Newborn Photographers: Top Ten Things to Look for

Choosing newborn photographers these days is almost as involved as choosing pediatricians. You ask around to your friends to find out who they use. You talk to your parents and go online for hours looking at pictures, but what should you really look for in a good newborn photographer? What attributes and policies should they have and how do you tell if they have them? This list should help out in finding the right person who will document the memories of this special moment in your life.

This is a top ten list. There may be more things that are important to you. Here’s a tip first and foremost, make your own list. Use some or all of these suggestions and then add to it with things that are important to you and your family. It is also important to note that just like finding true love and that perfect pediatrician, you may not find everything on your list. So be sure you know what is most important to you and what you would be willing to get “close enough” to or to sacrifice all together. Again this all comes down to how you feel, so be sure you feel comfortable!

The top ten things to look for in a newborn photographer are:

  1. Attention
  2. A Plan
  3. Meeting
  4. A Home Option
  5. Patients
  6. Digital Skill
  7. Love
  8. Comfort
  9. Adequate Time
  10. Personality

Now for a more detailed explanation. I’ll start at the top.

  • Attention- You want to look for someone who will give you their full attention. What I mean by this is that there should absolutely never be anyone else scheduled for that photographer’s time on the same day as your shoot. Your shoot may only be two or so hours, but it is not going to help anyone if your photographer is preoccupied thinking of other clients. You should be their top priority.
    • How to tell: It is totally okay to just ask if you have a question so that is what you will do in this case. Simply ask your potential photographer if they schedule multiple shoots on the same day. You could ask this in email, over the phone, or at their studio if they have one. That goes for the rest of these “just ask” answers. Don’t be afraid, I can guarantee they are used to answering questions like these.

  • A Plan- An important thing to understand in a newborn shoot is efficiency. Babies of any age don’t much like to be dressed, undressed, and changed, over and over again. It is important that your photographer have at least a rough plan or pattern to go by on what shots to get in which order. On that note however, it is also important that your photographer know how to deviate from the plan effectively when an opportunity for a good shot presents it’s self.
    • How to tell: This is another “simply” ask answer as many of these will be. You can just ask your photographer, “Do you have a plan or try to get certain shots in any particular order?”

