How To Choose A Photographer

There are several important milestones in life that should require hiring a professional photographer.  Many life events don’t require hiring a professional and basic snapshots will do.  Some may only hire a professional a few times or more over the years for births, first birthdays, senior images, family portraits and weddings.  It can be difficult to decide on a photographer for your special event or milestone.

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So what are some of the criteria you should use for hiring a professional?  I’m going to go over a few points to help you choose the next time you need to hire a photographer.

Let’s talk about money.  Let’s face it, everyone wants to save money!!  Money is hard earned and the more we can save the better right?  Not exactly, have you ever heard the old saying “You get what you pay for?”  It’s true!!  Money should not be your deciding factor when selecting a Photographer.  You may save a lot of money on those newborn, senior or wedding portraits but you might also get sub-par portraits.  Of course I’m not encouraging anyone to go bankrupt or spend the mortgage payment on a photographer but most of us have an iPhone in our pocket that costs upwards of $1,000.  Hire the best you can afford, not the cheapest.

Friends and family. Everyone knows someone that knows someone that has a camera!  A lot of people hire a friend or family member out of loyalty.  They are afraid their friend or family will be upset with them if they don’t choose them as their photographer.  A great rule of thumb is, don’t mix business with pleasure unless they are a great photographer and you really love their work.  Don’t hire your friend to do your important portraits out of loyalty to them or because they are a great bargain.  What if you hate the pictures and are now stuck with awful images out of loyalty?  Don’t be that person who regrets not hiring someone else.

So what is the criteria?  Love, plain and simple love.  You hire a photographer because you love their work, that’s it in a nutshell.  It couldn’t be easier.  You look at their website, Instagram, and Facebook to see what their work looks like.  Most photographers will have their work available for you to see.  If you find a photographer whose work you love, hire them.  If you hire someone for any other reason there is a very good possibility you won’t be happy with your portraits.  I’ve never purchased a piece of artwork that I didn’t love, and I wouldn’t hang a portrait on the wall that I didn’t love either.

Choose wisely my friends.

Mini Session Season

untitled-6321Let’s talk about Mini Session’s!! I know people love mini session’s.  I mean lets face it; you spend less money, less time and you get some really awesome images. What’s not to love? Don’t get me wrong, I love them too but I only offer them for very specific things. Mini’s last 20-30 minutes and that is just not enough for some situations.

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I use mini sessions mainly for kids, cap and gown, prom, and groupings of no more than two people.  I love mini’s for kids for a couple reason’s, kids have an attention span of a television commercial!!   You’re lucky if you get 20 minutes out of a kid, they want to get back to playing and exploring!  Parent’s are strapped and they don’t want to spend a fortune on those cute fall or Easter portraits but they want good quality pictures to remember these times in their littles lives.  Mini’s are great for cap & gown, prom and couple sessions.  Nobody needs an entire session for a cap and gown shoot, or a prom shoot so a mini is just the right fit to capture those important events.

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You may be wondering why I don’t use mini’s for families or seniors.  The main reason is time, 20-30 minutes isn’t enough time to shoot a family session or senior session.  I prefer to have at least 90 minutes to 2 hours with my seniors.  Senior’s don’t warm up and get comfortable until about the last hour of the shoot or until I fall off my stool or do something ridiculous. Senior’s like to change their outfits and locations to showcase different looks with their portraits and that is impossible to achieve in a mini session.  Families take some time to get everyone coordinated, take different groupings, wait on little sister to stop cracking up and everyone to be in sync together.  We really do have to have plenty of time to enjoy the moment and all the laughs because we do a lot of laughing.

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I you are interested in scheduling a mini, senior or family session for fall please send me an email: casslebaker@yahoo.com or call me at 304-539-4214 to set up a consultation.   I look forward to hearing from you!!

Dana Baker

Living In a Digital World

We are living in a digital world, everything is digital now days.  Everything from our books, music and photos are stored in a cloud.  It really is great to have all of this mixed media at our fingertips. Who doesn’t love the ability to carry hundreds of your favorite songs on your phone?  But is digital always best when it comes to your portraits? Snapshots are fine living in your phone but your portraits are meant to be printed.

You hire a photographer to create your portraits, and then what?  Most people just want a disc full of digital files.  Most of us never do anything with those digital files and they live in a file on the computer or in a drawer.  A few of them might make their way onto your Facebook page.  Sometimes people take them to Walgreens or some other local print lab only to be dissatisfied by the result.  By doing this are we getting our full potential out of our money and our  photographer’s work? The answer is no.  What would you like your photographer to deliver to you, a disc or a beautiful album, canvas or print box?  I know what I would prefer!

 

I am happy to announce that I am going to be offering a range of products from prints, canvas’s, albums and more. The 10×10 leather album with crystal cover is gorgeous! You could put all your images on a disc or you could put them in a beautiful leather bound album that you can hold in your hands. I will continue to offer digital files in select collections. Contact me today so we can create a beautiful album for you!