Wedding Photographer | Family Photographer
Looking for a photographer for the first time can be a little intimidating. Especially if you’ve never had professional pictures taken before. If you’re new to the process (or maybe still looking for your go-to photog), I’ve made a list of 5 questions you can ask your potential photographer!
There are 4 main types of photography… Traditional (think your parents’ wedding pictures, posed and formal). Photojournalism (more of a lifestyle approach, documenting moments as they happen, more candid than posed). Fine Art (uses specialized lighting, unique framing, distinct composition). Lastly, Dramatic (dark and moody feel, lots of shadows, complex lighting).
Then we get into styles of editing. There’s light & airy, warm & moody, true to color, fine art (not to be confused with the fine art type), film, bold & contrast, and so many more! Make sure you find a photographer with an editing style that suits what you’re looking for. If you like images that are bright and happy, you aren’t going to be so happy with a warm & moody photographer.
Sometimes a photographer may have a mix between 2 or 3 editing styles and that’s okay too. As long as they’re consistent with it. A good photographer should be able to articulate their style to you. Be cautious if they don’t know how to describe their style. You should know what to expect when your gallery is delivered.
Don’t feel bad or like you’re asking too much to see a full gallery. There’s no better way to have an idea of what your own gallery will look like, than by seeing someone else’s. If your photographer is confident in the quality of their work, they’ll show you one, two, maybe even three galleries.
Remember: don’t judge every gallery solely on the number of images. There’s so much more that goes into the quality of a gallery. Are the moments you want to be captured in the gallery? Whether it’s a wedding gallery or a family session, I always tell my clients there’s no way to guarantee a specific number of images that will turn out. It’s the overall variety and quality that really matters.
There should also be a portfolio tab on their website, but keep in mind that these are usually the very best of the best images they’ve taken and may not accurately represent an average wedding or session.
While a good photographer will make the best of what they have to work with, it won’t hurt if they’ve shot at the location or venue before to know where the best spots are, where the light hits just right, and where the shadows aren’t too strong. If the photographer has been there, ask if you can see a gallery from a session there to help bring the vision of your session to life.
These answers should be clearly explained in your contract. Some important things that need to be noted in your contract
Most photographers have a clause for each circumstance in their contract. Will there be a second shooter available? An associate shooter? Do you get your retainer back if there’s some sort of natural disaster? If these questions are answered in the contract but you don’t really understand the wording, don’t hesitate to ask the photographer for clarification! Ask them to explain their policies in simpler terms. Even sometimes I’m overwhelmed and get lost when I’m reading contracts.
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Want to see more? Check out my favorite session prep posts on the blog
February 25, 2022