Finding the right photographer | Ashburn Family Photographer

I firmly believe that there is a “right” photographer out there for everyone.  My goal as your photographer is to form a relationship that we can carry far beyond our first session.  I’ve said it before that some of my favorite clients are ones that I’ve grown up with.  Ones where I’ve seen them go from the newly wedded couple to their first child, then their second, third and so on.  I love watching those children go from squishy little newborns to sitters then to walking or running through our sessions.

Unfortunately, photogs are a dime a dozen these days.  With the ready access to digital SLR cameras everyone can be a “pro”.   You’ll see a bunch of fly by night photographers that will simply shoot your session and then give you a disc of unedited photographs for a rock bottom price.  However, I urge you to look for the true professionals that run a business as well as study and hone their craft. Someone that is always learning and working on their technique and producing beautifully edited images that you’ll cherish for a lifetime.

So, in hopes of helping you find the right photographer for you here are some things to ask yourself as you search:

  1. Do you like their style?   – Be sure you’ve checked out their body of work either via a portfolio website or their Facebook page and like what you see (hopefully they have a website in addition to their Facebook page).  Chances are, that’s what you’ll be getting too.  Look for consistency in their editing over their entire portfolio – do the images all have the same types of finishes.  Do they vary their angles and photo compositions?
  2. Can you meet your photographereither via the phone or in person prior to the session?  This is the person who will be asking you to relax and have fun while we shove a big honkin lens in your face:)  It helps to at least have a few conversations first to break the ice.  Sometimes it helps to introduce your children briefly before they have to meet them with that camera in hand as well.
  3. Does the photographer try to get to know you and your family?  Again, this is the person your trusting to capture your family memories.  Getting to know you as a family helps incorporate themes and ideas the ring true to you.  We as artist want to create something that you want to display in your home.  We have to at least have a little understanding of what your “home” is like.  Plus, getting to know you helps us with your children during the shoot.  I always come prepared with the child’s favorites to help make friends quickly.
  4. What are you getting for your investment?  There is no standard offering for photographers these days.  Some offer just digitals (edited or not), others are a prints only shop, and yet others are a combination of things.  Find out how long your session is and what their studio policies are and make sure you’re comfortable with the terms.
  5. Are you comfortable with your investment?  I get it – custom portrait photography is not cheap (and if it is – i’ll just say that you’ll probably get what you pay for. But that’s an entirely different blog post).  It’s difficult sometimes to swallow such a price tag on some a simple as a photograph. However these are not simply photos!  They are moments frozen in time.  Beautifully edited and presented so that you love them forever.  Photographs are your ticket for visiting the past!  So, even if you have to save and save to afford the photographer you want, the investment to capture your family at their truest is worth it.
Picture of a growing family
This is one of my long time clients (and now friends)! Their daughter was one of my first newborns (outside of friends and family)!

I hope this helps you at least a little in picking your photographer for your next session.  I obviously would love for it to be me but I  recognize that my style, personality or price point may not fit everyone.  Believe me when I say I don’t take it personally nor do I take any offense to this.   I want you to be 1000% happy with your choice to have me as your photographer (and will do everything in my power to make that happen!)

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