  • Meeting- Look for a photographer who would be willing to, or better yet suggest a meeting with you. This serves as a great opportunity to get to know your photographer and for them to get to know you. I can tell you right now when your photographer has met you face to face rather than just through an email or phone call, it will come through in the photographs. During this meeting you get a chance to let them know your style, your personality, and even some concerns you may have. This is also a great time for the photographer to present their pricing, show you products they can offer, have the contract signed, and to get any deposit paid.
    • How to tell: Contact the photographer and tell them you are interested. Then ask if they generally like to meet clients before the shoot. Some photographers may even say on their site that they will meet with you.
  • A Home Option– The best time to take newborn portraits is before two weeks of age. When your baby is that little, taking them to an unfamiliar environment like a studio is not ideal. Look for a photographer who will come to you. Your photographer should feel comfortable in your home and should be able to get beautiful intimate photographs both with background equipment and in the settings for your own home.
    • How to tell: Ask where the photographer normally takes newborn photos. Then when you meet with the photographer, if possible, meet in your home. This may not always be possible, but it is good to ask because seeing your home gives the photographer great insight into who you are, your personal style, and the overall feel of what makes you comfortable.
  • Patients- Anything can happen on a newborn shoot. Your photographer should understand this and have the utmost respect for yours, and most importantly your baby’s comfort. If your baby needs to eat, feed them. Your photographer needs to understand and encourage things like feeding breaks, changing breaks, and even small breaks just because if the baby needs time. This patients comes from experience which is a sort of sub point to look for. Your photographer is the absolute last person who should get annoyed, frustrated, or unhappy with your baby. I would say that even if you get annoyed the photographer’s job is still to be calm, collected, and even try to be sure you know that everything is going to be just fine.
    • How to tell: When you met with your photographer if they seem at ease and calm then will be that way on your shoot as well. Especially if you are meeting in your home, look to be sure that your photographer is comfortable and confident. You don’t want someone who is acting overly nervous or even just awkward being in your home or meeting you for the first time.
  • Digital Skill- It is extremely important especially with newborn photography that your photographer edit every single photograph after the shoot. Those rich black and white photographs high in contrast and beautifully classic can only come from a starting good photograph as a base combined with digital editing skill and experience. This is not only true with black and white images. I can guarantee you that 99.9% of all images need at least color correction and your photographer should be well versed in digital editing.
    • How to tell: Look at the photographer’s online galleries. Your photos will look very similar. Then again simply ask, “Do you edit every photo?” As a photographer I can tell you that I have received this question and it is absolutely not an inappropriate one to ask.
  • Love- It sounds like a silly thing to look for but love is a very important ingredient for good newborn photographs. Your photographer must love what they do and while they are taking your child’s portraits they should love your baby like their own. They must also understand your love for your baby. I don’t think it is 100% required, but it may help if the photographer is also a parent especially if you are a little overly concerned as most parents are right at the beginning particularly with the first child. I know I was!
    • How to tell: Look at their galleries online. If the photographer loves what they do you’ll know because you’ll love their photographs as well. You can also read their “about me” page if they have one to learn a little more about them. Don’t be afraid to ask if they have children if that is important to you and see how they are when they meet with you. This one really shouldn’t be too hard to figure out and if it is I’d keep looking.
  • Comfort- Your photographer should know that the most important factor in getting good newborn photographs is the comfort and happiness of the baby. In reality the photographer is not in charge. Even you are not in charge. The baby is the one in charge and will do what he/she will. Neither you or the photographer can force the infant into anything. Your photographer should know this and encourage bottle breaks, frequent diaper changes if necessary, and even just some mommy baby time.
    • How to tell: Ask your photographer if they encourage breaks and the like.
  • Adequate Time- The amount of time the photographer gives you is something to think about. About two hours for a newborn is just right for most. More than that the baby wont be able to handle. A single hour on the other hand will likely not be enough as the child will almost definitely need some breaks along the way. A second part to this point is adequate scheduling time. Make sure the photographer will allow you to book a session before you have the baby. Because the best time to take newborn portraits is before two weeks of age, the best thing to do is to schedule before you even have the baby.
    • How to tell: Ge on the photographer’s website or contact them to find out the amount for time they offer as a general sitting time. Don’t go with someone who will make you pay extra for that second hour. As far as scheduling goes, just ask what their policy is on scheduling newborn sessions for an unborn baby. They should let you have a guaranteed spot regardless of if the baby is born early, late, or on time.
  • Personality- It is very important that you like your photographer. Find someone who you get along with and could even be your friend. You don’t want to be stuck in a contract with someone you don’t like or who doesn’t understand you and your style.
    • How to tell: Be in contact with the photographer that you’re thinking of using. Call them, set up an appointment to meet in person, email them some ideas you have or some pictures that you like. They should be receptive, supportive, and appreciative or your vision and enthusiasm.

There you are; the top ten things to look for in newborn photographers. Like I mentioned before make your own list of things that are important to you in finding the photographer to document such an amazing time in life of your family. Remember these are memories that you will want to keep for a lifetime and beyond and you have one shot at capturing those memories perfectly, so choose the photographer that is right for you.

Photographic Testing – Some Considerations For A New, Aspiring Model

“Testing” in the modeling industry is a term with a few meanings. It can be used to describe a photo session where a model uses pictures obtained by a photographer for their own promotion in their portfolio or composite card. Testing may be recommended by the modeling agency to go to specific photographers that they prefer to work with. In this type of “testing” the model usually pays the “test photographer” for their service. Whether or not the money is paid up front by the model or the modeling agency depends upon a variety of factors. What is the policy of when their new models need testing? This is a question that may only be answered by each individual agency.

