6 Questions to Ask Your Photographer

When planning a photo shoot there are a lot of steps that should be taken by both parties to get the best experience possible. A photographer that is willing to truthfully answer all the questions you may have is one step towards having a great experience. Hiring the right one for the job can feel like trying to find a needle in a hay stack. Here are a few questions to ask that help make that decision a little easier.

1. Do they specialize in your desired area of photography?

There are thousands of photographers, but not everyone one of them decides to specialize in everything. Someone who photographs just business headshots and corporate executives isn’t going to be a good choice for a newborn photoshoot. It can be the same with high school senior photographers and family portraits. It’s always better to double check before scheduling a photo session.

2. What’s their style? Does it match what you are looking for?

There are a few different styles that photographers can have. Some love having their photos light and airy, while others are more prone to dark and dramatic lighting. Are they more pose directed or capture more candid shots with minimal input? If your looking for someone to tell you exactly how to look and stand then a more pose directed person may be a better fit. If you looking for some general guidance, but feel comfortable with being able to change your pose to better fit your desired outcome, a candid photographer may be the way to go.

3. Do they have a sitting fee and/or a booking fee?

A booking fee and a sitting fee are two different things, so lets define them. A sitting fee is what a client will pay for the cost of photographing the session. It does not include the cost of products like digital files or prints. It may also not include the cost of editing the photos taken or selected. A booking fee is a separate payment used to reserve the scheduled session date and time. This is some times different than a deposit, where that money can be used towards your purchase. Don’t be afraid to ask your photographer if any fee is being put towards your total purchase.

4. What’s the pricing structure?

There are a few ways photographers go about structuring the pricing for a photo shoot. Some photographers will do package pricing. Where your sitting fee, editing cost, and a certain amount of photos are all included in that cost. For example: the Bronze Package includes 45 minutes of photography, and three fully edited images which are given to you digitally. Physical prints are not included and do cost extra. Others may take that same structure but separate it into separate fees, like a sitting fee, print cost, and editing fee’s.

A photographer may also separate when that payment is taken. While one photo studio may have you pay for everything up front, usually after the selections have been made (mainly used at a photo studio). Another may only charge you half after the photography is done and the other portion after you’ve made your selections (mainly used by freelance photographers and outdoor photographers with no studio space).

5. Do They Have Contracts?

To ensure you and the photographer are both protected a contract may be put in to place. This is generally used to make sure you get what you asked for and they get paid for their time and service. It will also give you small details about what your photographer will and won’t do. Like if they charge for travel, a given time frame to select photos, and any other rates that may be generally hidden.

Additionally, ask about a model release. This may be apart of the service contract or a completely different contract. It may be included in invoices as well so please read it carefully before signing anything. This allows the photographer to use any images from your session for their marketing materials, like social media or website. If you don’t feel comfortable with it, don’t sign it or ask for it to be removed from the contract. Your privacy and comfort should be respected completely.

6. What to they provide for the photo shoot?

There are photographers that do not provide props for their photoshoots for a simplistic, non distracting image and others that will try to include props as a form of variation for posing. These can range anywhere from couches, chairs, little wagons for your kids, teddy bears… the list can go on and on. There are even photographers that include clothing and wraps for babies and cakes for cake smashes. Since this can vary from photographer to photographer you’ll need to ask these questions in order to get a clear look at what you may need to buy, bring, and plan for.

Your mind may be swimming with even more questions or concerns regarding what photographer will best fit your needs. If you’re looking for someone specific, you’ll want these questions to check all of boxes. It’s okay to be picky. Finding a photo studio, or just a photographer that can fit all your needs will help give you the comfort you need. Once you do find that perfect photographer trust in them to give you the best experience possible and don’t be afraid to add your own friendly input along the way.

One Comment on “6 Questions to Ask Your Photographer

  1. Pingback: A Guide to Highschool Senior Pictures – Bee. H Photography

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One Comment on “6 Questions to Ask Your Photographer

  1. Pingback: A Guide to Highschool Senior Pictures – Bee. H Photography

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