Why is it that finding a good photographer for portraits, headshots, weddings, newborns, or any other photographic occasion can feel worse than going to the dentist? It should not be this way. Taking a photograph can be one of the most daunting events in a person’s life because they become a part of our life’s archive. Photos capture every moment and help us remember it throughout our lives. Sometimes photos are used to land jobs, or in casting calls. No matter what these photos are used for you want to look your best.

Find a photographer that specializes in what you want. If you are looking for a portrait photographer in DC find a professional that specializes in portraits and not some wedding photographer and vice versa. So, how do you find the right professional photographer for your occasion?

Here are 4 additional steps that may help you in your search.

1. Choose a photographer that appeals to you. No matter the occasion you can always get recommendations from others. If you are planning your wedding, chances are you know someone who recently went through this and may have some suggestions for a great photographer. Many photographers have genres they prefer to work in. Some only do newborns, while others might do family photos or weddings. Make sure you visit their websites and determine what their specialty is.
Almost all photographers have websites with ample samples of their work. Check them out, and find one that takes the style of picture you prefer. If you need a headshot, it is always a good idea to ask other people in the profession who they recommend, especially someone you know on Linkedin who already has a great photo.

2. Be Confident. A professional photographer always has the challenge of convincing a client that they actually look good. When hiring a photographer, you must trust them that they are going to make you look fabulous. It’s much easier for the photographer when a client is confident. That beings said it was also very important that you do not settle for pictures you don’t like. Most photographers will show you the photos immediately after taking them. Remember it’s your photo, not the photographers, so make sure you like everything about the photo. You will be looking at that photo the rest of your life, and if there is anything you don’t like about it then you will focus on that rather than the memory.

3. Do not pay too much. Cost is the main reason you need to evaluate a photographer’s work before you give them your money. Make sure you understand the cost up front and that you are paying a reasonable price. Photographers do not give refunds if you don’t like the work. If you hire someone you trust, and know you love their work, then you can have photos taken of your event without worrying if they will look good.

4. Never be afraid to ask questions. Here are some questions to ask a prospective photographer:
How many photos will you take?
What is included in the price?
Where do you do most of your work, in a studio or outside?
What should I wear?
Will you be touching up my photos?
Do you have a satisfaction guarantee?

Choosing a photographer can be a unnerving process, but sites like Google, Angieslist and others have made it much easier. Do your research, and find the photographer you feel most comfortable with. You will be happier in the end. Great photos bring back the greatest moments of our lives. These memories are too important to entrust to just anyone, so find a photographer that takes the photos you will love.

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