Perhaps the most important thing to look for when hiring a photographer is to find one that you both trust professionally and like personally. Photographers do more than take pictures, they use their expertise to capture those special events that last a lifetime; Birthday parties, weddings, graduations and anniversaries.
Some important things to remember when hiring a photographer:
- Are they insured?Ask for proof of insurance to verify.
- What's your background and credentials?Don't be shy about asking a photographer pointed questions:
- How long have you been a photographer or how long have you been in business?
- Do you have a degree in photography? If so, where did you attend school?
- Do you have a portfolio I can view and do you have references?
- What are your prices and what is your delivery timeline? Do they have a listing you can get in writing?
- How many photo events do you do in a year, similar to yours?
- What is your photography style? Some photographers may do more candid photos, while others might do more staged photos. Can you plan to meet the photographer in person before hiring them, to get a better idea of their style?
- Do you require a written contract? The contract should be very specific and is meant to protect both you and the photographer. It is common for smaller photography projects to take place without the signing of a contract, but it should be your first big red flag for a larger event like a wedding. Request a mutually agreed upon date that you can expect to receive your photographs or videos to be part of the contract. Read the fine print and get a clear understanding of what is expected should you need to cancel the contract.
If you would like help finding out more information on a particular company, feel free to contact the South Dakota Office of Attorney General, Division of Consumer Protection www.consumer.sd.gov or 1-800-300-1986.