Know it's a fit!
This type of image could be a PART of a relaxed style session.
Getting pictures taken is typically no small event for most people! It can be stressful to say the least! Most people go in with expectations of what will happen, how it will happen, and what the end product will look like!!
I definitely think that, even if your BEST friend "takes pictures" or has a photography business, this doesn't necessarily mean he/she is the best fit for your needs!!!
If you look at images produced by 5 different photographers side by side, you will see differences! You may see images that appear more relaxed and whimsical. You may see a more structured set up for certain shoots. Some images may have a certain "look" to them as far as the coloring. Some photographers may only shoot in certain types of locations, such as studio or some outdoors. There are SO many ways that we, as artists, can see our world and our serve our clients differently! It's your journey to find the one that creates a look that you prefer!!
Consider your own personal goals for your session!
As much as I would LOVE for ALL my friends and acquaintances to come to me when wanting a session, I am seasoned enough to know that my style isn't everyone's cup of tea, nor meets everyone's individual needs!! And that is TOTALLY OK!!! My goal for you is to have the best session you can have and get the product YOU want to see as a lasting memory!!
Ways to narrow things down:
1) Go to the photographer's web site or blog and see if they show samples of their work! This is the best way to get a feel for their overall vibe! Do you like it? Great, put them in the consideration pile. If there is something you don't like about the look, MOVE ON! Like I said, we all have different tastes and your's can definitely be met!!
I will be using screenshots of my own site for examples of where and what to look for to make your decision!
The home page of a web site will typically show samples of work or guide you to where you can see samples! Mine is broken down by category but I show a variety on my home page!
2) Read their bio! I think most photographers have a short section that will tell you a little bit about themselves! I would use this to get a feel for the person you will be spending some time with! It's also fun to see what their background is and how they present themselves!
Reading someone's bio is an awesome way of getting a good feel for the photographer! The way they write, what they chose to tell you about themselves...all good stuff!
3) Check pricing. Make sure that they are within your budget AND you understand how their services are structured! There are a multitude of different pricing plans! Some photographers charge a sitting fee and then you purchase individual prints. Some photographers have a flat rate for either a limited number or all the digital images. Some only sell individual digital files! It's best to know upfront so there are no surprises! You need to get what you are expecting!!
My pricing is broken down by types of shoots! All the details should be listed in this section and if they are not, the photographer may request that you inquire for pricing so they can tailor a plan for your specific needs!
4) Blogs are SUPER interesting to me! If I was hiring a photographer, I would definitely check out their blog to see what they share!
Blogs are such fun to get a better feel for the personal side of an individual! What makes them tick!
We all have our own tastes as to what we like in a photograph! I recently took a trip with my fiance and wanted a session while we were there, but I had very specific ideas on the overall "look" that I was after! I chose a photographer that did not offer any samples of her work with couples but I DID see examples of how she shoots her own personal work, and I was instantly sold! This told me exactly what I needed to know, that we would get what I was looking for in a session!
Even if you get a recommendation for a photographer, it is MY recommendation to do your own research and make sure they are a good fit for you! Don't be afraid to ask them questions or discuss what you are looking for, to see if it is a great fit! You will be happy that you did!!