I work with a lot of clients who have never hired a photographer before. Most of them are wedding couples, but others work for companies or non-profit groups that never had to hire a professional. Not only do these folks now know what questions to ask, I find they don’t even know what they can expect from their photographer. So I thought I’d offer some fair and reasonable expectations of a photography professional in whom you are, presumably, investing a great deal of money and time.
Of course first and foremost, when hiring a photographer, you want someone who makes excellent images. But additionally, as when working with any contractor or salesperson, you should expect excellent customer service, a timely delivery of the final product, and no hidden fees. Am I right?
Here is a list of just some of the things you can fairly expect from your photographer:
• responses to emails and phone calls when you have questions or need their input
• a list of what they need from you (usually a shot list, maybe a meal, maybe parking accommodations)
• assurance that they have liability insurance
• timely arrival, professional appearance and manner
• efficient work work so as not to waste your time or money
• openness to your input and ideas as they incorporate their own style and creativity
• the ability to help you, and whoever is being photographed, feel comfortable and at ease
• initiative to solve problems on their own
• final photos delivered on time
• an invoice that doesn’t include any hidden or unexpected fees
• follow up to make sure you have everything you need
Not all photographers prioritize excellent customer service, so feel free to make your expectations clear up front. If you aren’t 100% convinced that you’ll receive the level of service you’re looking for (and paying for), keep looking. Professional photography is an investment and you deserve to have the best.