How to Choose a Portrait Photographer

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Selecting a portrait photographer to capture your inner beauty can be a daunting task. With the stress looming over you, there are some important considerations to keep in mind when choosing a portrait photographer. In this article, we will cover the basics of what to look for in a portrait photographer, and what to avoid in a potential portrait photographer.

It's been said that the best advertisement any business could ask for is word of mouth, and that saying definitely holds true in the photography business. If you ask your co-workers and friends who they have had (and liked) as a portrait photographer, you will get an important initial list of potential photographers. In addition, we tend to trust the opinions of friends and family more than an advertisement (and rightfully so). Be sure to ask to see the final work though when given a recommendation- not everyone's opinion of quality work is the same.

Other than word of mouth, the Internet can also be a good resource to use when choosing a portrait photographer. The best thing about checking out a potential photographer's website is that you can also view their portfolio on their website, and see what their work really looks like (and not just the work that they selected for a brochure). Look for sites with a large, diverse portfolio that meets your tastes. In addition, keep an eye out for potential problems, such as websites that list free webmail email addresses as contact email addresses. Let's face it, if you're planning on spending money on a photographer, they can afford $20/month for email hosting. Also, look for creativity when viewing their portfolio- practically any photographer can turn out good looking studio portraits. Instead, look for creativity used for on-site photography. Look for the creative use of backgrounds, and poses.

Finally, once you have a list of potential portrait photographers, arrange a time to have a consultation with each potential photographer. Get to know him/her, look through their portfolio, and be sure to ask any questions that you might have (such as the cost of the actual shoot, cost of additional prints, any possible guarantees, etc). Avoid any photographer that doesn't have many samples in their portfolio, and avoid any photographer that is late to this important consultation.

If you follow these simple, quick steps, you will be able to easily distinguish the good photographers from the bad photographers. Another important consideration when selecting a portrait photographer is to ignore photographers that charge prices that are outside of the normal price range. If a portrait photographer charges drastically lower, there usually is a good reason. Virtually all portrait photographers also use a contract once you have the photos in your hand, so be sure to read all of the details of the contract for important copyright terms.

When you take your time, and follow through with all of the steps and recommendations on this article, you will be able to easily and quickly pick the perfect photographer for your portrait session. Plus, you'll have the security and peace of mind in knowing what to look out for in a bad portrait photographer. Try not to think of the money as a final factor as well- you will cherish these photos for a lifetime!

Michelle Pace is a photographer located in the Billings, Montana area. She has experience with wedding photography as well as portrait photography in the Montana area.

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