The location of the modeling agency, how many models they represent, the types of clients and models that they use, and some other financial policies are all factors in whether the agency will pre-pay for a model’s testing. Learn this lesson, now, that only a very, very small amount of modeling agencies are willing to use their own money when paying for a model’s testing “up-front”. They want to be absolutely confident that the model will work for them, be a strong earner of money/prestige for the agency, and then the agency will deduct the testing fees later from the model’s first paycheck. The money for testing is ultimately paid for by the model sooner or later.

Some good news is that there are times when a photographer hires a model for their own testing. Sometimes they may “test” to either experiment with new equipment or photographic techniques. The photographer may even just want to test a new model or experiment with their own artistic freedom without working for a paying client. Depending on the experience and financial situation of the photographer, a model may or may not be compensated with any money, but maybe just prints for their portfolio. This type of testing may be referred to as TFPs (a.k.a. Time for Prints, Testing for Prints) or TFCD (a.k.a. Time for “picture” CD). Many of these opportunities are found on the Internet through social networks for models.

Most likely, though, the model is the one paying the test photographer, so the model must ensure that they are investing their money properly and wisely for their services when they are required to pay. Not all “testing” photographers are reputable, so always ask area modeling agencies which photographers they recommend or if there are ones that you should avoid. Some photographers may be new to working with models, so their rates should be equivalent to their experience. If you are paying a photographer to give you “Commercial” looks and they seem to have only fashion looks in their portfolio is an indicator that you should have them show you examples of their commercial work. You’ll be wasting your money if you are in a smaller, commercial area and you only have high fashion or editorial looks in your book. Commercial clients want to see specific types of “looks”. It may be very vague when you are going to a go-see, so even with commercial looks you should keep working to build you book with photos of a variety of commercial looks. Testing is exactly that…testing. Testing how you photograph, how you move in front of the photographer, or if you take direction well is part of this “test”. It’s not about sitting and posing and not being inspiring.

You need to clarify whether it is high fashion or commercial looks or else you are wasting your money. If you want to model with intensions of making money you have to find where your “type” fits the mold. There is an investment of money in a model’s career, especially in the early stages, so the investment should be a worthy one where the photographs will qualify by the industry’s standards and get the model hired to their appropriate type of work suited for the model in the market area that they will work. It’s one thing for a new photographer to need their own experience with working with models to negotiate the terms where maybe the model pays for some of the prints, but paying hundreds of dollars for a service from a photographer who may not necessarily provide the appropriately needed kinds of photography a model really needs in their book is a costly mistake on the model’s behalf.

Not all photos are the correct quality and type of print that may be needed for a particular model. For example, a commercial-type model really has “no use” for editorial-style photographs in their portfolio when they are not an editorial fashion model. The photos may impress the model, their friends, and even that photographer, but it won’t get them hired commercially at their agency. Not all models are high fashion models. Not all models are catalog models. Models must remember that there are so many people who want to be models and the industry has its’ scammers and less scrupulous individuals who just want your money or really are just clueless to what the modeling industry is looking for. They are the type of people who are like salespeople and just say what they think a model wants to hear just so they can get their money or to just meet and be around many young models (even when they know they’ll probably never get the kind of work the new model desires (ex. Victoria Secret caliber).

So, testing is very important for a new model that wants to be hired for photographic work, and it’s important to test regularly to keep portfolios updated especially with multiple photographers, but guidance or research is necessary if a model isn’t as experienced with what they need in their portfolio or on their comp card to be hired. A picture may appear great to the model and their family, but it will perhaps be critiqued more objectively by the modeling industry or potential clients. Granted, many pictures are subject to different opinions even within the modeling industry, but let the professionals be the guide. This is where the modeling agency is the “model’s guide” provided that the modeling agency is reputable and not solely affiliated with just one photographer where they both make money on new models (a.k.a. getting kick-backs).

