Five tips for choosing the Right Photographer
Based on my own personal experiences in photography and what I've learned from Day 1 and learning how to use my camera in the first place to today, I've compiled my top four things you must consider before choosing the right high school senior photographer for you.
1. Are they able to “See Light?”
The one that that can make or break a photograph is the lighting and knowing when to use the light available and add light with equipment.
The photo of Jenna above has flash added so we can see her lovely face AND the Downtown Wichita skyline.
A great photographer can shoot at any time of day, not just the first two hours of the day and the last two hours of the day. This time is referred to as “The Golden Hour” and is the best time of day for natural light photos, especially those photos with light leaks coming through, like this one of Stephanie.
In this photo of Stephanie, we used natural light plus a giant reflector to bounce light back into her face. Otherwise, she would have weird shadows on her face instead of a glowing completion.
In this second example, flash was also added to make the colors pop!
Great lighting means placing you in the right spot, at the right location, using reflectors or adding flash and knowing what camera settings to use. If your photographer only suggests the golden hour, they may be inexperienced in this aspect.
2. Do you see their vision? Like their style?
The way a photographer shoots their portraits, lights them and edits them is something so specific to each photographer and can be done a million different ways. If you’ve been to their website and like what you see then you’re seeing the photographer’s favorite work. If you love light and dreamy photos but all the images you see are bright and hip, that is probably not the photographer for you. Look for a photographer that relate to their vision.
3. Do they specialize in one genre or do they advertise that they photograph families, pets, newborns, events, weddings, seniors, boudoir, birthday parties, family reunions and pretty much everything under the sun?
When I first started my photography business, I was one of these photographers that did shoot everything. On a Saturday, I’d photograph a family then turn around on Sunday and photograph a high school senior. I found myself stressed and overwhelmed with learning posing, creating pricing with products specific to that genre. Not to mention the marketing efforts, blogging, and keeping up with trends in each genre. It was too much for me. I’ve done it all and learned that seniors are my favorite and the genre I’m most passionate about so, in 2015, I’ve decided to focus all of my efforts this way instead of spreading myself thin over several genres.
4. Do they offer the full service experience?
Do they work with hair and makeup artists that are knowledgeable about the makeup required for photos? I have seen a HUGE difference since I started working with professionals, not only in the photos but in the confidence booster it is!
Do they have an assistant or does that photographer ask your mom for help? My assistant is there helping me so you can relax!
Do they place the images online for you to view and figure out yourself two weeks later or do they show you your photos in person and walk you through everything they offer? Part of the Sarah Kidwell Photography experience is that I'm here every step of the way and that includes selecting images and helping you to display them in custom products.
5. Do you think they will be fun to hang out with?
By the time everything is said and done, you'll be talking to and seeing your photographer for several hours. Make sure this person is someone that you enjoy being with and will make the photo session experience fun. That's what it's all about. I prefer to have you involved every step of the way so you're invested as much as I am. Plus, I love to listen to music during every photo session and usually cannot predict the crazy things that will come out of my mouth to get people to laugh.