In this over-saturated market of photographers of every kind of genre, chances are you have a couple in mind for your event. Whether that event happens to be a wedding, engagement or birth you want to make sure that your photographer is a right fit for you. I pride myself in being openly transparent with my clients during our plan meets as well as with my readers via this blog and social media. I’m not afraid of you all seeing my kid’s dirty faces or know that most nights I spend my time editing into the wee hours because – #momlife. But, I am hundred percent sure that I am not the photographer for everyone. My look appeals to girls that happen to have a similar style to my own. If we are completely different people, chances are that our taste in images will not be the same. Here’s a couple reasons I feel every bride and mother should meet me or any other photographer before booking:
- Break the ice. Imagine the awkwardness that would most likely occur if a mom were to book me for her birth session and we have our initial “Hi!” while she’s in the midsts of labor. Not a pretty picture right? In my experience, meeting my clients before, even if it means that I am investing more time to each one of them, always sets the tone in a positive way. We figure out whether our personalities mix well and quickly notice if they don’t. We reach a level of being comfortable around each other (especially if there are children involved, this is a must) and talking over a cup of coffee is always nice.
- Find common ground. This one is a big deal for me. I try to find something in common with all of the women I photograph. Whether we both love Starbucks, shopping at Janie & Jack or want to take a vacation to Italy… we will find something that connects us and establishes mutual understanding. Moms connect on a sub level – the same way married girls do – and even more so if you happen to be a dog lover… you see how that works, once you find out just a tad bit about another person, you have your common ground.
- Ask every pondering question. Everyone has questions, why not ask them personally instead of typing up a long list on email? Sometimes in casual conversation you will have your questions answered without even having to ask.
- Review portfolio. Some of my clients have done their homework researching my website and seeing my latest work, but others have not. Reviewing the kind of work I produce in images and whether that’s the look that you are personally interested in is key to building a great match. You may like another photographer’s work but their look may not be a good representation of your personal style. Maybe you’re into fancy effects or lighting, which means working with a natural light photographer would seem to fall short of your taste. Or it may happen in reverse, you may like dark and moody photographs and your photographer is known for a light and airy look. Coordinating a photographer’s style along with your personal taste is the reason reviewing past sessions is so important.
- Prepare for your shoot. The best way to prepare for a photo shoot is right along with your photographer. Doing so together will make us both excited for the date we get to work together. Sometimes depending on what it is we have planned, there are certain things that need to be coordinated other than the usual outfit, hair and make-up. For example, during Jaylin & Lester’s engagement session, they had in mind renting a canoe. We talked about this several times before finalizing the details of what we would do the day of the session. Turns out that day we needed more hands on deck because of the complexity of the the shoot. Something that if we would of decided just to “wing” wouldn’t of allowed us to perform the same way. Preparation is key for a flawless session.
Can’t meet in person for one reason or another, let’s Skype! I’ve met two of my birth session moms ( Shaleen & Renny both lived too far at the time they were ready to secure their birth booking period ) and their sessions went along just great. Any form of seeing each other I feel that is much better than a phone call or email.
I hope that you all will consider this the next time it’s time to find a photographer and that you will find your perfect match!