3 Tips for Hiring a Photographer

Too often, I hear about bad experiences people have had when hiring a photographer. From weddings to families, it seems everyone is calling themselves a photographer these days and too many of them are dishonest, inexperienced, and sometimes downright unpleasant.

But how do you know what to look for or the questions to ask when you’ve never hired a photographer before?

I am here to help! Here are 3 Tips for Hiring a Photographer:


Mistake 1: Hidden Costs & Fees

No one likes surprise fees or hidden costs so when hiring a photographer make sure everything is clear and in writing. Everything from sales tax to shipping, album imprinting, travel, retouching, and full-sized digital files, every photographer prices their services differently so make sure everything is clear and you know exactly what you are (or are not) paying for and if there will be any additional costs later.

Mistake 2: Not Helpful

Nearly everyone is uncomfortable in front of the camera and it is our job, as professional photographers, to help you feel comfortable and look great. Whether it’s telling you how to stand, fixing your hair, or using tricks to get everyone to laugh, we know what looks good and should help you every step of the way.

Beyond what to wear guides and Pinterest inspiration though, it helps the most to know what you really want to have captured (or not) in your photos. Take a little time to reflect on whether you want happy photos (genuine smiles are your priority) or perfectly posed (not a stray hair in sight) and look closely at the photographers photos to ensure the one you hire is experienced can deliver the style you are looking for. And be sure to share your thoughts with them too, good photographers should be willing to listen and try to work with any requests.


Mistake 3: Personality

Most of us have a photo that makes us cringe from 5, 10, or 20 years ago. Maybe it was the hairstyle or fashion. For me, it was the unpleasant experience I had with the photographer and how uncomfortable they made me feel. Photos capture more than what you look like, they also capture your feelings and memories of that time in your life. And if you want photos you enjoy looking back on and make you smile (instead of cringe) – be sure to get to know your photographer before you hire them!

A meeting is best since you can tell so much more from a person’s body language, but a Skype call or long chat on the phone can be just as good. If planning a wedding, an engagement session is a great opportunity! And if you live out of state you can check out their testimonials online or even ask for a couple referrals. The whole idea is to see if you like them. After all – you can’t smile at someone you don’t like!

Looking for more questions to ask when hiring a photographer? Check this out:

4 Tips for Wedding Couples

How to Prepare for an In-Home Newborn Portrait Session

I love to chat and meet with my clients so if you have any more questions for me, please CONTACT me anytime.

To making memories!

family photographer

Voted the Knot’s “Best of Wedding Photographers” | WeddingWire’s “Couples Choice” Award 2008 - 2019 | Virginia Living Magazine's "Top Wedding Vendor" 2016- 2019 | VA Small Newspaper Photographer of the Year | Wedding Photojournalist Assoc. Blue Medallion Award