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How to Select a Photographer

How to Select a Photographer.

5 Things You Need to Know to Select A Photographer

Digital imagery has become more accessible. Almost everyone can get okay images with minimal effort. This is the good news. The bad news is that more people think this means they are a photographer. Perhaps some are. But a digital device alone does not make you a photographer.  For people shopping around to select a photographer, I am here to give you an inside scoop on what to look for, and what kinds of questions to ask.

1. Photography as a discipline is H U G E. 

There are so many kinds of photographers out there.  It is overwhelming. But once you focus on the KIND of photographer you are looking for, the numbers whittle down quickly. There is a reason you are looking for a photographer. It may be to cover an event, like a wedding. Or  to get portraits or to document a life event like pregnancy, graduation, engagement. The list goes on.  Do not expect every photographer to be able to do all  photography well. Find someone who specializes.

There is a big difference taking portraits of teens and taking portraits of children aged 5-9. It takes different skills  to shoot in a studio or on location. So before you get too far in your search, ask yourself “Why do I want a photographer?”, “Where do I want my photos made?”, “Who is going to be the main subject of these photos”? Knowing this will help you select a photographer.

2. Photographers are artists. 

When you select a photographer,  is not like hiring a plumber where  the lines of “good plumbing” are clear. What makes “good photography” is not so clear. Some photographers sell their images for you put on your wall. You could interview 5 photographers and absolutely love the work of one or two and  hate the work of others. 

This does not mean that any are better or worse than the other.  (Granted, there are basic standards of knowing how to use a camera as a tool, how to use light effectively and so on). What it  means is that you prefer the style of one photographer to that of others. When you are looking at the galleries of photographers, focus on what patterns in style you see, and less on the details of the photographer.  What is it that you like or dislike? Colors, lack of colors? lighting? drama? The feelings the image evokes in you?

3. Printing and Digital Images: 

 Be sure to ask  what the photographer’s policies are about ordering prints and other products.  Photographers make their living by selling products using images they made. So do not be surprised if your photographer requires you to order directly through them. There are definite advantages to this. 

(a) Superior print quality. 

Professional photographers have access to a much higher standard of printing. You can expect products you order through your photographer to be over the top good. And if for some reason the product is less than great, your photographer can demand a reprint. 

(b) Price negotiation: 

Pro photographers have some ability to negotiate prices of products through the lab they use. The odds are you can get super-high-quality products at lower prices than a regular person could get on their own (if it is even possible).

 (c) Selecting the best product for the image. 

A pro photographer can advise you about what kind of canvas to get, or whether a particular image will look good on metal, or wood, or as a mosaic. In spite of services such as ShutterFly who make it seem like all you need to to is “upload and done”, there are many small details that go into creating the best display for your image(s).

4. Meet and Greet

Use the  free initial consultation most photographers offer. Meeting is not only for the client. I’ll tell you a secret…photographers want to meet potential clients first too. The reason is about being on the same page. It’s about personality, artistic interest and  a lot of intangible things. When you describe what you want for your images, does the photographer seem like they understand your priorities? Do they seem interested? These are the two big elements that MUST be there for a successful shoot. Additionally, there are a lot of legal things a photographer has to go over with you. It takes time. Pay attention and ask questions.

5. Be Prepared for Some Gray Areas: 

 Photography is an art.  It depends on so many variables (the weather, the attitude of the subjects, the number of subjects, the behavior of kids, babies and dogs and a million other little things).  You may find photographers waffle a bit when you try to get exact numbers like “How much do you charge to ……?” or “How many images will I get”?  Know that a photographer cannot always answer these questions exactly. They will have to ask you many questions to get an idea about what you are looking for, how long the job is and so on. 

Most photographers do not just “point and shoot”. They plan, process, retouch, and look over hundreds of images to create the best representation of the event or celebration you asked them to document. It takes time, artistry and patience. Of course, before you give any money, you will sign a contract with an agreed upon price. But what I want you to understand is that photography pricing is not like buying a McMeal somewhere. Be patient with photographers you are interviewing.

Katie is a maternity and newborn photographer in Los Angeles, 91042

 

Newborn girl in bum up pose wearing lace pants
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Newborn Mini Session

Newborn Mini Session

The newborn mini session is a newer addition to our studio offerings. It  bridges the gap between  a commercial high-volume studio and our Platinum 25 image package. They offer more flexibility for families and babies who need a boutique-style touch without the time commitment. 

A popular alternative to full sessions, 1 hour session includes 4 professionally crafted and edited digital files. This is plenty to create birth announcements and share with family and friends about your new arrival. Or you can have a canvas made or even a set of three (triptych) images to display over your baby’s crib. 4 images are enough to remember every little detail of how your baby looks today. 

Who are mini sessions for?

Mini sessions can be a great fit if you have an “older baby” (more than 14 days old), or if your baby is extra sensitive. These sessions are also good for families who do not have 3 to 4 hours for a full session. It allows us to get those adorable images in cute props without upsetting your newborn. Baby can be asleep or awake during a newborn mini-session.

Mini-Sessions are for images of the baby only. Clients receive a gallery of about 6 to 8 images. From here, clients select 4 images. Additional images are $50 each. If you are interested in images with parents or siblings, our full newborn session includes those images.

What happens at the consultation?

A consultation is mandatory for all clients. These are complimentary. During consultations Katie will discuss your priorities for images, color schemes and prop selection. She can offer guidance about what kinds of wall displays may suit your situation. Of course, everything will depend on the baby. But the more Katie understands about your preferences, the more she can prepare. Always think about the wall spaces in your home and what kinds of images you may like to have. Imagine how your baby will feel when they see  their photo displayed in your home. 

