When searching for a photographer, it can be slightly overwhelming. As we scroll through Google, Facebook, Instagram and any other methods of finding your next business to help photograph your family - how can you make sure that it is a good decision?
Does the most expensive photographer mean the best photographer?
Does the cheapest photographer mean the worst photographer?
The answer: No.
Every person is different, at the same time every photographer is. There are a lot of aspects to a business that can influence your experience (and your pocket).
The reason why I am writing this blog is to help people understand that even the most expensive may not be the best, in the same way the cheapest the worst.
This is because the photographer in question might not be the best for you, but will be for someone else.
From their style, experience, knowledge and equipment - to your personal needs, you need to make sure they somewhat match. Have you ever highly recommended a business to someone, because you thought it was the best - but they did not vibe in the same way you did? Not because the experience was bad - but because the difference in taste and style.
For example, you could spend $10,000 (unrealistic for Darwin lol) on a session, thinking that by paying thousands of dollars mean you being happy - when you discover you don't really like that style.
So, there are a few things to look for when in search of a photographer:
Firstly, do you like their style? Is it a consistent style?
I remember, when I was still learning, that I did change photography styles quite often. Eventually, I found my true style and have stayed with that ever since. When you are looking, it is best to stick with someone who has a consistent style for at least 2-3 months. If it is less, be sure to show their previous work of what you are after to see if they can do it.
Secondly, if you like the style - do they have experience in what you are after?
This is just as important! Not every photographer can do anything and everything - or may want to. Look through their website and social media to see if they have done what you are after. For example, a wedding photographer might not do newborn sessions - the same way a newborn photographer might not do weddings. They are two completely different ballgames. I enjoy doing newborns, branding, weddings and families as it keeps me creative, but for example - I don't do boudoir photography.
If you can't find it, most likely it is something they don't offer or have enough experience in (or perhaps, they don't wish to). However, don't be afraid to ask!
Another thing to look our for is natural light photographers vs. studio. I can actually do both as I have experience and I am trained, but either are very different ways of working and especially for studio lighting - takes years of work and also equipment.
Third, reviews, reviews, reviews.
Be sure to check out reviews from a business to see how real-life experiences happen. Now, sometimes there may be one bad review but if you find that say, out of 20 good reviews there is one bad - I would not personally take it as a bad thing. It is good though to do your research and check reviews as it does help tremendously with what to expect.
Last, inclusions & packages
When you finally come to the deciding point, I highly recommend to check all the packages and pricing. Also, be sure to read any fine print (if any). Try to pick a photographer with a contract, this helps create a very clear understanding of expectations and what you paid for. Sometimes, you might not actually get high resolution digitals and have to pay extra. In my business, prices are 'all inclusive', meaning you get high resolution digitals, a minimum of one print in any newborn or portrait package and the session fee included. So, when looking - be sure to always check the inclusions and exclusions, as it may end up costing you far more than you think if these are not actually included! Session fees are PERFECTLY normal for photographers, but always ask if it is included in the package or extra!
So... those are the main points for what to think about when in search of a photographer. However, don't forget - the best photographer for someone else is not always the best photographer for you! So make sure you DO like their work, and then the rest should help!
Good luck and I hope to work with you soon,