nothing quite like an exquisitely designed, handcrafted framed print to display and preserve your images in a way that everyone can enjoy . Although online galleries and digital image displays are becoming an increasingly popular, inexpensive way to display photographs, there is still nothing like a physical printed photo. Thinking about an album? They aren’t just galleries; they’re books which tell the story of you and your family. Well-designed albums inspire and elicit a wide range of emotions in incredible detail and brilliant color. Many photographers will spend hours or even days to craft a design that shows off your images as individual works of art. Albums are well worth the investment – they will last a lifetime and make your images accessible to anyone, anytime! If you choose to invest in framed images for your home, they will be printed on archival quality paper and hand assembled, delivered to your home ready to hang and enjoy.