Photography Business: 7 Things Customers Look for in a Photographer

7 things customers look for in a photographer

Disclaimer! I’m not a professional photographer, while at one point a few years ago I did consider opening a photography business. I realize now that I had no idea what I would have been getting myself into! I have learned so much since then, and realize I have so much more to learn. I am currently happy with photography as a hobby. If you are a hobbyist, and are thinking of taking your photography to the next level, here are a few points customers may be considering when looking for a photographer (in no specific order).

What customers look for in a photography business

1. Shooting and Processing Style:
Do I like the photographer’s style? Each session should have the same “style”. I have read over and over again that when finding one’s own shooting and processing style, the photographer should think of a few words that they want their clients/viewers to think or feel when seeing their portfolio.  And the words may change over time… but as a whole, is the photographer’s work cohesive? Let’s face it, word of mouth is where most photographers get referrals. And as a customer, I would want to make sure that I’m getting the style that I am paying for. For example, a lifestyle photographer’s images should reflect that style of photography.

2. Processing Style:
Do I like the processing of the image? Will it match my personal/family style? Does every session/sneak peek have the same feel as the other? Is the processing consistent? Is the style of processing cohesive? Again, a customer wants to know what they are paying for. While some people love B&W, others clients prefer color, vintage, ethereal, hazy, etc. The photographer’s portfolio should reflect the style that will be delivered to the client so that there aren’t any surprises.

3. Quality:
Is the quality consistent? Are all of the images in focus? Does each session feel fresh and new? Unfortunately, most customers are not going to be experts at critiquing the technicalities of photography. But as business owners, I think photographers should be displaying work that they can be proud of and would pay for themselves.

3. Investment:
Can I afford custom photography? Pricing is all over the place in photography.  Personally, I think photography is worth saving up for, but I love photography and know the time that it takes behind the scenes. The customer will want to know how much to expect to pay for what she would like out of the session. How much are prints versus digital files? Can I get prints? Can I buy digital files only?

4. Location:
Will the photographer shoot on location or consider new locations? Is there a traveling fee for longer distances?

5. Website:
In this age of technology, an easy to navigate website is essential. My personal preference is simple. This allows the images to take center stage. If a customer cannot quickly and efficiently locate portfolios and pricing (or a way to obtain pricing quickly–as some are not published), the customer is likely to be attracted to a business where he/she can.

6. Photographer/Client Relationship:
Does the photographer put the customer at ease? Are there rescheduling fees/cancelation fees? Is the photographer easy to converse with and does he/she respond in appropriate time frames? Is scheduling convenient?

7. Specialization:
Does the photographer specialize in the type of photography I’m looking for? Maternity, Newborn, Seniors, Weddings, Family? People are good at what they love! If a photographer shoots only seniors, it is probably because they enjoy it and are good at it! When looking for a family photographer, I want someone who loves shooting the dynamics of a family (and has experience keeping the little ones in line!)

The following are images of Kelly Garvey and family, taken by the talented Jodi Arego.

 

 

And a self family portrait by Kelly herself!

What do you look for when hiring a photographer?

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I Clicked it Up a Notch Photography Contest-June 2012

Did you click it up a notch this month?? I hope so! You guys continue to impress me each month as you challenge and push yourself! Here is my best photo from the month. I was so blessed that my parents were able to come out and welcome Claire. We were sad to see them go!

In order to be eligible to win, please read the list below.

  • -Only one photo in the entry post.
  • -Our button (not just a link) must be in the post.
  • -The photo needs to have been taken this month.
  • -Summit your permalink, not your main blog address. You can use a flickr account as well (Just add the button in the comment section)

Click It Up A Notch

That’s it! It’s that simple! So go through all your photos you have taken this month and submit your favorite/best one. Don’t forget to leave comments on the other entries because that is half the fun!! I recommend commenting on the 5 people in front of you. That way everyone gets at least 5 comments.

Also, submit your photo early since those seem to be the ones who receive the most comments! I try my best to comment on everyone but I can’t make any promises.

We will pick our top 5 favorite and post them on Thursday, July 5th (Japan Time/Wednesday evening EST) for you to vote for the winner. The voting will be open until July 9th (Monday night Japan Time/Monday morning EST) and the winner will be announced Tuesday, July 10th (Japan time).



A Day in the Life of-Creative Exercise

I always wanted to do one of these "Day in the Life of" photo projects. I figured since today is my birthday that yesterday would be the perfect day to record our life. It will be fun to look back and see what a normal day when I was 30 looked like. I will be the first to admit that while these photos may not be photography genius, I do love them and it got me thinking about different photography situations. You have to work with different lighting situations, compositions, and there are a ...continue reading

A Day in the Life of-Creative Exercise

Critique Me-Lynn at Lynn Guthrie Photography

Critique Me-Lynn at Lynn Guthrie Photography

Remember: -Read How to Critique a Photo -Make a critique sandwich - something positive, something you would have done differently, something positive -My rule: no improvement tip = deleted comment -This will benefit the person leaving the photo critique just as much if not more than the person receiving the critique. Thank you to Lynn of Lynn Guthrie Photography for submitting the following image. Setting: ISO 100, SS 1/100, f/4.5 ...continue reading

Photography Business: Creative Advertising Through Giving Back

Photography Business: Creative Advertising Through Giving Back

It has always been a goal of mine to volunteer, help others & give back as much as possible to my community. When I started owning my own photography business it became even easier to give back than it was before. Having your own photography business allows you so much freedom to be creative in your efforts to help through non-profit work. I started implementing ways to help others each month on my own but in addition to that other opportunities presented themself to me (without me having to ...continue reading