Finding the Right Photographer
First off, CONGRATULATIONS! You are searching for a photographer, which means you are are making time to capture milestones in your family. It is so important for families to have these memories! There are so many amazing family and child photographers in the Des Moines, Iowa area, so this can become an overwhelming task. You may have already started the journey of finding the right photographer, or are just beginning, but regardless of where you are in the process, you should make sure you are asking these very important (and often overlooked) questions:
Are we compatible?
This seems to be one of those questions that is difficult to answer without meeting your photographer. However, it is impossible to meet with all of the family photographers in the Des Moines area, so first it is important to look through their portfolio. Do you like their styling? Do you have an emotional connection to their images? Do the styles and themes of the images match your home and nursery? If not, that is one clear answer for you! Family and child photographers with experience tend to have a clear vision and style for their photography, and even if they wanted to change to fit your requests, they may not be able to. It is always best to make sure the images in the photographer’s portfolio answer YES to these questions:
“Will these pictures look beautiful in my home?”
“Does this style represent me?”
Another important area for finding the right compatibility is personality. Is this a photographer that seems to have time for the type of care and service you are looking for? Is she/he responding to your voicemails or emails in a timely manner? Do you have the option to meet them free of charge before you hire them to photograph your baby? Do they have a vision of how your family’s images can be displayed in your home? Are these things important to you? These are all important questions to ask. Kristy Hall Photography is a full service boutique studio, which means I will walk you through each step of the process to make sure you get exactly what you are looking for in a family photography experience. I accept a limited number of sessions each month, so you get my undivided attention. Not every family wants that from their photographer. It’s important to know what level of service your photographer of choice is prepared to offer and whether that fits your needs.
What do they have to offer?
This is a question that seems so obvious, yet the more research you do on family photographers in Iowa, the more you will see it is not. Every photographer has different talents to offer. You need to ask yourself:
“What do I want from this experience?”
Is it important to you that your photographer help you with styling your wardrobe? Is it important to you that your photographer have a professional studio with a variety of outfits, props, and accessories for your child’s milestone session? What is their turnaround time on their images? These are just examples, but the most important questions to ask are the ones that are important to you.
Along with what they have to offer in regards to their business practices (travel, studio, turnaround, etc.), it is also important to think about how you want these images to look. Every photographer differs in what they include a typical session, so making sure you know what you are looking for and asking your photographer their policies is important. If you are on the same page, you are going to have a much more enjoyable experience.
What do you plan to do with your images once you see them? Are you looking to have wall groupings? Specialty products like albums or other keepsakes? Not every photographer offers products to their clients or has established relationships with labs and that’s okay. It’s important to know what your goals are going in, so that you can find a photographer that offers the products you’re after. If you only want digital files it may be more cost effective to find a photographer that doesn’t offer products as those that do often bundle their digital files into packages.
Families who come to Kristy Hall Photography have the option of receiving their beautiful high resolution images as digital files, but they also have the option of Kristy creating stunning albums, gorgeous wall displays, and more.
Are they legit?
This is a question I am sure very few parents think about when searching for a photographer, but it should and here’s why:
A photographer that has respect for their business and their industry (is licensed, insured, has proper permits, etc.) is one that not only cares about themselves, but also cares about their clients. When a business is opened properly, it means that they are insured, their business has liability insurance, they pay taxes, etc. I can’t imagine, God-forbid, a child being injured at a photography session. But this is why I have substantial liability insurance for my business. This is also why I pay taxes. If my business was shut-down because I didn’t pay taxes, what would happen to all of the archived images I have on file? It is so important to find a photographer that has integrity in every aspect of their business. I love being an artist, I love photography, but I also understand that in order to make my artwork my livelihood, I have to be a legitimate businesswoman.
Is their pricing the right fit?
Pricing can be a touchy subject. Everyone has a budget and I think it is wise to stick to your budget. I also understand that budget is all about priorities. I am not a person who drives a flashy car or has designer clothing, but I have high-end, archival grade artwork of my children in my home. I budget for amazing pieces of art for my home, because it is a priority for me. There are hundreds of child photographers in the Des Moines, Iowa area, but like every industry, the age-old adage rings true: You get what you pay for. Of course there are photographers who offer 40 images on a disc. But what do you want from your session? Do you hope to have beautiful wall groupings that are designed by a professional? Do you hope to have archival-grade albums that will be family heirlooms? Or do you want images on a disc? There is no wrong answer, but these are important questions to ask.
Look at their portfolio. Can you envision their images on your wall? If the answer is not an immediate “Yes” than you need to keep looking. True professionals and skilled family and child photographers know what the images they will be creating look like before they even step into the studio. They have a clear vision of their artwork, and a clear vision of how they will be posing and styling your session. Skilled photographers spend years honing their craft and countless hours perfecting their techniques. When you invest in a skilled artist, you are investing in their years of training and experience. Talk to your photographer and ask what kind of images they want to create with you. Give them your ideas on colors and styles, and you will have a pretty clear idea as to whether or not you have found the right fit. Investing in a properly trained photographer will absolutely make a difference in the images you receive and the experience you have in the process.
I invest approximately 10-15 hours in each full family session from start to finish. I work with each family so their session is unique. I take my time working with your little ones to ensure their safety and comfort. I clean and sanitize everything I plan to use before each session. I hand edit each image in your gallery so that each image is perfect. I make myself available to my clients through the whole process. These are the things I value in my business. This is what I love to do!
Your babies will only be little once. Make sure you choose the right person to capture these precious moments.
Contact me today to book your session!
Kristy Hall Photography – Des Moines, Iowa Child and Family Photographer