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4 Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring a Photographer

Photography sessions may be routine for models and actors but for the rest of us, it is usually a purchase the requires a little bit of research.  But, where to start?  What questions should you ask before hiring a photographer?  

I'm glad you asked!  Here's my top four questions that I think you should ask:

  1. Who will be my photographer? You may love the photographer you spoke with on the phone or read about on their website, but this won't matter if that isn't the same photographer who shows up for your photo shoot.  
    Now and for the foreseeable future, Broken Road Images, is a one-woman show.  I (Kelley) do it all from scheduling to editing to social media management to website maintenance in addition to being the only professional photographer. 
  2. Can I review your written contract? Never hire a photographer that doesn’t supply a written contract.  Without a contract, a seemingly simple issue that may come up can land you in a huge argument (or even worse: court).  It's worth taking the time to make sure it's all in writing!  And, actually spend the time to read it to see what terms you are agreeing to. 
    If there's something that you do not agree with, ask the photographer if it can be removed or reworded to make you feel more comfortable.  It's OK to walk away from a photoshoot if you do not feel comfortable with the contract.
    The biggest request I used to get was to exclude the model release clause.  A model release clause gives the photographer permission to share any of the photos from your session on the photographer's online media, portfolio and marketing materials without any additional permission.  Although many people today eagerly share their photos on social media, just as many people have valid concerns about having their photos posted online.  I have removed this specific clause from my contract.  I now ask in my pre-session questionnaire if the client will agree to my model release.  I'm happy if they do, but I completely understand if they don't!
  3. Will I have the digital rights to my photos? First, what are digital rights?  US copyright laws give a photographer an immediate copyright on each picture they take the second they take a photo.  Copyrights to a specific photo can be sold but the price is usually steep and it's really only necessary for commercial purposes (think greeting cards or postcards).  What a photographer can do instead is give or sell digital rights which give you permission to share any pictures online watermark-free.
    Broken Road Images includes personal digital rights to every client with every digital file purchased.  We LOVE that you love your photos!  We encourage you to share your purchased digitals with everyone you know!  Commercial digital rights can be purchased for an additional fee (quoted upon request).
  4. Will I have printing rights to my photos? Similar to digital rights, printing rights give you the ability to print a photo whenever and where ever you wish.  Without printing rights, you will only be able to obtain prints through your photographer.  With printing rights, you will be able to print your photos at home, through an online service such as Shutterfly or in person at a kiosk at your local drugstore.
    As a courtesy, Broken Road Images includes printing rights with every digital file purchased.  As a professional photographer, I highly recommend printing photos through a professional print house which can easily be done from your online gallery on my website.  The higher quality of photos printed by a professional print house will ensure correct coloring and longer lasting photos!  However, as a mom, I want my walls plastered with photos of my family!  I try to keep my print prices affordable, but I realize there are many online deals and coupons that I can't compete with.
Do you have any suggested questions?  If so, please comment below!

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My mission with photography is to capture the moments of your life: belly laughs, smiles, excited faces, hugs, tears of joy, and loving glances.  Let's have some fun!  Click on the button below to schedule your photo shoot with me.  It's quick and easy!


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