Newborn Mini Session is $18

 

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Maternity Portraits Session

Maternity Portraits

Our studio works with Groupon.  This promotion includes the maternity portraits studio session and one image. Additional images are $50 each. Contact us to find out more about how to purchase this promotion. We offer incentives for purchasing directly though us. Be sure to ask us about them.

Maternity portraits begin with a consultation. This is when we will talk about what kind of session is best for you. Our primary art is studio photography. Yet, for come clients, a location session is  best for them. We work with a few excellent private locations with beautiful surroundings. Sunrise or sunset maternity sessions are usually best. During your consultation, you will discuss locations, clothing, hair and make up, air brush tanning and more. 

Once the consultation is completed, our studio begins planning out your session. If you have decided to purchase or rent a gown, we assist you in finding the right gown and helping you decide on all the options available. We also spend considerable time planning poses and tableaus that best suit your personality and goals.

Maternity portraits sessions generally take about 90 minutes to 2 hours. We recommend women be photographed sometime during weeks 30 to 34. Planning a few weeks in advance is always best. We understand that this is not always possible. Last minute sessions are welcome and we will do our best to accommodate you. In general, our studio books out about 4 weeks in advance. Weekends book 6 weeks in advance or more.

 

 

Maternity portrait in white lace with baby crown
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Newborn Photography Sessions

Newborn Photography Session

The Newborn Groupon includes the session fee (normally $399).  2 to 3 hour studio session and one images. Additional images are $50 each. 

We offer incentives for buying the promotion directly through us. Contact us to find out more.

What is a newborn photography session like?

Newborn photography is definitely an experience. It does take some time, effort and lots of patience. But when you see your baby’s images, you will be so happy you made the effort.

 

A full newborn photography session can take up to 4 hours. Not all sessions take this long. Babies who are sensitive or fussy make take longer to photograph. Our studio will provide you with details about how to best prepare your baby for the newborn photography session. Also, Katie will go over specifics at your consultation.

Posing newborns can take time and happens in stages. Some babies are able to be posed more quickly than others. It is good to remember that not all babies can do every pose.  Have reasonable expectations for your baby pictures.

Our studio is full of all kinds of cute props and clothes. Your baby will be posed and stylized according to our studio’s signature “look”. Please remember that not all babies are comfortable in every outfit. Some babies are sensitive to textures. Have reasonable expectations for clothing too. No matter what, we will make your baby look adorable for their newborn photography session.

 

 

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Best Age For Newborn Photos

Baby Brandon’s Newborn Photo Session

Baby Brandon almost did not make it for his newborn photo session. He missed the best age for newborn photos: about two weeks old. But it seems the stars all aligned, and he was able to attend his session and give his parents a gallery of super adorable images. No one thought Brandon would be able to do a lot of these poses.Technically, he was past the the best age for newborn photos of 14 days. Baby Brandon had an actual age of 6 weeks and an adjusted age of not yet born.  Brandon was great during his session.  In fact he did phenomenally well given all he had been through prior to his photo shoot.

Way to go Baby Brandon. How cute are you?

Why the best age for newborn photos is under 14 days

Like a lot of newborns, getting him to settle in took an hour or so. We were able to get a couple of cute images of him wrapped up fairly tightly. But even still, he was not in a deep sleep and was startled easily. This is why we like babies under 14 days. It is usually easier for them to sleep.

After an hour or so, and a couple of bonus feedings, Brandon knocked out like a trooper. Wow. he was super amenable and let me pose him. The key to newborn photography is patience and to remember that no mater what is “usually true”, there is no way to predict what may happen for a baby in studio. Technically, Brandon should never have been able to do these poses for this shoot. But, he did.

While it is true that newborn photos are usually most successful under 14 days old, ultimately, it depends on the baby, their size, weight, and disposition.

Be sure you book early. Most newborn photographers book one to two months in advance. 

Learn more about the first 14 days of life of your newborn.

Katie is a maternity and newborn photographer in Los Angeles, 91042

Katie is a maternity and newborn photographer in Tujunga, CA 91042
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BABY PORTRAIT

BABY PORTRAIT SESSION

$349

Thank you for considering a custom baby portrait photo experience for your “sitter”. A “sitter” is a baby who can sit up on their own. This age usually around 7 to 8 mos and lasts until your baby walks. 

 

Whether for that super cute age when your baby first sits on their own, or for a first birthday cake smash, your baby will be clothed and set up adorably. A professional portrait of your baby at this age is a must have.

Fee includes approximately 1 hour session, use of props and/ clothing and 5 professional fine art edited archival quality prints with digital counterpart and print release.

We tend to book out 3 to 4 weeks. Last minute sessions provided as available. Consultation and appointment required. Limited time.

What is a baby portrait session like?

For your baby portrait sessions we photograph three different “scenes”. This could be three different outfits, sets or a combination. We do this so that we can capture all those little idiosyncratic elements of your baby’s personality. 

 

Clothing is an important element in baby photography. We will spend time with you in a consultation to determine what outfits suit your goals. Out studio owns many clothing options. We can also direct you to vendors who take custom orders. 

Our studio has many adorable props for your baby. From buckets to rocking horses to antique toys, we have many things to create that vintage look.

The baby portrait session itself usually takes about 90 minutes. All baby portrait sessions are by appointment only. We tend to book out about 3 to 4 weeks in advance. Weekend appointments book 6 weeks in advance. Please call to scheduled your consultation today.

 

Katie is a baby portrait studio photographer in Los Angeles, 91