Photographers are artists, but they need to make money, too. That’s the business. It’s the decision that they choose about how they make their money that can lead to crossing the fine line regarding what is ethically in the best interest of the model. Ideally, the photographer and modeling agency get a large portion of their income from “clients” who use the models and pay them…not money from the models. Unless there is a really great explanation of why a full-time photographer affiliated with a modeling agency has few clients in their portfolio the model should beware. Where are they making their money from? Is their income from fees and photo sessions from models only? (Hope they can help you make money, too.)

Legitimately, there can be a collaboration of people with different artistic skills that may be looking for print work for their own portfolios, too, (ex. Stylists, Designers, Make-up Artists, Hair Professionals, etc.) to show other clients their range of work especially if they are new or have been limited to the types of jobs that they have been getting. For example, a landscape photographer may be looking to make some extra money, so they know that taking on some commercial work or selling some stock photography using models may be the answer. They may not enjoy that commercial side of another specialty as much as other types of photography, but they may need the work and pictures to make additional money. To get more commercial clients they know that they should have a portfolio to show that they are capable of photographing/styling for commercial clients. So, their collections of Fine Art landscape, wedding photography, fashion photography, etc. may not market their range of talent, but they can add new photographic styles to their book. When they are trying to build a specialized book that shows that they can photograph “commercial” work, too, they may hire or use a model just for their own book’s usage to market themselves, not to sell any specific product, nor be used for any fashion or story editorial. So, the model’s work for this kind of booking is not 100% commercial print because it’s not promoting any other product or service except the photographers’, designers’, stylists’, etc. own portfolio (and possibly the model’s book, too).

Technically, one could say that if the model is photographed for the purposes of promoting the services of another (even within their own profession) then it IS a form of “commercial print”. If the intentions are for the photographer to make money in the future off of a model’s participation in testing resulting in prints for their book then it is like a “commercial” booking. Confused? Some unethical photographers may also not see it that way in regards to how they compensate some models versus taking their money for a model’s testing, but that is cleared up quickly when the model signs the photographer’s photographic release form. That’s why a model and agency should know the intended usage of the prints before signing any photographic release.

Most professional photographers are very clear and consistent about the usage of the photographs that are agreed upon as being used simply for their testing purposes where both photographer and model are working together for that sole purpose. It gets more complicated of course when both don’t communicate or misunderstand the terms of usage. The photographer assumes that the prints from their shared testing experience with the model will be used for the “model’s promotional purposes” only in her portfolio, on a composite card, personal model’s website, modeling agency’s website or book, etc. The complication arises when the model uses one or more of their photographs in a commercial way that benefits someone else that is not part of the normal model’s promotion without the written permission or even knowledge of the photographer.

Photographers know their rights legally, so learn the laws that affect models. Models may pay for the service of being photographed, as well as the finished product of the print to place in their portfolio, or even may get them “free” in exchange for their service with the photographer, but the models do not own the rights to reproduce (make copies) or use in any other way that is not part of their promotion as a model without permission of the photographer. It is considered to be the property of the photographer. Some photographers will supply a letter with their signature that allows them to make copies at a photo shop as needed for distribution, but other photographers want to be the only ones responsible for copies, therefore getting re-paid again. That is part of their business reputation and livelihood, so you’ll learn which photographers are the easier ones to work with professionally. Each photographer may have different model releases, so make sure you clearly understand what you can do with your copy of their work. They should be able to tell you what their procedure is regarding your self-promotional tools and making copies, if necessary, of their work. Copyrights of photographers may appear on individual prints to identify their work, so be aware of illegal usage and the making of copies.

How to Choose Your Perfect Wedding Photographer

Your EXCITED, ENGAGED and ON A MISSION to find that special wedding photographer that is going to help you and your spouse remember and relive the day you said, “I do.”. If this sounds a little like a match making idea then you’re right. Of all the vendors that you will choose to help you make your wedding day fantastic, your photographer will spend the entire day with you. Think about it, your baker will bring the cake and leave, your florist will hand everything over and leave, your wedding planner will check up on you from time-to-time while there but your photographer will always be there recording every moment. Once you realize this and search for “wedding photography” or “wedding photographer” in Google and you’ll find yourself staring at a list between 2 – 12 million results. You don’t have the time or the desire to even begin to click and search through all of them so here are ten questions to help you find your perfect wedding photographer.

