Choosing a photographer is a very personal decision, and there are a number of factors that go into that decision. In the Dallas area alone, there are thousands of photographers, so how do you go about narrowing it down? Consider these main distinguishing factors in finding the right one for you…
Depending on what you’re seeking, choosing a photographer who specializes in your area of need is often your safest bet. Need business headshots? Choose someone who specializes in corporate headshot photography. Need a family photographer? Choose someone who specializes in children and families. Need a senior photographer? Choose someone who specializes in high school seniors. Need a wedding photographer? Choose someone who specializes in weddings and engagements.
And why is it important to choose a specialist? Consistency. These professionals do this day in and day out, can anticipate the challenges and have the experience necessary to achieve the best results every time. A specialty newborn photographer, for example, will usually have every imaginable prop and outfit, tried-and-true posing and soothing techniques, and at least one trained assistant (often two or three in the case of multiples) to ensure safe handling of your fragile little one.
A child and family photographer knows how to relate to kids of varying ages, particularly the toddler and preschool ages, which are often challenging for other photographers. I take the time to meet with families before their session to find out about their needs, desires, preferences and insecurities. This allows me to pose intentionally and capture the angles that help everyone look their best and focus on the moment captured.
Each photographer has their own signature style, whether it’s artsy, moody, clean, colorful, or otherwise. Browse through portfolios of possible photographers, and see which style appeals to you.
But what if you like a lot of different styles? Here’s a tip: If you think about the room where you would like to display the photographs, choosing a style that would coordinate well with the look and feel of that room is often your safest bet.
In addition to editing style, consider the way a photographer’s portfolio makes you feel. Are their images energetic and carefree? Are their images powerful and emotional? What resonates best with you when you think about what you’re wanting from a portrait session. Let your heart guide you.
One of the main distinguishing factors between professional photographers is their product selection. Some offer digital files only, and you are left to handle printing yourself. Others offer an array of wall art options, from canvas to metal to acrylic to wood prints, framed prints and more, and they may or may not allow purchasing of digital files.
At Destiny Malone Photography, you can choose from a nice sampling of professional products and finishing options, carefully selected to match my style, and I include digital files with most product purchases, so you have the security of owning both.
Price is another main difference when choosing between photographers. Of course, price will vary greatly, depending on the level of artistry, skill and service a photographer has to offer. You might be surprised to find that pricing ranges from $20 for the beginner photographer selling digitals to $20,000 or more for highly skilled, experienced professional photographers offering products.
Of course you need to determine your desired budget and shop accordingly. Often the very low-end photographers are still learning, or have not yet mastered the technical aspects of photography to be confident in their skills and charge more than hobby prices. Be wary of going for the lowest price, particularly if you hope to be able to print high quality photographic prints or canvases in large format for the wall.
Clients who invest in photography with me usually spend a few hundred to a few thousand, depending on their needs, so even with the same photographer, pricing can vary greatly depending on your final choices.
Perhaps the most important factor in choosing a photographer is the connection you feel to him or her. Are they friendly? Do you like their personality? Do you get a good feeling talking to them? Do they ‘get’ you and understand your needs?
It is so important to have a photographer you feel comfortable with and that you trust completely with some of your most treasured moments.
I hope this has been a helpful guide in giving you a starting point to choosing the right photographer for you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any further questions, and let me know how I can help.