Most people don’t know how to not shop for a photographer. You should ask yourself the following questions before you start shopping.
Which two of the following features are most important to me?
Here’s why you should ask yourself this question.
- If Quality and Service or most important to you. Be prepared to pay a higher price.
- If Service and Price or most important to you. Most likely you will receive poor-quality images.
- If you Price & Quality or most important to you. You can expect the customer service to be poor at best.
This is the worst photo editing I’ve seen!
I came across a post on Facebook by a family that paid their hard-earned money for a family portrait session by a professional photographer, as it is stated in the post, “this was done by a professional photographer. Really!”
I’m not sure what camera or photo editing software the photographer used, but this is the worst I’ve seen. This is wrong! And it’s the perfect example to explain how to not shop for a wedding, family portrait, or senior portrait photographer.
So, who was the photographer that took these photos, and when were they taken? I don’t know. However, I can point you to the Facebook post from January 12th of 2018.
Question: How Much Do You Charge?
The first question I am asked 95% of the time from people shopping for a wedding, family portraits, or senior portrait photographer is (How Much Do You Charge)?
When you’re shopping for a photographer and your first question is (how much do you charge) and you’re talking to a dishonest (no skills looking to make a quick dollar) professional photographer, you’re no longer talking to a human being.
You’re standing in front of a two-legged vulture who may or may not be able to take your pictures with a point & shoot camera, which is why you need to know how to not shop for a photographer.
1. What’s the first question you should ask?
The first question should be a list of 5 questions (s) that you ask yourself, not the photographer.
And, you must know the answer to each of these questions before calling, emailing, or meeting with the photographer face-to-face.
Without knowing the answers to these questions, you leave yourself at the mercy of the dishonest (no skill looking to make a quick dollar) professional photographer vulture.
Here are the questions to ask yourself!
- What kind of photographer do I need?
- How long do I need a photographer?
- What date do I need the photographer?
- What’s my budget limit?
- Is my venue outdoors/indoors or both?
2. What questions should you ask the photographer?
Once you’ve asked and answered the five (5) questions to yourself, you’ll have a list of questions for your photographer because you’ll have an idea of what you need, want, location, and can afford.
This will give you an advantage, and you will begin to understand how to not shop for a photographer.
But, let me give you a few questions you definitely want to ask a photographer in case you don’t think about these questions.
Here are the questions to ask the photographer!
- Ask the photographer if they photograph the type of venue you’re having (e.g. wedding, family portraits, senior portraits, etc.).
- Ask to see the photographer’s work: website, social media, Instagram, etc.
- Ask if the photographer is available on the date of your venue?
- Ask for a particular service that you want or need (e.g. prints, video, digital media, etc.)
- If you’re on a tight budget, ask if you can make payments? If so, what is the minimum down payment?
- Ask to see the reviews of past clients. What do the previous clients have to say about the photographer?
- Last but not least, if the photographer has answered the first 6 questions to your liking. Ask to meet the photographer in person?
By asking these questions you will save yourself a lot of time and narrow your list down to two maybe three photographers that you want to meet in person, and raise your photographer shopping confidence.
- If you’re not comfortable with your photographer it will show in your pictures.
- If you don’t trust your photographer, it will show in your pictures.
- If you don’t like your photographer, it will show in your pictures.
Let me give you one last tip and I’ll let you get back to shopping for your photographer?
3. Should I shop for the cheapest photographer?
This depends upon what you expect from your photographer, the quality of the work, the service you need, and the price you’re willing to pay.
Once you’ve answered questions 1 & 2, you will be able to decide which two of the three (the best quality, the best service, or the cheapest price) is most important to you.
Let me explain why you most likely won’t have all three!
- If the best quality and the best service is most important to you, it won’t be at the cheapest price.
- If the best quality and the cheapest price is most important to you, it won’t be with the best service.
- If the best service and the cheapest price is most important to you, it won’t come with the best quality of images.
Knowing how to not shop for a wedding, family portraits, senior portraits photographer is just as important as knowing the type of photographer you need.
In this article, we covered the following.
- How to not shop by asking the right questions.
- How to not shop by aswering a few questions for yourself first.
- How to not shop by asking your photographer a few questions that you need to know.
- How to not shop by always (if possible) meeting your photographer in person.
- How to not shop by having an idea of the quality of images you expect.
- How to not shop by knowing the service you need.
- How to not shop by looking for the cheapest photographer you can afford.
- How to not shop by being flexible and open-minded to different ideas.
Photographers are very creative and can help you create & capture a lifetime of memories.
By the way, you can schedule your own bridal & engagement, family portraits, senior portraits, or wedding by clicking here.
‘Til the next episode,
Have fun taking pictures!
P.S. If you join the family, Loop Me In, I can drop you a line once a week and keep you in the loop.