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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

8 Questions to Ask Your Senior Photographer

So you are looking for the perfect high school senior photographer.  How do you know who to choose or what to look for? 
You want your senior pictures to not only be fabulous, you want to work with a photographer who also provides a fun and memorable experience; as well as final images that reflect you and your personality.  Most of all, you want to make sure that you are working with a professional photographer – someone with the education, experience, and business practices to deliver what they promise.  With that in mind, please consider the following questions before hiring your senior photographer

1. Ask if they are a print or a digital photographer

Some photographers provide only digital images, some only prints, and some provide a combination.  Why is this important? 
  • A photographer that only provides digitals will require you to print your own images.  Consumers don’t have access to professional labs for printing and the final product won’t have the quality you may desire
  • Print photographers will often offer low resolution digitals with their prints for you to post on social media.

2. Ask what the average client spends on senior pictures

  • Many photographers will tell you the price range of their packages or how much an 8x10 costs.  This doesn’t give you the information you need.  Asking how much the average person spends will give you an idea of if the photographer is truly in your price range.  If the average client spends $1,500, you can figure you will spend anywhere from $1,000-$2,000 depending on what you want.
  • Also be sure you understand what the fees are
    • What is included with the session fee?
    • Are there outfit change or location restrictions in the session fee?
    • Is there a minimum purchase?
    • Is there a “pose” limitation on packages?
    • Is retouching included or is that a separate fee?

3. Ask to physical samples of their work

Sadly, in our digital age it is common to hear of photographers putting other people’s work on their website.  If they can show you physical samples, you know the work they are showing you was produced by them and not “right-clicked” from a website.

4. Ask about what products are offered

  • Prints
  • Albums
  • Digital images
  • Gallery wrapped canvases
  • Custom senior yearbook page design

4. Ask about hair and makeup options

  • Does the photographer have a stylist available?
  • Is the hair and makeup included in the session fee or an extra charge?
  • Is there an option to have the stylist stay for the entire session to keep you fresh?

5. Ask about turnaround times for products

Be sure to ask in advance how long it takes to receive your products.  This varies with different photographers and also depends on the products you want to purchase.  It is always a good idea to know how long the entire process will take from shoot to deliver so that everyone has the same expectations.

6. Ask about a personal consultation

It is a good idea to find out if the photographer will meet with you before the session in person to plan the details.  It is always a good idea to know if you connect with the photographer in advance.  Meeting in person is the best way to ensure a good fit.

7. Ask about the photographer’s reschedule policy

  • What will they do in the case of bad weather?
  • What is their policy if you need to reschedule?

 8. Ask about the photographers flexibility

These are your pictures and you want to make sure the photographer will do everything they can to make the final images all about you.  Depending on your expectations and desires, the questions would vary, but these are a few suggestions:
  • Does the photographer choose your outfits for you or work with you on your choices?
  • Can you bring your own props to reflect your style? (instrument, car, pet, etc)
  • Is the photographer open to your thoughts and ideas for the session?
  • Can you bring a friend with you?

While this is certainly not an exhaustive list, I hope these questions help you in your quest for a senior photographer.  Is there anything I forgot?  Please let me know.  I wish you the best on your quest and if you are in the Dallas area, please give me a call.  I would be happy to answer any questions you might have.



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