1. You can’t know what you want until you know what you want.

Because there is uniqueness in your love and passion with each other your wedding portraits should reflect that uniqueness. As a result, you need to understand and be able to articulate the style of photography that will best fit for you. To do so you need to ask yourself two questions:

a. What types of movies do you and your fiancée like to watch and what types movies can you see yourself in? The movie(s) you choose will give you an idea as to the over all feeling of the photographs you most likely want to have. If you like family based movies then you are going to most likely want photographs that have an emphasis on friends and family. On the other hand, if you enjoy romantic, action or high drama movies, then you might be more interested in photographers who are able to produce dramatic photos that focus on you.

b. What magazines would you like to see yourself in? Every magazine has a customer base demographic. And this is not by accident. Do you like the photographs from Vogue, GQ, Modern Bride, or W? Look through magazines and find photographs that you would like to see yourself in and cut out those photographs for future reference.

2. Searching for photographer on the web

Because there are so many websites just using the best keywords to find what you are looking for can be a daunting task so here are some ideas to make it a little easier. Use words that are specific to you concerning the type of wedding photography that you are looking for. In addition you will want to search under the words of where you are getting married and/or where you would like to find your photographer. Here are some ideas:

  • [city] wedding photography
  • [city] wedding photographer(s)
  • wedding photographer(s) in [city] [state]
  • wedding photography in [city] [state]

These will give you a number of results to choose from. Each of these searches will give you a list of different photographers. You can also look at wedding advertising sites such as http://www.atlantanbrides.com and [http://www.modernluxury.com/brides/atlanta]

These sites will give you more than enough results to look through. Once you see a list, start to visit as many sites as you can but ONLY LOOK AT THE PHOTOS. Your goal is to find a photographer with photos that you can see yourself in and that you would be proud and excited to show your friends and family.

3. The Photographers’ Website

The website is the wedding photographers personal gallery of their best work. The purpose of visiting the website is to not only assess if you like the photographer’s style but also to get more aquatinted with the photographer too. Once you click on the website then take some time to visit the “about us” or “bio” section of the website. Get to know the photographer a little bit. Once you do this ask yourself if this were someone you would befriend. You may want to make a list of photographers to compare them. However, no matter how good or bad the photos are, if you do not think that you would befriend the photographer then that photographer should most likely not be considered. While perusing the galleries begin to write down some notes about what you like about the photos, if you can see yourself in those photos, and if you would refer others to the photographer. Don’t be shy about your comments; be honest as if you were looking at your own photos. If you are not impressed with the photos then quickly move on t o the next site. Never stay on a website any longer than you need to. **Remember to resist any temptation to look at prices or any unrelated categories like children portraiture and/or high school senior portraits while on the website. You are on a mission so always remind yourself to stay on task. Once you determined that you like the photos on the website then bookmark that website and move on to the next one. You, Your Best Friend, and Your Nemesis Should I really trust my “gut feeling” on such an important decision? I can only answer a resounding “YES.” Our “gut feeling” is typically comprised of knowledge, past experiences, and perception of future events based on your learned knowledge. Making a great decision is going to be a matter of research and personal experience. So take your time and learn and see as much as you can so that when the time comes to make this important decision you will be excited and extremely confident that you made this decision.

4 – LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Believe it or not, not every photographer can produce artistic portraits in any given venue. As a Bride, you need to be honest with yourself and with your photographer about your photographic expectations for that day. You must always remember that you are hiring a photographer for a specific reason, to capture individual moments from that day so that those memories will never be forgotten. A big component of your day will be the location and venue you choose for your celebration. You need to know the venue’s photographic expectations and restrictions. Here are some questions to ask your venue:

1) Does the venue allow flash photography?

