Everyone today is a “photographer” in the basic sense. We all have phones that capture great images and with DSLR & Mirrorless cameras under $1000 it is easy for someone to grab a camera and start taking photos. Just because someone has a camera does not mean you should trust them with your photos. First, lets go over gear that photographers use.
Sure you can go to Best Buy and pick up a camera for $800 on Black Friday with 2 lenses and a bag and start shooting but most photographers that take this seriously do not spend that. I for example have 3 professional camera bodies. They range between $1,700 and $4,000 for just the camera alone. No lenses. These are weather sealed meaning if your day starts to rain or snow I’m covered. This also means that if my camera fails for any reason the day of I have backup cameras that can pick up and keep shooting. If you hire someone who only has one camera and that camera fails the day of your session you now have no photos.
Lenses are often times more expensive than cameras. A lens that comes with the camera is not going to be that great for low light or to get that nice creamy background people love in their photos. Here is an example of what a normal lens looks like vs. an expensive lens. The normal lens you can see everything in the background pretty well. You can see this was taken in my dining room. Now look at the image with the more expensive lens. Look how the background melts away. Everything else with these images is the same.
After a photographer takes your photos there needs to be a way to edit those photos. Software also costs money for your photographer. Here is a before and after with some editing. No matter how good a photographer is they should be editing your photos before delivery to ensure you get the best final result. Editing takes time. An average image can take between 30 seconds to 5 min depending on what work needs to be done. Now multiply that by the number of photos you receive is.
This one is one of the factors that fluctuate the most. There are photographers that are just starting out that get some likes on their instagram and think you should pay them an absorbent amount of money. This is where I truly believe you get what you pay for. There is a lot that can go wrong during photoshoots, especially weddings. You need a photographer that has dealt with these situations and knows how to handle them. Lets say you plan an entire wedding outdoors but an unexpected rain storm comes in and you must move your venue inside. How do you handle this? What your ceremony is in a beautiful venue with amazing light but come nightfall the ugly yellow lights of the venue make everyone look orange? You need a photographer who can handle these situations for you.
Here is a fun story. We had a couple who was getting married in two days. We sat down for our final walkthrough with them and they told us how they had a nice car lined up to take them to around for pictures after the ceremony but the person who had the car cancelled on them. They were super bummed by this. After our meeting I called a friend of mine who had an old fashioned car to see if he would be interested in helping this couple out. The stars aligned and we made it happen. Check out a couple of these photos. Pretty incredible right? This moment would not have happened had they not picked Josh Lepik Photography.
Things to look for and consider:
- First and foremost do you like the photographers style? Do you envision yourself in their photos? Do you like the way they edit photos and the way they use light? If so this is someone you want to look deeper into.
- Do they have a lot of photos already for the session you want? You wouldn’t necessarily higher a wedding photographer if their entire website is filled with sports photos. Not saying they are not a great photographer but do they have the experience shooting a wedding when they normally only shoot sports.
- What is your budget vs. what is their packages? I know most photographers have a little flexibility with their packages if you truly want them to be your photographer. Maybe instead of a full 10 hour day wedding coverage you can only book them for 4-6 hours. Wouldn’t it be better to have 4-6 hours of amazing photographs from a photographer you love vs “OK” photos and 10 hours of coverage from a photographer you picked up last minute? To me this is an easy answer.
Of course there is a lot more to consider when choosing a photographer for your photos. If you have any questions or we can help you with your next photo session please reach out. We would love to talk with you more.