Photographers, especially in eastern Massachusetts, are not hard to come by. We're everywhere! Do a Google search for 'South Shore, MA photographers' and you will have endless options to choose from. So how do you choose which photographer will be the best choice to capture your family? Here are five things to keep in mind to help you make that decision:
1. Cost. Unless you have an unlimited budget, this will likely be one of the bigger determining factors for choosing a photographer. Deciding what you're willing to spend on capturing family memories should be step number one. It would suck to fall in love with a specific photographer's images and then realize there's no way you can afford them. Or, you're willing to pay the session fee, but the print packages are too high. Most photographers will have their pricing right on their website, so check there first. If you can't find it, then email the photographer, but try to at least check their site first before sending that email!
2. Style. Make SURE that you check out a photographer's website and social media accounts to take a look at their work before you even email them. Even if they were referred to you by family or friends. Give them a follow so that you can see their latest work on a regular basis. Not everyone has the same taste or wants in terms of photos, and photographers have different styles that they stick to. Some photographers are super traditional and take mainly photos where everyone is posed just so and looking at the camera. Others take a completely documentary approach and give you no direction, approaching the session as a 'fly on the wall'. And then there are others who capture both candid moments and more posed portraits. Do you like photos with bright, bold colors? Darker and more moody? Light, bright and airy? Lots of black and white images, or next to none? Make sure that the photographers you are looking at display the style that you are looking for on their sites or you will likely be very disappointed in your final gallery.
3. Personality. You want to mesh at least a little bit with the person who is going to spend a lot of time with your family, coaxing smiles and giggles and snuggles out of your family. You want it to be a fun experience, right?! The best way to figure out if their personality will be a good match for you is to follow them on social media and to really read through their website thoroughly. Watch their stories and reels on IG, read the things they write about, and how they describe themselves and their approach to sessions. That's a great way to get a feel for a photographer's personality.
4. Location. This might seem like a no-brainer, but make sure that the photographers you are checking out actually photograph in your area. I've had numerous inquiries from people who live out of state, or on the other side of Massachusetts, and while I'd love to be able to travel to everyone, I generally can't make that happen. You may find that the photographer you're looking at does shoot in your area, but it may be only at certain times of the year, or they may charge an extra fee outside of a certain radius.
5. Time of Year/Availability. If you've reached this point and have found one or two photographers that you would love to have take your photos, you'll have to make sure you are booking far enough in advance, especially if you want your session done between September and November. That is the busiest time of the year for photographers, and most are fully booked well in advance of September, as lots of people are looking to get that holiday card image done. Plus, the foliage is beautiful and it's not 90 degrees and humid! A lot of photographers send out a newsletter periodically throughout the year, and anyone on their mailing list will get advance notice on mini sessions, general availability, discounts or special sales like Black Friday. Sign up to be on their mailing list and you will have a much better chance of scoring the session date and time that you want!!
Basically, you want to do your research, right? Quality is important, and many times you can't get these memories back. You want to be sure that the photographer you hire is going to live up to your (well-researched!) expectations.