2) Are there any insurance requirements?

2) Are there any time limits in any venue that the photographer should know? (You can ask the vendor this question and let the photographer know about this.)

3) Are there any places at the venue that cannot be photographed? You need to know your venue’s policies on photographs and where they can and cannot be taken.

4) Ask the venue if there is anything that the photographer needs to know that you haven’t asked. (phrase this as a question as you did with the others.)

5) What was the worst infringement of the venue’s photographic policies? (This will give you an idea of how serious they are about their policies and what is important to them.) Be sure to bring up these answers with the photographer during your meeting.

HOW DO YOU GET THE BEST PHOTOGRAPHER FOR YOU AND YOUR LOCATION?

Ask your vendor for personal recommendations and view the photographer’s website. Put those sites that are most in line with your style in the list of your other potential photographers.

When viewing websites ask yourself: –

  • Does this photographer have that ability to adapt to his surroundings? (Are there a variety of photographs from a variety of locations?)
  • Is the photographer creative enough to be able to take high quality portraits anywhere? (Is the photographer creative in posing?)
  • Is the overall personality of the website something that you like? (Would you be confident to recommend a friend to the same website to get their advice and their recommendations on photographers)

Quality professional wedding photographers know how to use their surroundings as a backdrop for your romantic portraits. If you are going to have a candle light wedding then the photographer is going to have the equipment to correctly expose for that extremely low light setting. If you are getting married on the beach then your photographer will need the equipment and knowledge to ensure that the sun does not over power your beautiful dress and smile.

5 – Book Early, BOOK ASAP!!!!!

The key here is to make sure that you are happy and comfortable with your photographer. You never want to choose and settle on a photographer because of time or pressure from the photographer, friends, or family. Give yourself some time and space. This is really up to you. You need to feel comfortable and secure with your decision. Once you are comfortable and sure about the decision then sign the contract and be happy that that decision is out of the way.

6 – Calling or contacting your perspective Professional Photographer

Once you have a list of photographers then start calling! When you speak with your perspective photographer for the first time there are a few things you may want to keep in mind. Let the photographer know that you have seen their website and are impressed with what you have seen and you would like to ask a few questions that were not covered on the website. When you speak to a photographer you need to approach it as an interview. Remember, you are hiring a professional to do a job that cannot be repeated. There are no “do-overs” with wedding photos so try to get to know the photographer as well as possible.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

THE INTERVIEW:

You should approach this call as an interview. It is really to find out what this photographer is about and decide if you would like to meet the photographer in person.

  • When the photographer answers the phone how does he sound? Happy? Sad? Annoyed? Or glad to speak with you? Remember, you are calling the photographer’s business phone number. The photographer knows that you are calling for a business reason. [ There is no excuse for the photographer to answer any other than happy and glad to speak with you.]
  • Ask open-ended questions such as: what do you like about weddings, How long have you photographed weddings, what got you started in photographing weddings.
  • Ask any questions that you can think of about their personality and wedding photography career.
  • Ask about date availability and the location of the wedding and reception.
  • How long has the photographer been in business?
  • What does the photographer like best about photographing weddings?
  • Are you a full-time or part-time photographer? (The purpose of this question is still just to see who this person is.)

THINGS TO CONSIDER: When you make the appointment let the photographer know where you live and times you are able to meet. Also find out what location where the photographer is coming from then ask the photographer where would be a good place to meet in between. You want to listen to see if the photographer is flexible enough to go out of his/her way for you. If the photographer is not able to meet with you on the dates that you have given then the photographer should offer some suggestions that would help the both of you After the interview, if you are happy and your intuition says yes, then set up an appointment.

