Last week we talked about the first two steps to finding your perfect photographer. This week we will talk about products and price. And as promised, we have a free PDF checklist that will help you find your perfect photographer!! Sign up for our newsletter below and the link will be emailed to you.
Step 3: Products
If you want a fine Italian suit custom made for you, you don’t go to Brooks Brothers. If you’re looking for a well made but less custom experience, then Brooks Brothers might be just the place for you. The same principle applies to finding a photographer: find one that offers the product you’re looking for. I find that clients can sometimes be overwhelmed by all of the choices that some photographers offer. (Ever been to The Cheesecake Factory? Now you get where I’m going with this!)
• Do I buy prints or canvas?
• Albums or image boxes?
• Everyone seems to buy digital files but the photos from my daughter’s newborn session are still in the drawer in the kitchen so I would rather have something I will see every day!
Just like car buying, suit buying or any other purchase you might make, there is no one size fits all for photographers either. If you want digitals only, there are many photographers who will see you for the session and then send over a finished digital gallery after and then you can do as you please with the files. Easy peasy! If that’s what you’re looking for then you will have no shortage of options. If you are looking, on the other hand, for items to display in your home for the next 50 years or a beautiful album that will be passed down though the generations, then you need to find a photographer who offers those products. (Check out some of the products offered at Babies and Beauties Photography below!) Again, check the website and see what they offer. Email or call the photographer and ask them questions to find out if they can provide the types of products and level of service you are searching for. After that, it’s on to the last step.
Step 4: Price
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “How can she leave price for last?” Hear me out because there are two very important reasons for this.
The first reason is that there are so many photographers with so many different pricing structures that if price is your main concern, you will have no problem finding someone to take your photos. The difficulty will be finding someone who matches your style, service expectations and product offerings if you only base your
decision on price.
The second reason is quality. I don’t mean the quality of the images taken (although that could happen) but the quality of what is produced with them. For example, the products that we offer at Babies and Beauties Photography are archival. This means they are heirloom quality and made with materials that will last 100 years or more. (Click here to read more on why printing your portraits is important). Again, it’s about what you want to do with the images. Yes, you can have a canvas made at Costco that looks okay. Sure, the color may be a little off or the sun may fade the image in only a year but it didn’t cost much. The counterpoint to this is a professionally-printed archival canvas that will look like the photographer’s original work and will last for decades or longer.
If you only want the digital files and think you are off the hook, think again. Digital images are not archival as I explained in a recent blog post on the subject. Not only could technology change and make the CD/DVD/USB where the files are stored obsolete, they can corrupt. Additionally, what good are they in digital form if you can’t look at them all the time in your home or office? Don’t confuse the accessibility of digital files with longevity. That USB may be safe in the kitchen drawer for the next ten years but there is no guarantee that the files won’t be corrupted if you ever get around to printing them. I say all that to make this point: Yes, price is important to most people, but imagine what you would be losing in not capturing your newborn’s tiny features, your growing family, or your mother and father while they are still with you.
I treasure the photographs I have of my grandmother and now photographs I have taken of my mother. I will treasure the family photos that will be taken this summer. I will print our family portrait on a huge canvas for my mother’s home so that every day when she walks by she can feel the love of the family that she has created!
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