January 4, 2012

The Keys to Choosing a Professional Photographer

Professional photographers capture childhood like no one else can.  With skill, experience and personality these creatives can provide you with a beautiful heirloom that you will cherish for many years in the form of a photograph.

But how do you chose a professional photographer?  There are true professionals with years of experience and training, and there are people with an expensive camera who may call themselves professional, but lack the skills to give you the results you are looking for.  Here are some things to look for to help you chose the right photographer for your child.

A Professional Website - Looking at photographers websites should be your first step.  A great place to start is with the PPA (Professional Photographers of America) Fina a Photographer Page.  When you look at photographers websites check out the portfolio section first.  Each photographer has their own style, and the images they create for you will likely look similar to the ones in their portfolio.  Look for a website that is professional quality, and up to date with current images and information.  Photographers who care about their marketing tend to be of a higher quality.

Studio or Location? -  If outdoors is your answer you will want to look for a photographer who uses some type of lighting equipment generally referred to as "fill flash"  This will give a more professional result then working with natural light alone.

Years of Experience - When it comes to photographing children experience is important to get a good expression.  The more difficult your child is to work with the more experience you will need your photographer to have.  Look for how long they have been photographing children, not if they are parents or not.  You will want to see a variety of sample images of children of all ages in your photographers portfolio to ensure they have the skill, experience and personality to create the image you are looking for.

Full or Part Time - You will generally get better customer service from a full time photographer.  They will be more flexible answering your phone calls, scheduling your photo shoot, and delivering proofs and prints.  They are also more likely to have connections with professional photo labs that will give you the highest quality prints.

Prints - Speaking of prints, have the photographer make them.  A professional photographer will have a relationship with a high quality print lab that will give you a much better result then your printer or local pharmacy photo lab.  You are spending the money on the photo shoot, don't skimp on the final product.

Price - You get what you pay for with photographers.  My suggestion would be to go with the most experienced photographer you can find at a cost that is within your budget.  You are paying for skills, and experience just as a haircut at your budget chain location won't look as good as a color, cut and style from a stylist with 20 years of experience.  Go for quality over quantity.  A few beautiful professional images are always my choice over a CD full of not so great photographs.

These tips should get you on the right track to choosing the right photographer for your family.  If you have any feedback, questions, or comments please feel free to leave them below.

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The image in this post is ©2012 Brooke Photo Studio (that's me!).


Breena said...

Great tips! Thanks for sharing at "Life as this Mommy knows It"! ... oh, and don't forget to grab my button showing others you're linking up ;)

Brooke said...

Thanks for dropping by! Adding your button to the resources page is on my to-do list for today so it will be a permanent fixture on the site :)

Loressa said...

Hi! New follower from Flock together Tuesday:)Your post was very helpful! We just barely had family photos! We have the disk and the "now whats"
Hope you will visit me at http://lifescuriouswisdom.blogspot.com

My Baby Sleep Guide said...

You really get what you pay for (most of the time). I learned this lesson when I got married!

I'm a new fb follower from the mommyt.o. hop. You can find me on fb at My Baby Sleep Guide


Brooke said...

Thanks for stopping by Rachel, I am headed over to check out your blog.

Colorado Mountain Mom said...

Morning - great tips! You have a very professional looking blog here, GREAT layout!

Found you via the Alexa Hop! Following you now via G+ and Facebook. Have a great week. :)

The Colorado Mountain Mom

Brooke Becker said...

Thanks Tami! I am always looking to share my knowledge and experience. I will stop by your blog and give you a follow.

haroldbster said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
A Gluten Free Mommy said...

Great tips! My husband is trying to become a photographer. He does it part time now and I would love for him to make the leap to full time but we are afraid it wouldn't pay the bills. Does it for you?

(oh yeah...found you through the Tuesday hop and now following you)

Brooke Becker said...

I do work as a full time product photographer (my husband works as well so I am a 1/2 bread winner) and have had my own studio since December 2008. It took many of years of working with photographers, and for companies to get here (I graduated from a photography / business school in 2003), but it is the journey that made me the photographer I am today! :)

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