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5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Hiring a Photographer

So you sit down to do a Google search for a photographer in your city and you wind up with dozens of results…pages and pages even.

How do you even start to narrow it down? Should you go with the top result…not always.  While that person may have a strong SEO game (SEO=Search Engine Optimization), he/she might not be a good fit for you. Instead, here are 5 questions to ask yourself when hiring a photographer.

5 Questions to Ask yourself When Hiring a Photographer

1-Do I love their style? This is important. If you love whimsical photos in nature, then you probably don’t want to hire someone who only does studio work. If you adore light and airy photos, you probably don’t want to hire someone who takes mostly dark and moody ones. If you tend to love a more candid look, then you probably don’t want to hire someone who only takes very traditional images. 

Not sure what your style is? Do this quick exercise to find out: 

-Set a timer for 10 minutes

-Start pinning all of the family photos on Pinterest that you’re drawn to. (Don’t overthink it.)

-At the end of 10 minutes, step back and look at your collection.

-What pattern do you see? 

-If you’ve pinned enough images, a clear pattern will start to emerge and you can see more clearly what style you love.

2-Is their work consistent? As a client, you want to know what you’re going to get and one of the best ways to feel confident about this is to look for consistency in the photographer’s work. Although each photo session will vary (locations, people, outfits, seasons, etc.), look for a general feeling of consistency. Do you see a general professionalism and style carrying over from session to session? It will help you to feel confident that they’re able to deliver time and time again. 

3-Are they knowledgeable and able to answer my questions? Your photographer should be able to answer your questions, even ones you didn’t know you had. Are they able to provide you with information (location ideas, outfit suggestions) that will make your session even better?

4-Do they have reviews online? I don’t know about you, but I love to comb through reviews on Amazon. I don’t buy something new without reading through at least a handful of them. Does your photographer have reviews online? A quick Google search of their business name should bring them up. While we have to be careful not to put all our faith in other people’s opinions, I think a number of good reviews can give another layer of trust and confidence.

5-Do I feel comfortable with them?  This really might be the most important question to ask. After all, you’re going to be spending at least an hour or more with this person. Being in front of the camera is already uncomfortable for most people, so you want to feel at ease with the person behind the camera.

Do they smile, make you laugh, make you feel like you’re doing a great job and the photos are going to be fabulous or do they make you nervous and unsure of yourself? Are they good with your kids, your pets, your spouse? 

While you might not actually meet the photographer until your photo session day, be sure to give them a call and get to know them a bit over the phone. You can also start following their business page on a social media and get a feel for their personality. You don’t have to be best friends, but I think it’s a good idea to make sure you click.

photo of Emily of Emily Ann Photography

So there you go, 5 questions to ask yourself when hiring a photographer: 

1-Do I love their style?

2-Is their work consistent?

3-Are they knowledgeable?

4-Do they have reviews online?

5-Do I feel comfortable with them?

If you’re in the Columbia, SC area, run me through the checklist and reach out if you think we might be a good fit!

Until Next Time,

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