Portrait photography is something I've been capturing for the past ten years. I love it. I get to meet so many different families. From small families, new families and families that have been spread out all over the place. All coming together for a precious family portrait.
For those of you who know me I don't like using my own children as examples in my portfolio, studio windows, website or on the walls of the studio.
How to choose your wedding or portrait photographer.
I don't see anyone as a competitor - a strange but by any means not an arrogant sentence to start a blog with. But it's true. Photography is a very personal service.
You wouldn't take anyone for your bridesmaid or best man, would you? Or you wouldn't let Joe blogs randomly pick the kids up from school?
With the growth of social media, particularly Facebook, your choice has increased a hundred-fold. Anyone can start a business page. Is down to you the prospective client to decide whether you have the confidence and feel comfortable with whoever your looking at, to capture your wedding or precious family portrait.
The choice has become hard now Facebook has launched their new "recommend" function. Discovery Photography gets recommended a lot in these types of post. From a perspective client point of view how could you ever choose?
Take the last status we were tagged in, there were 120 comments from all over the county. Although some of the more commonly known photographers like ourselves were tagged a few times, most were individual recommendations. Making for an almost impossible choice for the person putting the status out.
So, what are the things you should be looking for?
A CRB or DBS (criminal records check) is a good start especially if there are children involved, and although this doesn't safeguard them by any means, it shows the photographer is open and not trying to hide anything.
Another good thing to look at is the insurance level or if the photographer is insured at all. This may seem a little irrelevant but if the photographers light falls on you and injures you would you make a claim? Or if the photographer loses your wedding images from the day, would you make a claim?
I make sure we have full liability and indemnity insurance and data loss insurance to £100,000. In ten years of wedding photography I have never claimed once, but it’s still there.
I have always been a great believer in giving Clients, prospective or not, as much confidence as possible and have always had a studio and never worked from home.
Now don't get me wrong this probably means nothing to a client. But I can be clearly contacted at the studio during my opening hours, unless I'm at wedding, or on location, then I leave a clear sign stating when I will be back and why I’m closed.
I'm not saying that a photographer shouldn't work from home, but when your chasing your wedding images and you must drop by their home, call their phone number and they aren't answering. Then I would say a proper studio shows a proper business.
Most of the horror stories I hear involve wedding photographers who have captured a wedding, taken the money and have become un-contactable. Therefore, you as a client find it hard to simply obtain your images you have paid good money for. Saying that, I also know studios that have done the same, taken large payments, captured weddings, closed and disappeared.
So, on that note, look for a photographer that's been around a while and the studio has been open for a while, chances are they to stay and have a passion for what they are doing. This should give you enough confidence to book them.
How to choose your wedding or portrait photographer, might not be just about money, quality, creativity but how about the photographer themselves? There must be a connection between couple, family and photographer.
If you feel uneasy with them then this will show through your images. I have heard of several instances of photographers who come across a little creepy, even to a point where I heard of an instance while a photographer was working a wedding and the groom punched him because of his leary ways.
When you look into a camera lens it's got to be with conviction, with a smile, there has to be a connection between you (the bride, the groom, the child, the family), you have to feel at ease and relaxed.
Next time you see a friend’s wedding images or family portrait shoot in your Facebook news feed, look deeply into the faces on the image, do they look like they want to be there? If they have an awkward look upon their face they've maybe, just maybe they made the wrong choice for their photographer.
I'm not saying book me for every photo shoot or wedding, by any means I'm relaxed, unobtrusive and listen to every clients need, they are your images, your living room wall not mine. But you might find you want someone a little more strict and forceful to make sure those images are done.
Each client has a different perception about what you expect from a photographer so there is no such thing as competition.
Yes, you may be governed by the financial aspect of affording a photographer. Yes the photographer might be DBS checked with all the relevant insurances and work from a studio, but if he or she is not right for you still won't get the perfect image you want for the living room wall.
So next time you’re looking for a photographer take a little time to get to know them. If they don't have the time to sit with a cuppa and chat to you, are they really right for you? Are they wanting your business for the right reasons? Do they want you as a client or do they want your money and you out the door?
Got Questions? Contact Stuart.
Christmas Portrait photography - Middlesbrough, Guisborough, Redcar, Whitby
Its not very often I get chance to publish a Christmas image before the day but in this case we can... To get your Christmas special portrait call the studio on 01287 639117 or drop me a line.
Family portraits Guisborough - Discovery Photography.
Baby family portraits.
Capturing the cute Charlotte for her mummy and daddy. Such an adorable face.
Summer holiday Photo shoots and Portraits.
Had a fun photo shoot this afternoon with these three little tinkers. Seems it was a family birthday present. If you would like to take advantage of our summer offer then why not drop me a line?
Family Portrait Photography
Louisa messaged me through our facebook page to book a family portrait has one of her relations was coming over from Canada. Most family portrait I do are for large families, my studio can easily accommodate up to around 25 people at once. I usually don't put a time frame on the shoot, so it give as much flexibility with different set ups as possible. Then, Like Louisa, I give the chance to look through your images on a large screen, with a cuppa of course. That way theres no pressure to choose and order.To book your family a portrait why not drop me a line?
A Beautiful Family portrait.
One reason I love my job and thats to make people smile and even cry at times. This family portrait was no different. Working closely with a group of people to create a special family memory I find a moving event, something that families let me be apart of. It makes me proud to capturing a family gathering and capturing that moment for posterity.The main part for me is watching, from a distance, family's and clients going over their images with a cuppa and listening to what they are saying and most of all the ooohs and awwww's make me smile. A chorus of Laughter means they enjoyed the shoot. Thats just what happened this morning.he