Shopping for a Photographer on a Budget
Over the past few months or so I have received many inquiries for various types of sessions! Every now and then someone will decide to go elsewhere for there photography needs! I know what you may be thinking but this really doesn't offend me because I know that there are many reasons that could turn people away: editing style, price, etc. when this happens I try not to take it personal rather remember that the most important thing is that you pick the photographer that fits your needs! Recently though I have received messages from some lovely ladies telling me their woes of picking a photographer on a budget! One girl was promised a two week turn around time and a months or so later still never received any of her graduation photos (which graduation is this week). The others story shockingly similar to the first with no response back from the photographer. This literally BROKE MY HEART! So I decided to write this blog in the hopes of helping those shopping for a photographer on a budget to still end up happy and having a good experience! Let's get started!
1. ASK FOR REFERRALS!!!!! I soooooo wish after inquiring with me and seeing my pricing didn't match their needs they had asked for referrals! I have made so many amazing connections over the past year with many different levels and pricing! I have many photographers that I know and trust that vary in price points that I would happily refer to someone!! This is a great way to find someone that is going to deliver especially if another photographer is willing to send you their way!
2. CHECK TESTIMONIALS!!!!! Do not be afraid to ask for testimonials of prior clients that they have worked with! I know that newer photographers might not have them but see if you can get in contact with an old client and see how their experience was. If they don't let you take that into consideration. It doesn't have to be a deal breaker but it would raise a question in my mind!
3. VIEW THEIR PORTFOLIO!!! When I was a month into my photography journey I had already begun building my portfolio. I wanted to have something to show people that questioned my ability because I was so new. I could say "Yes I have only been doing this for a month BUT here is what I can do!" many people booked me off of my portfolio and many new photographers have one or are starting to build theirs! So ask to see it! If there is only one or two photos from the same family session that tells you that they probably have only done one family session. Maybe that isn't a big deal for you but it will help determine whether you love what you see or if you don't.
4. ASK FOR A CONTRACT!!!! This is a BIG one guys! Growing up in an entrepreneurial family my parents instilled a lot of business things in me. I remember when I first started I got stiffed. Lost out on $350 my "clients" had the photos and I never got paid. my parents were like "Did you have a contract?" Nope and after that I quickly knew if I wanted to be taken seriously and be able to have set and CLEAR expectations a contract was a must. I have used contracts since month 3 of me doing photography. Even when I hardly charged anything I used them. It states what I deliver, when I will deliver, and how much the expected amount is along with other important info. This binds not only me but my clients as well and ensures both parties are happy. I am pretty shocked that even some wedding photographers that charge thousands of dollars aren't using them. Not having a contract doesn't mean they are a bad photographer or won't follow through but you are taking a risk! Be aware that if they don't have one neither party is bound to ANYTHING. For example if you pay them and they never deliver all you have is their word. Not having a contract doesn't mean they are a bad photographer or won't follow through but you are taking a risk!
These four simple steps will help you a lot when it comes to finding a photographer on a budget! Remember: REFERRALS, TESTIMONIALS, PORTFOLIOS, CONTRACTS. It may seem like a lot of work but finding someone that has even two of these shows a lot more about them then just seeing the cheaper price! Looking past the price will allow you to see what kind of experience you are going to have! Enjoy and don't forget to SUBSCRIBE below! Also be sure to comment what you think about this blog post!