Unfortunately, I often hear sad stories of families who had a disappointing experience with their photographer. Not so much complaints about the photographer as a person, but mainly complaints with the final product. So, I decided to put together a checklist list just for you. Feel free to refer to it when looking for your family photographer so your chances of satisfaction are higher.
Do they a website that provides an extensive sample of work? Facebook pages are not websites (at least not yet). Images on facebook are compressed and lower quality; therefore they are not an accurate representation of a photographer’s work.
Computer vs Phone
Make sure you are browsing through photos on your computer as well. Some images look wonderful on your smart phone. However, when you can see them in detail in the computer you may realize they’re not looking as good.
Does their portfolio have a consistent style? Could you predict what your photos will look like?
Do they specialize in children photography or do they do it all? A photographer that does it all is not a bad photographer. As a matter of fact, they are amazingly skillful if they succeed in multiple areas. However, a specialized photographer could be more experienced working with your children, anticipating situations, understanding their unpredictability, and making your children and you feel more comfortable in general. Also, that might be a good sign of how much they love what they do ;)
Exposure: this is basic. If their photos are too dark or too light this is a red flag. Please feel free to link them HERE. They will appreciated it ;)
Contrast and saturation: do some photos look lit by neon lights?
White balance: do the kids skin look blue, too red, or too yellow?
Composition: is it a beautiful planned composition or just a snapshot?
Focus: is the subject in focus or does the whole image look soft?
Editing: Did they over did their editing and turned baby into cyber baby (part machine, part human)?
Tilt: sometimes the horizon at an angle works wonderfully when planned. Most of the time, it just means the shot was not thoughtfully planned.
Are you able to purchase professional prints from them or are they referring you to Target, Walgreens and Sam’s? Typically, printing at these local kiosks means getting overly saturated images with high contrast and totally different hues.
Quality v quantity
This is one is hard to predict, but you can sort of get a feel by looking at their site and social media sites. Do you think they would make you feel like another customer in line or do you think they will take care of you like you deserve? Customer service has a price, but it is so worth it.
Could you see yourself hanging up a large print of one of these photos on your wall?
I hope this was helpful. May this world be filled with happy customers and lovely photos! Happy children photographer shopping!