You get what you pay for.
I say this to all of my clients. When I meet a client for the first time, whether they book or not, I always warn them: You get what you pay for. We've all been there when we've spent a good deal of money on a service that simply wasn't the best. Either the service provided wasn't up to our expectations or perhaps they didn't have enough experience. And we are left with our wallets feeling sore and our hearts a little let down.
So, when it comes time to find a photographer for your wedding, family portraits, or holiday cards, hire a professional. Not one of those Craig's List $35 session fee with a disk of digital negatives type of photographer. Hire someone with experience, knowledge of their equipment, and who offer something more than a disk of what will probably consist of badly exposed photos.
There is some satisfaction as a photographer to give the best of oneself and work and know that the client leaves absolutely happy and ready to show off their photographs. Whether it is being friendly and getting to know you not only as a client, but as person and ultimately as a friend or providing quality products you'll be proud to display in you home. All of this is worth every penny.
I've heard way too many stories of wedding photographers who showed their best work and when all was said and done, they didn't provide what they showed. Or they showed up late, disappeared, or had to re-do the bridal party portraits, you never want to be left feeling like you got the short end of stick on your big day.
This is why I've complied a little list of what to look for in a quality photographer. Whether you're on a small budget or no budget at all, these are all good things to look out for when choosing the right photographer:
- At first meeting, are they friendly? Do they take interest in you or just your wallet?
- What kind of experience do they have? Do they have a website for you to look at their work? What about a blog?
- What kind of equipment are they using and do they know how to use it?
- Have you heard good things about them via facebook or people you know?
- Are they willing to answer your questions about their services and products?
- Does their style reflect you and what you'd like to get from them?
- And, can you trust them to do what you're hiring them for?
I'm sure there is more that can be added to that list as you look for the right photographer. The important thing is that you choose someone who has the experience and quality to deliver to you the best of themselves and their photography. Not just some with a semi expensive camera and no experience.
And make no mistake, an expensive camera does not automatically mean that they are a professional photographer. Keep an eye out for those tricksters. I do want to add that I am by no means knocking those few who are trying to make it in the photo industry and are trying to work as a professional. I know that when I started, I wasn't any where near good and did a lot of stuff for free until I thought I could charge a decent fee.
For those of you who are trying to get into the photo biz as a professional, make sure you practice, practice, and keep on practicing so that your fees reflect the quality of your products and work otherwise you'll get stuck being categorized as a photographer like the ones I've mentioned above.
Anyway, hope that helps someone out there. I know reading posts similar to this have helped me. Happy Wednesday!
And a quick sneak peek from the wedding I just finished editing :)