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Choosing a photographer can be daunting. So many packages, so many styles, so many recommendations.

Here’s 5 short tips on what to consider.

Their Style
It sounds common sense I know but choose a photographer who’s style you love. Just because a friend raves about a photographer they used doesn’t mean you’ll love their work. All photographers have different styles and their portfolios will show this.
Make sure you love their work and that you love the style of images they’re showcasing. We all have different tastes, find someone that fits your tastes.

Amateur vs Pro
It’s OK to hire an amateur and don’t let anyone suggest otherwise. Over the years I’ve seen many pro photographers scorn at amateurs saying they are only ‘part-time’ and ‘not real photographers’. That’s just not true.
In fact, I’ve seen absolutely fantastic work produced by amateurs which was far superior than some pro’s , plus everyone needs a break right?

However, always check their existing portfolio. Whether it’s a serious passion or just a hobby they should be able to show you many examples of their work. As long as you’re happy with that everything should be OK.
If someone is unable to show you a well varied portfolio and only has 3 or 4 shots they took last year then question this with them and ask for more before you book.

Studio or no Studio? 
Fact: Most photographers don’t have a studio.

Just because a photographer dosnt run a studio dosnt make them any less professional than others that do.  There are many different disciplines to photography, some of which require more studio work than others such as commercial work in fashion photography or even specialised product photography where the lighting needs to be controlled so accurately which would be very difficult outdoors.

I personally love outdoor location photography because that’s where we can play in natural surroundings.
But it may be that you prefer a neutral backdrop style of image that is often produced at studios.

Personality
Getting on like a house on fire with your photographer is not only just a great experience but it also helps incredibly with the session. If you feel relaxed with them you’ll get the very best from them also.

Try to meet with your potential photographer beforehand to see if you click, or at the very least have a phone call. We humans are very intuitive so if things don’t click you’ll know when you speak to them. Trust your gut not your email!

Printing
Now this is where you say “I can print them myself”.

Yes, you can. You can use all the major supermarkets, or various other low cost options. But please don’t. Any professional photographer will be using a highly skilled digital print lab and theres a massive difference to print quality. It’s not until you see the two side by side that you see the difference. The high street chains in my experience are often over-inked, too dark, too light, colours are off, red tinge’s, all sorts.

Ask your photographer if they can help you get high end prints – you’ll be glad you did!

Sally.
I’m a Mum & Professional Photographer based in Hastings, East Sussex.

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