There is more to choosing a photographer for your portraits than finding one that creates images that you love. In this post, I am going to give you some things to consider when you are choosing a photographer to capture your portraits.
Consultation or No Consultation
Do you want to have a consultation with your photographer before your portrait session? You might think it’s not necessary, but I want to tell you why it can help turn your portraits from good to fantastic!
You can have a consultation with your portrait photographer either over the phone or in person. By having a consultation, you are ensuring that you and your photographer are on the same page. If you have specific shots or moments that you want captured, this is the time to talk to your photographer about it. You don’t want to forget to mention these shots on the day of your session, and then kick yourself on the way home from your session because you forgot about them!
During your pre-session consultation, you should also discuss wardrobe choices. This allows you to choose the perfect wardrobe for the location you have chosen and ensures that everyone will be coordinated and not clashing in their outfits.
Consultations also allow you to ask any questions you may have about the session, products, pricing, or what happens after the session. This is where you want to get everything cleared up so there are no surprises later on.
If you do not go with a pre-session consultation, I would suggest making sure that everything is discussed thoroughly over email. You want your expectations met and to have a wonderful experience.
I personally prefer to have consultations before the session is even booked. This ensures that everything is out there and there are no major questions before paying your session fee. This also allows us to get to know each other and determine if we think we will be a good fit to work together.
Studio or Location
One of the first things you want to decide is if you prefer studio or location portraits. Are you someone that prefers portraits taken in a studio environment or do you love portraits taken outdoors or in a location that means something to you? Do you love clean and simple shots with a studio background or do you gravitate towards shots that have blurred out backgrounds? Perhaps you would love to have a mix of both.
Posed or Candid
Another thing you need to consider when choosing a portrait photographer is the style of photographs that you love. Do you adore images that are more candid and focus on the intimate connections between people or do you find yourself more fond of posed images that clearly capture you and your family? You might even like to have a combination of posed and candid portraits.
The Selection and Delivery
Viewing Session or Online Gallery
When it comes time to pick out the portraits you love from your session, do you prefer to have a link containing all of the pictures to choose from emailed to you? Perhaps you want to sit down with the photographer and go through your portraits together to pick out the best ones.
Having a link emailed to you to go through at your leisure sounds convenient, and it truly can be. The major problem I have seen with online galleries is that too many people never get around to viewing the gallery or they are overwhelmed with all of the choices and don’t know which portraits to choose.
Sitting down with your photographer in person or over the phone to select your portraits has a considerable benefit. When you are deciding between photos, your photographer is there to help guide you to ensure you select the portraits that you love. Your photographer will be there to give their expertise to help you pick your favorites.
I have viewing sessions with my clients, because I love helping them choose their favorite portraits and the products they will cherish for years to come. I want all of my clients to be 100% satisfied with their purchases, so this also allows me to answer any questions they might have before they make their purchase.
Digital Only or Prints
I can’t help but be biased on the digital only versus prints delivery methods. It is extremely important to PRINT YOUR PICTURES!!! I cannot stress that enough! Too many times people pay money for portraits and they just sit on a disc in their drawer forever. You look at them when you first get them, and perhaps you post them on social media, but after awhile you completely forget about them. That is not how pictures are meant to be!
Pictures are meant to be printed and displayed. Either in a box or on your walls. If you order a large print for your wall, you will NOT be disappointed when you receive it. You have to trust me on this. You are going to enjoy looking at that portrait every single day. It will bring back great memories to who you were when it was taken and how much you love the people (or pets) that are in that portrait with you.
I know that everyone likes having digital copies of their portraits to share on social media over email with family. This is why every print I sell comes with the matching digital file as well.
There is not right or wrong answer for what you prefer. These are some of the items I suggest you consider as you are choosing a photographer for your portraits. No matter who you choose to photograph you, I beg you to please have your portraits printed. If the photographer you choose does not offer printed products, please take your digital images somewhere to have them printed. You will not regret that decision.