Questions you should ask your Senior Photographer
This blog post is really targeted towards people who are kind of just unsure on how to start. Whether that means that they’re not sure what direction they want to go in as far as a photographer or they just have never had professional photos done. These questions being answered before the session are going to help you make sure that the session is flawless. Whether you’re a senior in high school, college, a bride, a mom, or just someone looking to get headshots all theses questions are applicable. I believe that smooth client and business communication are the keys to a great experience. These are questions and their description will hopefully be a starting point in your search for your perfect professional photographer. Also, disclaimer, don’t feel like you need to ask your photographer every single one of these questions.
1. What is included in your packages?
This is very important. Making sure that your photographer is up front about what is included in your packages allows you to avoid hidden costs. It also allows you to set expectations with your photographer so you know exactly what you’re getting with the photography service.
2. Will the photos be retouched and edited before I see the images?
Some photographers send you the files and have you pick what will be edited. Others send you a particular amount of edited images for you to download. Whatever it maybe it’s good to ask a question if the photographer doesn’t clarify up front.
3. Do I have to order prints through you?
Almost every single photographer I know has high-quality prints that you can order through them. Since photographers have copyright laws at the click of their shutter under their contract you must order prints through them. Other photographers, such as myself, include in their packages a print release. A print release allows you to print where you’d like. Though it’s crucial to know the difference, I do encourage you to always order through your photographer because it ensures high quality long lasting prints.
4. What are the deposit and total fee?
Photographers require a non-refundable deposit. The deposit is included in your final price. For example, if your total cost is $500 and the deposit is $100 the day of the shoot will be $400. Deposits are important for both the client and photographer. Deposits are different depending on the photographer's policy. Make sure you ask if you’re confused at all.
5. How long does it take to get the photos back after the shoot?
Obviously, this is important if you’re looking to submit photos by a certain time or need them for a certain date. If it’s not a concern of yours then don’t worry about asking if it’s not clear.
6. What are the restrictions for sharing photos online or for publication? Do you own the copyright to the photos?
I personally love when my clients share the photos all over social media or wherever they’d like. As I mentioned before, the photographer has the copyright of the photo once the shutter clicks. You as the client also have rights when you sign a contract. Allowing yourself to know what you can and cannot post and where is great since we live in such a social media world. Let's add that you cannot edit or alter photos when you post them since it’s against copyright laws. You shouldn’t have to worry about this though since the photographer you pick will be one that you love and you’ll fall in love with your images.
7. Do I need to sign a contract?
Yes. You really should sign a contract with your photographer. They’re super simple but clearly a lot of things above. This means that if you’re confused about anything above then you can get all your questions answered in a contract. Signing a contract allows you as the customer to get everything you need as well as the photographer getting everything they need in their service.
All these questions are really great to ask before and after you book a date with your professional photographer. Communication is key to anything that is successful. I truly believe that if any party is confused in any way then it could put a blunder in pulling off the perfect experience for both the client and the photographer. I really hope that these questions are a starting to ensure an amazing session. Whether you’re located in the Willamette Valley or in the city of Portland Oregon all these questions are relevant and are questions that all professional photographers should be able to answer.