Am I the right photographer for you?
Choosing a photographer is not always an easy task. I have a hard time choosing what to wear in the morning sooo yeah. Today I am going to share with you some suggestions in making your choice. First I want to thank you for checking out my website! It is a little glimpse into my world. It shows you some of my work, my style, and a little bit about me. It’s a good idea to do a little digging around on your photographer’s website. Most of us have an about me section, and areas with additional information. You can get a pretty good feel about a photographers personality based on their website, social media presence, and communication with you. Personally I’ve been told I have the patience of a saint when it comes to babies and kiddos. Most of my clients would describe me a laid back, silly, and patient. So I put my two best friends on the spot and asked them to describe me in 1-2 words, and they said I am caring, honest, and I have a generous heart. So there you have it the experts have spoken. My husband would tell you I am a perfectionist obsessed with photography, and I mumble to myself while I edit-- probably true! I may be a little bit of a geek, but it’s all good I know what I am doing behind my camera. That’s why you are considering hiring me right? Oh one more thing- I am long winded when it comes to writing and I’m kind of quirky. Sorry- not sorry. I also write very conversationally. So bear with me.
I love coffee, I like to edit at Starbucks. Since it’s fall as I am writing this I feel like it’s a good place to admit that I love pumpkin spice everything! Don’t judge me. I love animals and kids. Adults are ok in moderation. 😉 I am happy when I have a camera in my hand, or I am dreaming up my next big idea. I even dream about photography, you could say I am obsessed. If you walk into my studio you will see why I call it my happy place! It’s full of color and fun. I have more props that is necessary, a backdrop collection that is borderline hording. But I do it all to provide a variety and unique experience for clients. I am clumsy, I trip over my own feet. I can’t dance to save my life. You will probably witness all of this so we might as well put it out there. I love to snuggle babies, I’ve been told I am the baby whisperer. I call kiddos pumpkin a lot, I don’t know where I got that from but it stuck. I’ve been told by many matter-of-fact three year old’s that they are not pumpkins!
Photography is Art- choose your artist wisely.
First, look at the photographer’s portfolio, do you like their style? Are their images in focus, are you seeing weird colors that are not natural? Do they use a lot of props, or do they not use props? Many times what you see is what you get, so keep that in mind. When in doubt it’s a good idea to ask to see an entire gallery for the type of session you will be hiring your photographer for. This is a great way to see how consistent their work is for a session. Ok, once you have determined the quality of work and style is a good fit, we need you to trust us. Trust us to provide you with beautiful images. Trust that we know the time of day that has the best light, that we see the beauty of a location that might not look amazing to an untrained eye. Just trust- it will make your photographer so happy- they will love you forever, and provide you with beautiful images. Let your photographer run the session, creative people don’t do well with being micromanaged. We have flow and vision in mind based on the information you provided us with. But always feel free to express ideas or if you feel like something isn’t working.
Photographers are artist and we each have our own style to our images- we love being creative and keeping you happy. However we also do not prefer editing or shooting in ways that do not match our brand. Every image we provide to a client is a representation of our art. We want clients that love our art. We pour our hearts into our work- we are personally invested in each image. So when you chose a photographer make sure you talk to them about what you have in mind, especially if your vision is very different from what you are seeing in their portfolio. Don’t be afraid to ask if you have a unique idea! My style can be described as vibrant and classic. I also love doing sessions with a whimsical feel to them. I also love doing custom styled sessions that might have more of a unique flare.
There are different types of photography, there are portrait photographers like myself that do a combination of posed and candid work. There are also lifestyle photographers that go with a much more natural fluid approach. They capture real life moments as they happen, and it is much less staged than portrait work. I love both options, but I tend to lean towards posed and polished sessions rather than free flowing. If you don’t understand what that means let’s chat. I want to make sure we are a good fit! Don’t get me wrong I still love to create situations where you interact in a real and meaningful ways. It’s all about a balanced mixture. I do not do really dark and edgy editing. I am not on the bright and light side either. I am somewhere in the middle of natural and warm. If you like grunge, sorry I am not your girl. It’s not my thing, and I would hate to disappoint someone trying to do something that does not represent my brand and style.
Budget- Photography is a luxury service.
