andyjphoto.com
How to Choose a Photographer
Advice from a Professional
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There are many different posts by photographers offering their services, be it on Craigslist, Backpage, or Thumbtack, to name a few. How do you make sense of everything they are saying?

There are a lot of photographers out there that think they are talented and are worthy of charging for their services when they are neither qualified nor skilled to do so. Being a professional photographer entails much more than being able to point the camera in the right direction.

Here is how we differentiate ourselves from the crowd:

  • We work with you. We are very flexible ragarding the style, the location, the amount of retouching, the pricing, and just about everything else. We will not try to impose our preconceived ideas on you, but we will definitely help, if you want us to, with styling, posing, etc. In short, we are there to help in any way possible.
  • Pricing charts are more like guidelines, anyway. We publish them, because everyone asks for them, and they give you some idea of what to expect. But we are prepared to work with you to give you the best value for your money. So, if you don't see an offering in your price range on our site, please talk to us. We will likely be able to make mutually satisfactory arrangements.
  • We use professional cameras and pro-quality lenses. Yes, it makes a difference, and no, you cannot achieve the same results with your point-and-shoot, or built-in phone camera.
  • If you must know, and happen to be familiar with photography, you can rest assured that our Canon 5D Mark II and III cameras, equipped with Canon-brand professional-grade (red-stripe) lenses will be up to the task.
  • We have state-of-the-art professional lighting equipment (strobes), specifically designed for still photography.
  • We have a studio equipped with all the requisite modifiers and reflectors to properly shoot any kind of photos where additional lighting is required.  In reality, even so-called natural light outdoor photos are done using some form of fill-flash or added lighting (light modifiers) to bring out the eyes, flatten shadows, equalize uneven lighting, overpower the sun (yes!), etc. We bring our strobes and screens on location, wherever you may wish to take your photos.
  • We not only shoot the photos, but digitally process them using state-of-the art, professional photoediting software. We can also provide you with high-quality prints processed by a nationally renowned photo-processing lab. You also get a CD of the photo files - with reproduction rights - so that you can print them pretty much wherever and whenever you want.
  • We make quality photographs, period. Anyone with a digital camera can shoot dozens and dozens of run-of-the-mill photos that are poorly composed, poorly exposed, poorly processed, etc. When you are paying for someone to take your photos, you want someone who knows what makes a good photo and what doesn't. That's what you should expect when you hire a true professional photographer.
  • Although we wholeheartedly embrace the "candid", or "photo-journalistic" style of photography, we think that there are occasions, where formal training, understanding of the basics of composure and framing, control over lighting, and many other factors beyond just capturing the photo, make a world of difference. Frankly, anyone can capture candid photos; you just have to be in the right place at the right time. But it takes a trained and experienced professional to capture and develop a beautiful, elegant image that will last a lifetime and beyond.
  • When you're organizing a wedding, would you hire someone who has never done catering before to do it for you, pay them good money, and cross your fingers hoping that it all tastes good and no one gets sick? Would you hire a student seamstress/designer to create your wedding dress and pay them nearly as much as a professional with significant experience? Not likely. So why would you do this in hiring a photographer? Experience and professionalism counts.

Be informed. . . Ask questions. . . Make sure your expectations are met.

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