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Educational Consumer Tips

Hiring a Photographer

Author: Rachel Gelb
Category: Service

Regardless of the occasion, choosing a photographer can be a tricky process, since you’ll want photos to remember your special event for years to come. Refer to these tips when hiring a reliable photographer.

Tips for Hiring a Photographer:

Do Your Research.  Ask friends, family members, and co-workers who have recently hired a photographer for a similar event to provide recommendations. Check out photographers at to read reviews from previous customers. Be sure to review the photographer’s complaints and rating to spot a red flag.

Interview Candidates.  Narrow down the list of photographers you are interested in meeting with. Set up an interview to talk to the photographers. Be sure to ask candidates about their photography style and what type of events they specialize in. If you have a specific date for the event, find out upfront if the photographer already has another photography session scheduled for the same day.

Request to View Their Portfolio.  Before choosing the photographer, request to view their portfolio. The photographer will show you a collection of their best work from previous clients. Make sure you view photos from an occasion that is similar to the one you are hiring the professional to photograph.

Compare Pricing.  Get at least three estimates and compare pricing and what’s included in their packages. Although one photographer may seem less expensive initially, they may not include a CD, prints, an album, or other extras you may want. If it’s not included you will end up paying an extra fee for these services you request outside of the package.

Request References.  Request a list of references you may contact from the photographer. Speak to a few of the references about the services they received and if they were satisfied with their photos. Ask about their overall experience with the photographer and if the services went as planned.

Inquire About the Rights to the Photos.  Since most of your pictures will be available digitally, it’s important to discuss if you have the rights to your pictures after the event. You will need to have the rights to the photos if you want to print pictures at home for frames or scrapbooks. Ask if the rights to the photos come with the package you are purchasing or if it will be an extra fee.

Include All the Details in the Contract.  Be sure to get all the finalized details in a written contract including: the final price, payment schedule, all services that are included in the package, travel fees, and the number of hours the photographer will shoot for. Find out beforehand when you will receive the pictures from your special day. Should anything happen and you don’t need the photographer anymore, find out the details of their refund policy.

About the Author: Rachel Gelb is Communications and Marketing Manager for BBB serving Eastern Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont. Find Rachel on Google +.

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