5 things you SHOULD be asking your photographer

Scheduling a photo session can be a little bit intimidating, right? I’ve been on the other side of this, and I hear you! I want you to know that it’s okay to ask your photographer questions. In fact? Most of us want you to (I sure do!). When you ask thoughtful questions ahead of your session, we’re all on the same page in a quicker fashion and the end result means wider smiles for all. Today we’re going to chat about five questions you should be asking your photographer.

– What is included in the session price?

This is a VERY common question and you should get a very straight forward answer from your photographer.  Most people want to know what they are getting for $XXXX when they hire their photographer.  Some photographers employ a “shoot and share” model.  This means that their packages are all inclusive and you will be getting your digital images as part of your session price.  For me, this works best for me and my clients, it means my clients get a private gallery of their images that they can download from, share on social media and print through an awesome high quality professional lab right from their gallery. 

– What time of day do you shoot and what locations do you use?

Generally speaking most photographers like to shoot at what is known as “golden hour.”  This time is 60-90 minutes before sunset and lends the most beautiful lighting.  I personally prefer to shoot at this time of day, but in cases when I am very busy and have to accommodate more sessions I will shoot outside of this time. In this case we will discuss the best location options for your session at your scheduled time of day.

– Do you have the appropriate permits we may need to shoot at the location I want?

Part of what goes into being a professional photographer is knowing what permits and fees are needed for locations in any area at any location. The last thing you want is your kids behaving and getting stopped mid-session and asked to leave {even worse, fined} if your photographer has not obtained a photography permit needed for your session. I carry my Dupage County Forest Preserve permit  for all my clients and renew it yearly to be able to choose any of those locations freely with no extra charge to them. If a particular location is desired and requires a permit outside of what I carry, this is something that would need to be obtained by your photographer after showing proof of liability insurance to the location. Side note, your photographer should never steer clear of locations they would need a permit or proof of insurance for, this would be a red flag to stay away, due mostly to not carrying liability insurance. Any additional permit fees other than Dupage County forest preserves are the responsibility of the client if that is the location of choice by client.

– What should I bring?

This is a great question.  I advise my clients that if there are anything that they would like in the photographs with them that they should bring it with them to their session. Always better to have it than not! This includes but is not limited to pets, blankets, furniture etc. I am a very clean, classic more lifestyle photographer in my style as you can see in my portfolio examples, so themed sessions or ones that props are heavily used is not my style but I will use items brought by my clients if requested. I always like the saying “less is more”. We want to showcase you and your family in the most personal and  genuine state as possible with your session.

– What is the timeline for getting photos back?

This can vary dramatically from one photographer to another.  I guarantee my clients will have their images within 30 days for all sessions, but am typically much, much quicker than that.  Some photographers may take 6-8 weeks, or longer, so it is important to ask so you can have clear expectations.  If you need the images back in a certain time period it is also important to communicate that with your photographer.

– What are my options for prints and product from my session?

For photographers who use the shoot and share model they will generally provide their clients with a print release.  A print release is very different from a copyright release so be sure to clarify this with your photographer.  A print release allows you to print your images through any lab you wish.  A copyright release would allow you or a third party to edit the images. I personally give my clients a print release, not copyright release. I offer my clients professional premium matte prints, canvas’ and albums with the option to choose from three fantastic collections after their session to be sure all my clients enjoy the luxury of being able to download and share as well as have wall and table art in their homes.

Now that you know the five questions to ask your photographer, be empowered to do so! You can have the perfect wardrobe, a great location, and perfect weather – but it can all come crashing down due to a simple miscommunication or lack thereof.

I hope you’re looking forward to scheduling your next session with me! Send me a message to get started (or ask a question!)


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