WORD OF CAUTION: Professional Photographers make their living on providing photographic services and not talking over the phone. The photographer may have a “strong urge” to have you meet them in person. This is not bad! What is bad is how they urge you to make an appointment. The photographer should converse with you and help you make the best photographic decision possible. Beware if the photographer is refusing (tone or verbal) to answer questions and wants to quickly set up an appointment. However, if the photographer is open with you and offers you advice and questions about what you want then the photographer has already decided that you are a good match for them and will want to set up an appointment with you. As always, if you feel comfortable then set up an appointment. Since there are more photographers than you could possibly meet in a year it is important to only set up appointments with 3-4 photographers. You may want to allocate four hours of time for each meeting. This takes into account travel there and back and speaking with the photographer. You can see then that if you are not careful you could end up making searching for a photographer your new full-time job.

7 – PACKAGES, COLLECTIONS, INVESTMENTS

So far we have spoken about the process of getting the best photographer for your wedding but have not even touched the topic of what you are going to actually get at the end of the day. Some photographers call the contents of what you get packages, collections, an investment, or a commission to supply you with your wedding day photographs. Surprisingly most photographers offer the same contents as other photographs. What is important is getting what you would like to have for the future and not what you think you need now. You want an album because of the story that you want to show to your relatives and your future grandchildren. Slide shows are nice because you can have music set to photos that will be heirlooms. Digital Negatives and Reprints: Some photographers will sell reprints directly to you. This means that you will only get prints of your wedding day (this is separate from your album) when you pay the photographer for them. These prices will vary depending on the size of the prints and how many you request. Other photographers will create a combination package in which you receive a CD/DVD composed of an unlimited or limited number of photos. You may be able to reprint these photos on your own or you may be only able to view them on a computer and email them with no option to make your own reprints. Albums: Albums, Albums, and more Albums! As the wedding industry grows, more and more companies are offering albums so it is important to see a model of the album you are choosing. It is important to see the album model because two photographers may use similar names for albums that in the end are not so similar.

Questions about the album you should ask:

1 – How many pages are in the album?

2 – What choices do I have about the album?

3 – On average how many photos will fit in the album? Some photographers will offer other products but the main thing that you want to consider is what you are looking for. Are you looking forward to having a plenty of prints to give away and a large album to show your friends and family or are you looking for something small like a day album? These are questions that you are going to have to consider thoughtfully. Whatever your choice is, make sure that there is clear communication between you and your photographer.

8 – CONTRACTS: Who needs them?!

A friend told me once that, ” contracts keeps friends friends and enemies from killing each other.” Because of the nature of the service you are requesting from the photographer it is incredibly important that you get everything that you agreed to in writing. Be sure that the type of album, numbers of pages, and the amount of time that you are requiring from you photographer is in writing. The reason that this is important is because if something were to go wrong then it can be held up in court. Contracts keep people a little more honest than if you didn’t have one. Personally, I go over everything in the contract before the contract is signed. This way, everyone understands what is going on and communication of what is expected is clear.

9 – PHOTOGRAPHER THE INTERVIEWER

The photographer should interview you just as much as you should be interviewing the photographer. As stated before, “not everyone is for everyone” applies here as well. The photographer should ask questions that identify your personality and the personality of your relationship with your fiancĂ©. I always ask questions such as:

1 — When did the two of you meet?

2 – How long did you date before you were engaged?

3 – What is the most important detail in your wedding that you are most excited about?

4 – Is the venue you have chosen really important to you?

The photographer needs to ask questions that are going to tell a little bit about the couple and what’s important to them. If the photographer doesn’t know what is important to you then the photographer most likely will not photograph what is important to you. This most likely will result in you not being completely happy with your final product. In short, the photographer should have a good idea as to who the couple is and what is important to them.

10 – THE LAST QUESTION YOU SHOULD ASK YOURSELF.

What’s your gut feeling? Remember decisions that you make cannot be based on what you thought was true or what you hoped will be true. The best answer you can make about the decision is based on the information that you have now. In short, consider your gut feeling, remember what you want out of the photographer and the style that the photographer produces, and have a great time choosing the photographer that will best photograph you.