I get a lot of questions during the portrait session process. Although I try to cover all of the basics when explaining the portrait session process, I’ve rounded up some questions you may want to ask your future photographer! These questions can apply to any type of portraits (ie: maternity, seniors, family, and engagements are the first sessions that come to mind for me!). I hope this list gives you some clarity when booking a future session!
1. How would you describe your shooting style?
Some photographers tend to be more posed and carefully guide you into looking your best, others are more candid and prompt you with different activities to evoke true emotion. Depending on their editing style and shooting style, which do you think you’d prefer? Once you ask the photographer this question, it’ll give you a better idea of what you may enjoy more!
2. Can we bring a (family member, friend, parent) with us?
This is especially helpful when scheduling a senior session! I LOVE when my seniors bring their mom/friend/parent. Not only is it helpful as a second set of eyes, but that person is generally super helpful in holding items/catching things (like hairbands!) that females tend to have on their wrists.
3. Do you have any location suggestions?
If the photographer you’re speaking with is local to the area, they for sure have some locations in mind! If you’re unsure about where to go and what “vibe” you’d like your photos to have, your photographer is fairly knowledgeable in how to choose the best location for your session!
I’m one of those photographers that like to work anywhere, and the most important thing to me is getting my subject in a location and position that they’re comfortable with.
4. How long does it take to receive our gallery?
This is a question on the logistical side of things. Of course, every photographer’s response will be different, but it generally is around 2-4 weeks for portrait sessions. Be sure to ask this question so miscommunication doesn’t occur between you and your photographer – generally, we like to get images back to clients ASAP! However, we do have lives and things that sometimes get in the way. Hence, the reason why we give such a large buffer of time between your portrait session and gallery delivery day.
5. What is the gallery system like? Are we able to purchase prints? When does the gallery expire?
Each photographer’s gallery system is different, depending on if they provide all of the digitals or not. Some photographers charge a session fee and only allow a limited number of digital downloads from your gallery. Other photographers give a larger amount of digitals and you can download them from your gallery. Figuring out what is going to work best for you ensures the best communication between you and your future photog (and avoids confusion in the future if you think you’re getting all the digitals vs. a limited amount). In addition, a weird
My gallery system, Cloudspot, allows you to download high-res, ready-for-print images! And my favorite part? You can purchase prints STRAIGHT from your gallery and they’ll show up at your doorstep.
BONUS TIP 6. What planning help do you provide?
I can’t speak for all photographers, but most of the ones I know offer SO much planning help in regards to outfit suggestions, vendor recommendations for professional hair and makeup, and occasionally offer to purchase props for reimbursement for their clients.
This is especially true with newborn photographers I know – they give their clients a step-by-step planning method and provide all props and outfits!
And there you go! Asking these questions ensures clarity and that you’ll get the most out of your photography experience.
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