Lately I have been thinking about getting a family session done in the next couple years now that my son Will is getting older and listens better (sometimes). I have thought about what questions I would ask the potential photographer to know if he/she would be a good fit for my families photography needs. I thought I would share these questions with you to help find the right photographer when you are looking. Many people do not know what to ask so they usually will fall back on the default question "how much do you charge for an 8x10" (or now days it may be "for a digital file"). I have come up with 3 questions that would be at the top of my list and the reason I would ask, they are as follows:
The photographer will probably ask you what kind of session you are looking for (ie. baby, family, etc), but if not it is something you want to bring up right away. A photographer who specializes in couples and weddings may not be a good fit for your 3 year old toddler.
1. "Do you offer pre-consultations and/or order consultations in-person?": I would ask this because I feel that with having little kids it helps for them to meet the photographer first (especially if they are shy). It is also nice to have someone help with planning the session details like what to wear or what location to go with. After the session it is helpful to have their help with picking out your portraits, since that can be very overwhelming. On the other hand some photographers will do this by email or phone and if you are strapped for time and feel you do not need to meet the photographer before hand or have that extra help planning, then that may be the way to go for you.
2. "Do you specialize in selling prints, wall art or albums?": Some version of this question is important to ask because there are quite a few photographers who will do the session and then just sell the digital files. I prefer to invest the extra money to have a tangible product to display in my home (without having to do the work myself). Again this would be based on what you prefer (I highly recommend getting some kind of printed product).
3. "Can you give me a ballpark of how much most clients spend?": Another very important question. If your budget is for $300 and most clients invest in $800-$1200 then this photographer is probably not a good fit for you. You don't want to invest all this time just to be frustrated in the end because you cannot afford the products that you were hoping to get.
I hope this helps next time you are shopping to find the right photographer for you!