I get tons and tons of wedding and boudoir inquiries each and every week. I get super excited with each one because each one is an oportunity to create timeless images for a new person and to grow my business. However, each and every one seems to look something like this -
I'm looking for XYZ type of photography. I was wondering what you charge for that?
We are getting married XYZ and wanted to see what packages you offer and what price range we were looking at! We look forward to hearing from you!
While yes - price is definitely a HUGE piece of the puzzle - it's not the only piece. So I kept wondering why the only thing potential clients kept asking was "how much" and I realized it's because, unlike buying a car, even though photography is a costly investment, most photographers don't offer much to their credentials (myself included) and they also don't out much out there in the way of educating the general public on what to ask a potential photographer.
So I decided to do a little Q/A on myself and give you some important questions to ask your potential photographer! (And hopefully encourage other photographers to publicly display their credentials!
1. How long have you been shooting professionally and what experience do you have shooting my type of session/event?
Why it's important:
You want to make sure that your event or photographic job is suited for their level of experience. For example, a beginner photographer who's been in the business for just a few months, would be a good choice for shooting family photos or engagement portraits. Those are typically shorter sessions shot outdoors in a well-lit environment. Also - should you be unhappy with the results, you can always negotiate a re-shoot, or re-book the session with another photographer.
I've been shooting as a professional since early 2008. I've shot more than 100 weddings over the past 8 years in all locations and in all sorts of challenging settings. For boudoir, I've shot off-and-on for years and moved into my fully dedicated studio in October. Before then, I was renting hotel suites to shoot in.
2. Can we meet with you or talk on the phone?
Why it's important:
You want to make sure you get a good vibe from your photographer. I'm a firm believer that you have to "mesh" well to create great imagery. You want to be able to hear the tone in their voice and maybe even see the body language. This is especially true when hiring a wedding photographer because you don't want to meet someone for the first time on your wedding day and get the he-be-je-bes from them and then have the spend the next 8-10 hours with them.
Absolutely! I always love to have my clients in to tour the studio and view samples in person. I have beverages and snacks here and we can sit on the couch and chat! I also love talking on the phone to give the important info about session pricing and what it includes. You can get so much information out of a 5 minute phone call where email can sometimes leave questions unanswered.
Be sure to check back for more helpful tips in the future!