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7 Questions to Ask Your Photographer

We've all been there. You've scoured the internet to find the perfect photographer. You have found the perfect fit! With the large array of photographers out there it isn't too difficult to find one that matches the style you like. What now? It's important to make sure that the photographer that you found is a legitimate business and that you are protected in case anything goes wrong. I'm here to help you with that! Here are the top 7 questions you should be asking a potential photographer.

1) How much is a session?

In today's world, budget is important. We've all found something we love and, when we see the price tag, are forced to delicately put it back on the shelf. Price is important. This is the very first thing you should be asking. A large amount of photographers have their pricing listed on their websites, like us. But there is the occasional case where they do not have pricing listed. There could be many reasons behind this and it should not scare you away from a photographer you love. If there is not pricing, they typically have their contact information readily available. Send them a quick email asking how much they charge for the session type you are looking for. A good, attentive photographer will get back with you within 24 hours unless they are on vacation. Make sure to be thorough in your email. Provide the photographer with: session type (portrait, family, maternity, newborn, wedding, etc.); potential date of the session; what you're looking for as far as products or images (if you have an idea); and finally, your budget if you have one.

2) What is included?

Another good thing to make sure to ask your potential photographer is what exactly is included in this package or session you are interested in. Does it come with images? Are they digital? Print? Does it come with any product or print credit? I would suggest including this in your initial email to the photographer when inquiring about pricing. Again, be thorough. Mayfield Photography has a large assortment of available session options which all come with different inclusions.

3) Do I get printing rights?

If you are given digital files as part of your session, it is important to ask if you will get printing rights. Typically, if you are given digitals, you will get printing rights but it is important to note. If you print images you do not have rights to, there is the possibility of legal action by the owner of the image (the photographer).

4) How are my images delivered?

Some photographers deliver images online through a gallery service or a file service such as Dropbox. Others will provide their client with a flash drive. Rarely you will receive a disc with your images on it. It's important to ask this to make sure that you are able to transfer these images to your own devices and use what you are paying for.

5) Do you have a contract?

This is a big one! You want to make sure that whoever you book has a contract. I know that the word "CONTRACT" might seem like a big word and potentially a scary one, but the contract actually should protect both parties in the case there is a disagreement or services weren't provided as agreed. Basic contracts will go over the details of the session (date, location, time, etc.) and should note what is included in your session or package. This can also be where it is noted that you have printing rights and who retains copyright of the images. It can note what might happen in the case the photographer is not able to perform his or her duties and what might happen in the case of technical malfunctions. Make sure to read the contract in it's entirety also to make sure you are ok with everything in it.

6) How do you ensure my images are safe?

This is another big one. Most photographers today use digital cameras equipped with a battery and a memory card, and then they take those memory cards and put them into a computer with a hard drive to move onto the computer and then edit with a computer program. Once finished, they will either upload to an online gallery or put on a flash drive to give to the client. That is a lot of opportunity for your images to get damaged or lost. Make sure your photographer is taking steps to make sure these images are taken care of. Back up batteries, double memory card slots in camera, external hard drives or storage systems are just some of the ways photographers should be caring for your images.

7) Do you have insurance?

Out of all of the questions listed here, I personally feel this tops the list as the most important question! Insurance itself carries a hefty price tag. Because of this, not all photographers have it. Unfortunately this means if something were to happen during a shoot and you hurt yourself or someone else in your party gets hurt, the photographer doesn't have insurance to help pay for medical costs. Insurance can also help insure the photographer's equipment in case of a malfunction and will allow him or her to get back to work much quicker than if they did not have insurance. So make sure to ask this question!

I hope these questions prove to be useful to you and that your perfect photographer is really the perfect fit for what you need!

*image taken by Me and the Moon Photography, edited by Mayfield Photography LLC

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