Realistically, there are more than 6 important questions to ask your photographer, but let’s be honest, maybe, just maybe you have time to read these six. So, you’ve found a photographer…you think. You love everything they’ve posted on social media. You’ve been to their website. Everything looks great! You might have finally found someone you’d like to hire. Pro tip- check out the photographer’s Frequently Asked Questions link (usually an option on their website). You’ll find answers to the most common questions. But, if there isn’t a link or you don’t see these questions covered, consider asking them.
1. What’s your scheduling process like? You’ll want to know if there’s a contract-there should be a contract! You’ll also want to know how much the retainer is and when it’s due, and also when the remaining balance is expected.
2. How long will it take to edit my gallery of photos? If you’re anything like me, you’ll be beside yourself with anticipation to see your images. At least knowing an approximate length of time makes me feel better. Lucky for you, photographers are often a smidge earlier than they tell you it will be!
3. Do you offer packages? What are my booking options? Some photographers find it’s simpler to offer everything independently (a la carte), so you pay for your time with the photographer (usually called a session fee or sitting fee) and then you choose your add-ons like files, printed images, or albums separately. Some offer packages including add-ons. And others, like myself, offer a choice of either buying a la carte items or a package.
4. Is there a minimum order requirement? Sometimes a minimum purchase of add-ons is required and included in a photographer’s contract. I do not have a minimum purchase requirement. The goal of every photographer is to deliver a great experience and mind-blowing photographs that clients will definitely want to buy. Realistically, not everyone is going to love their photographs and it may not have anything to do with the photographer. I wouldn’t want clients to feel like they were stuck with a product they don’t want.
5. If I purchase items, how will I receive them? Most photographers have a gallery website where your digital images will be uploaded and presented to you. I email my clients a link to view their galleries 2 weeks after their sessions. Digital files are usually downloadable from this same gallery. There is a slightly different process for ordering printed images and albums and is varied among photographers.
6. What happens if it rains on our session day? If your photographer is primarily an outdoor photographer, they are greatly dependent on the weather. I know as an outdoor photographer myself, I check the weather report daily. I also know not to get too attached to the report because here in Alabama, it can change on a dime. Whether or not your photographer reschedules your session depends on a few factors: are the participants available on a different day, is there an opening in the photographer’s schedule soon enough to suit your needs, etc. If it just can’t be rescheduled because one or all of these things doesn’t line up, your photographer may try to find an indoor location to carry out your session. I try to reschedule if at all possible. I feel like because 90% of what I share in my portfolio was created outdoors, that’s what is expected and what I want to deliver.
There are many other things worth discussing with your photographer but these 6 important questions to ask your photographer will get the conversation started. You deserve to be an informed consumer! Your photographer should be happy to help you navigate the hiring process. You’re spending your money on an experience and products that document the history of YOU.
If you’d like to see more of the most common questions, please visit my FAQ page.