There are tons of photographers everywhere! Being a photographer myself, I know that very well. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right photographer for your family, wedding, child, newborn, etc: Pick me! Haha... just kidding.
1. Find a Photographer with a Portfolio You Like
This is the most important! These images will be displayed in your home and shared with family and friends, be sure you will like them before paying someone to do them. Do your research and look through multiple photographers images. There are many different levels of experience, different styles of photography, and editing styles. Do you like posed images? Do you want someone to travel to your home and do a lifestyle session? Looking for a photographer who uses props and designs detailed sessions? Whether you spend $100 or $5000, you want to know you will like the result.
2. Choose a Photographer that Specializes in what You Want
Sometimes photographers specialize in certain kinds of sessions. Some may only do weddings, while others only do newborns. If you find a photographer you love and you’re not sure if they do the style of session you are looking for, ask them! If they do, great! If they don’t, they probably have some great recommendations for you.
3. What Would You Like to do with the End Product?
Do you want high quality albums and products for your walls? Just want a disk? There are photographers who do everything for you from helping you design prints for your house, to just giving a disk of edited images and you are then responsible to print, post, and preserve your images.
If you want prints, I recommend finding a photographer who offers them after the session. Photographers who order your prints from professional printing businesses will edit the images so that they look the best on the medium they are being printed on, and for the size they are being printed at. Canvases need to be edited differently than metal, or prints on photo paper. Often they have done a lot of research and order products from many different places to be sure they give you the best possible images for your home, office, or grandma's house.
If you are getting digitals via digital download, disk, or thumb drive, be prepared to print and back up your own images.
4. What is Your Price Point?
There are photographers in every budget, but you don’t want to hire someone far over your budget. Be sure you find photographers whose photos you love and deliver all of the services you want, then factor in your budget to help you made a decision.
5. Talk to Them
Don't be afraid to call or email a photographer to see if you get along well together. I tend to be a little cheesy because I do a lot of children's sessions and like to be silly. If that would annoy you, we may not be the best fit. Some photographers are more serious, and if you like to be able to laugh and joke around, perhaps you should find a more amicable photographer. Find someone you are comfortable with so you can look natural in your photos, and enjoy getting them done.
6. Where are they Located?
Many photographers travel (for a fee if it is a long way). If you love a photographer who is 200 miles away, or even out of state, but have enough of a budget for a travel fee, don’t shy away! Contact them and see what their travel policies are.
If you follow these steps, it is likely you can find someone who is a great fit for you. If you have a photographer and have a less than desirable session that results in images that you are unhappy with, please talk with them. Sometimes we have an off day (it happens to everyone) and most are willing to do a re-shoot. If you feel that they did their best and you are unhappy with the result, it may mean they were not a good fit for you. By following these steps, hopefully you will be able to get the great high quality images that you are wanting.