Okay, last week we talked about choosing the type of session that’s right for you. I discussed some of the options you have for family sessions, couples and individual portraits. You’ve decided on the type of session you want, but what now?
Now it’s time to find your soul-mate! That photographer that just gets you.
When you meet, your hands shake a little (and not just from that venti frappuccino you just ordered). You’re besties from the start, sharing laughs, comparing silly husband stories and pictures of your fur babies. This is more than just someone who takes your pictures, they capture your essence, what it truly means to be you and you look forward to working with them again and again.
So how do you find this unique, part butterfly, part unicorn, sparkling ball of awesome?
Well, you have to go a quest. You start in the magical land if Google, where you take your first step by searching for something like “Whidbey Island Family Photographer” or “Timbuktu Lifestyle Beach Photographer”. Then, the real journey begins. The search through the website.
But Amy, I knew all this!
I know you know how to Google search and look at a website, but it’s how you look at that website that makes all the difference. When you open up a photographer’s website,it’s kind of like taking a tour of their home. You’re are guaranteed to find a whole bunch of beautiful pictures, but you have to look beyond that (enter Rafiki from Lion King 1 1/2 saying “look beyyyooond what you see”). In order to get to know this person that is going to be capturing a big part of your life, you have to look around the whole house, not just one room.
Let’s start with the Home page.
hmmm… Really Amy? Start with the first page? That’s the best you can do?
Well, yes! SO many times we get in a rush to see what the pictures look like, we forget to take the first step. The Home page is the doorway to a website. You wouldn’t walk straight into a stranger’s living room, would you? No! You stop in the doorway, talk for a minute, make sure the house likes inviting and admire the artwork in the entry way. This is where you first get a glimpse of who this photographer is and whether or not they are right for you. Take a few minutes to poke around. How does this page make you feel? Is it warm and inviting like a beloved relative’s home? Is it more like a model home with a comfy but staged feel? Does it make you want to come in and see more?
Now that you’ve poked your head in and looked around, you are free come inside and to the left to the Gallery or Portfolio page.
This like a home office, where we show off our awesomeness. It’s cozy and impressive with a comfy couch, cute desk and all these gorgeous pictures to look at. This where most people make their first decision on whether or not they want to use this photographer.
Take a good look around here. It can be so easy to click through a few pictures and get caught up in how pretty they are and move on before you really looked at the pictures. Take the time to look at the style of pictures. Are they bright and airy, dark and moody, artsy and chic? Imagine yourselves in that photo. Can you see it hanging on your wall where all your friends and family can see it?
Take a look at the models in the photos. Do they remind you of your family? Of yourself? This may be of particular interest if you are a looking for a photographer that is familiar working with someone with your body type or your particular style. For instance, a curvier gal may want to make sure her photographer is able to pose her so that her curves are flattered, but she doesn’t appear larger than she really is. Or maybe you want to showcase that sweet full sleeve tattoo you just got finished with a rockabilly style. Looking at the pictures that are featured in the gallery can tell you so much about the photographer’s style and preferences.Now that you’ve looked at the gallery and you know you like their style, it’s time to go to the About Page, the living room of your photographer’s website.
I feel like this is one of the most overlooked pages on the whole website. Many times, we get so consumed with price that we skip over the About page entirely. How silly is that?!? That’s basically like saying “Hey random stranger! Want to come over and take pictures of the things that mean the most to me?” Kind of silly, huh?
Reading over your potential photographers’ bios is the first step to finding out if you could be soul mates, or just ships passing in the night. This is where you find out what your photographer really holds dear. Is he family oriented? Why did they choose to become a photographer? Does she own 15 cats and love leopard print? Does their personality clash with yours? Is she a wine lover or more of a mojito girl? Read the bio and find out!
Okay, you’ve seen the Home page, you love her work and can totally see yourself hitting it off with her! Now, there’s just one burning question on your mind: how much? Oh yes! The dreaded Investment page!
This is the part that makes some people swarm a little. After all, you work hard for your money and sometimes it pictures can seem like a frivolous investment. But consider this: how much are your memories truly worth? Is saving a few dollars really worth having pictures that just aren’t you on the walls forever? I know there can be some sticker shock when you see a price larger than expected, but there are a couple ways to overcome it.
My number 1 tip is to go to the Contact page and give your new found bestie a jiggle. Many photographers offer payment plans and can work with you so you can still get those amazing pictures and afford to feed your family. You will never know if you don’t ask.
You can also budget for that photography session of your dreams. I know, I know! It’s not always easy, but setting aside $50 a paycheck will get you to the session- and photographer- of your dreams in no time!
There are so many wonderful photographers out there, each with their own style, flair and specialty. I just know you can find the perfect one for you!
Have a question? I’d love to help! Leave me a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to check out my website to see how you can book a custom session today!
Missed my post on Choosing a Session Type? Find it here.