Ok, so let’s be real it is important to select a photographer you can afford. Keep in mind you do get what you pay for. There is an adage- good photography isn’t cheap, and cheap photography isn’t good, most of the time this rings true. If you want beautiful images to display in your home and pass down to your children and grandchildren then I urge you to hire a professional. I don’t know about you, but I am on a budget. I cannot just load up my amazon cart with the latest and greatest and then hit check out now… ok so I may load the cart…..but I don’t check out. I know I am not the only one who does that. I simply plan and save. But I do know what I want and I am willing to invest when needed. When I need something for my home, plan a trip, hire a professional service, I save for the quality I want. Photography is no different than that. I personally pride myself on providing quality photography services for an affordable price. I also offer payment plans because I realize like me, other people are on a budget too. Another thing to consider is a photographer’s take home pay is a small percentage of the price they quoted after overhead costs and taxes. Not to mention you are not just paying for an image- there is great deal of planning, editing, communicating, and other tasks/skills that go into every shoot. After all we are making art- we are not just button pressers.
I feel like this is a good place to mention that I cannot compete with the plethora of under the table photographers that charge basement prices because they are just making some side cash, and are not paying Uncle Sam what he is due. I can’t haggle prices down, or lower them to price match another photographers. I have to run my business in a way that keeps me sustainable for the long run. Trust me I want to give everyone a deal because I want everyone to have beautiful photos, but at the end of the day I will not have a business if I don’t charge a fair market value price. Know what I mean chilibean? (My dad used to say that to me all the time!)
Is your photographer legit?
“Too legit... Too legit to quit”…..you know you can’t read it without signing it. Ok back to the point. A photographer running a legit business will never be offended if you ask if they are insured, pay taxes ect… You can also look up their business on your states business registry. Here are some questions to consider: Are they a member of any professional organizations that relate to photography? How many years have they been shooting? Do they have any training? Can they provide references? Is there a contract in place that protects you as the client, as well as their business? Does their contract match your conversation? It is important to consider that formal training is not a requirement for photography, and I know many self-trained photographic artists that will blow your mind with their talent and technological knowledge. However it is always ok to ask!
Cheryl Logan Photography is an LLC- which is a limited liability corporation. I am registered with the state of Missouri. I pay state and federal taxes, and I have my business license. You can see it hanging in my studio entry. I am a good standing member of the PPA (Professional Photographers of America). I also work with the Gold Hope Project; we provide free portraits to families with a child fighting cancer. I am constantly learning and finding ways to improve my photography skills though workshops and research- and good old fashion practice. I do not have a degree in photography, but I do have a business degree, and many years of photography experience. You can use the PPA’s referral service here to find photographers nationwide that are PPA members dedicated to running ethical and professional businesses: https://www.ppa.com/findaphotographer/
Make sure you choose the right specialty, some photographers only shoot one genera, while others like me may have wider area of focus. I am a portrait photographer. I personally shoot maternity, newborns, children, high school seniors, families, ect… and maybe a little in-between. If I had to pick just one- it would be newborns. They melt my heart. Oh maybe kids, no wait seniors… ahh I can’t decide. But I don’t have to choose that’s way too hard! You want to hire a photographer who is client focused, and aims to make the experience great for you. Being client focused sometimes means I take a little more time with a nervous little one, I do not like to rush my sessions, I work patiently with crying babies, I communicate clearly, I aim to catch flattering expressions/poses, I consult with clients so they know what to expect, and I care about my clients and their experience with me. I do my best to manage expectations. I want people to feel informed about their decision to hire me, and the overall process of being my client. I become invested in my clients, many become friends, and I enjoy watching their families grow. Overall I want you to love your images, and trust me to provide you with beautiful memories. When you choose a photographer you need to find someone that you can trust, and makes you feel welcomed, beautiful, and comfortable with the whole process. If you find a good one- Keep them! I have clients that have been coming to me for the past 7 years I’ve been in business. I get so excited to see them! I am overjoyed when their friends and family come to me for sessions too.
Editing- oh how I spend so much time editing. I hand edit RAW images. You may or may not know what that means. But basically I take an unprocessed raw digital image and process each aspect to fit my specifications by hand. Some photographers do quick and simple edits, and run a preset or action over them all. I look at each photo, check for blemishes, and make each adjustment. This takes a little time. Mini sessions are usually 2-3 weeks turn around and full sessions are 3-6 weeks. I don’t outsource my editing at this time, I tried. I did not like the results. Call me a control freak, that ok. It’s probably a little bit true. On the subject of RAW images, I don’t give them out. Not even to my best friend or my mom. Asking for RAW images is like asking a baker for the cake batter instead of the cake. It’s not how it works. I promise you don’t need them, and unless you have the right programs you probably can’t even open a RAW image. Raw images are huge, I have like 8 external hard drives full of them. We won’t talk about how fast I can fill up a terabyte.
If you are reading this and you are on the fence about hiring me for a session call me! Let’s grab some coffee and chat. Seriously everything is better with coffee. I am here to answer any questions that you might have. Sometimes putting a face and a name together helps with making the decision. Here’s my cell phone number: 636-232-4957.
If you make I this far I commend you!