It's not just about taking pictures, it's about having a great experience that tells your story...whether it's a family story, the story of an event, or the motivation of an organization. These tips will help you get the most out of your photography shoot.
1.) Don't hire someone because they have a "nice camera". I have a nice stove - I'm a rotten cook. Check out their website, facebook page, samples. Over time, most professional photographers develop a particular style. Does their style match your vision? Not everyone wants their baby dressed up as a vegetable.
2.) Negotiate - once you have found the right photographer, negotiate. This doesn't mean get the lowest price possible. You're buying two things - the photographer's time and talent. If you really like their style, see if you can work around the time. Instead of signing up for a 4 hour, 4 clothing changes, 3 location shot for your engagement pictures, why not ask about a 2 hour, 2 clothing change, 1 location shot? Do you ever compromise on the talent side? Well, not everyone can shop for their wardrobe at Nostrum's. But maybe you can afford a scarf or a blazer. Chances are, a professional photographer can give you more better shots in a hour than an amateur can in 4 hours.
3.) Which brings us to "what is a professional photographer?" There are many photographers out there who may have another full time job and no studio who are still professionals. A friend of mine recently went to a Department Store photographic studio to have some business pictures taken. His experience - "it wasn't any fun." The pictures came out technically fine, but there was nothing unique, nothing that brought his personality to life. There's a difference between having a job and pursuing a passion.
4.) What do you wear? I've heard it all - where white, don't wear white, wear black, don't wear black. If you're doing a family photo, be coordinated. That doesn't mean you all need to have red tee shirts with the family name emblazed across the chest. (Although, if that's what you want, that's cool). Pick a palette, and avoid complex patterns and you'll be fine . Wear what you love and feel good in.
5.) Be on time (please). Especially if you are taking photos at an outdoor location, lighting is everything. And natural lighting changes rapidly. There are a few key areas a day (know as the "golden hours" in the early morning and late afternoon that are especially conducive to photography.
6.) Sure, you want to take the photo of your kids with your iphone, but can you wait a second. If it's you and me competing for your kids' attention, you win. And I end up with a photo with all the eyes looking right. I promise, I'll step aside and let you take your photo when I'm done.