How to Choose the RIGHT Photographer for YOU

I love when blog requests come in. They challenge my brain. This one was a no-brainer, however. A friend from high school asked me to (in my spare time) write a post about choosing the right photographer for you. There are so many amazing photographers out there these days that you may have a hard time choosing. You may even have a few great people to choose from, and they could all be right for you. However, if you are having trouble deciding, you can use these steps to narrow down your decision.

Whether you are picking a photographer for your wedding day or family photos, you need to choose wisely. These are the photos that highlight special times in your life. You display these photos on walls, make coffee table books & even send them to family as presents. These are important moments that need to be handled with care.

So, how do you pick the right one?

1. Find a style you like.
Look around your area (as much as an hour or two away from you) at local photographers. What is their style? What is YOUR style? If you like bright, vibrant photos, find photographers with a similar style. If you like a more relaxed, photo journalistic feel, find a few photographers who take more lifestyle-type photos. If you like posed photos, find some photographers who stick with that style.

Lifestyle family photos courtesy of Maren Miller

2. Decide how much you are willing to invest.
I know how hard it is to decide how much photos are worth to you. I know it is. It's no easier for me. When you are deciding on a budget, allow yourself to stretch a little. Make less Starbucks stops, sell a kidney. It's worth it if you find a photographer you really love. Talk to the photographer you have decided on. He or she might have an option to make payments. Save $20 each week & stash it away until you are able to pay the fee. Whatever you invest is what you will get out of your photos. If you don't invest much, odds are you won't get much from your experience. Quality is important for these special moments.

3. Inquire with a couple photographers.
Beginning some type of dialogue with a couple of photographers will give you a good reading on their personality & their work. This is especially key when choosing a wedding photographer. If you are a snarky, sarcastic dork, please give me a call. We will work well together. If you are more interested in a casual, working relationship, seek out a photographer or 2 who have this kind of personality. This is me. When I met my now best friend, she hired me to take her Christmas photos (spoiler alert: they were terrible). We got along great & she wound up hiring me for her wedding. Our pre-wedding planning meeting was hosted at Panera over brownies. If this is your vibe, find someone like me. If you would rather have someone who just comes in, gets the job done, & hands you your finished product with a smile on their face, then go for it. You are working together to make a moment in your life stand still & you need to be comfortable with their working relationship with you.

Business meeting.

4. Think about how you want to display your photos. 
If you know ahead of time how you plan to use these photos, ask the photographers you are inquiring of what they offer in terms of packages, prints, digital files, canvases, books, etc. You want to know what you are getting for your session. If you prefer having all of the digital files, be sure you know if they come with your package or if it is add-on. Also, ask about what the photographer offers for prints & canvases. They know what they are doing when they have your images printed - TRUST THEM. Just say NO to Wal-Mart prints. These are important moments in your life - they deserve to be printed or canvased professionally.

More photos courtesy of Maren Miller

These photos are important. I am a BIG BELIEVER in taking photos of special events (births), family photos every year, and everything in between. Those moments are frozen in time & they deserve proper care. Spend time researching photographers who may be right for you, set out a realistic budget, and then find someone who will give your family the proper care & attention you deserve in preserving your special moments. They matter. Big.


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