Questions to ask when looking for a photographer

Whether you are getting married, having a baby, graduating high school or updating your family portrait, choosing the right photographer can be a daunting task. There are so many photographers and faux-tographers out there, its hard to know who to pick.

Many people don’t really know what questions to ask, so they go right to “how much is an 8×10”. That’s an important question, but by no means is it the only question and you certainly shouldn’t base your choice on that.

Before you email or call anyone, decide what your budget it. That will help you when they start talking about services. Here are some questions we feel are important to find out before you say yay or nay (These are numbered but are in no particular specific order):

  1. Do you belong to any professional photography organizations? (PPA is a well known one. There are also local state orgs)
  2. What kind of photography education/training do you have?
  3. How long have you been a professional photographer?
  4. What do your session/package/collection fees start at?
  5. Do you have a website?
  6. Do you have references from past clients?
  7. How long do your sessions last?
  8. What do you specialize in?
  9. What is your turn around time for viewing/ordering?
  10. How long will it take to get my prints/albums/canvases?
  11. How many weddings have you photographed?
  12. Is your business licensed in the state of ___________?
  13. Do you have business insurance?
  14. Approximately how many images will I see from the session?
  15. How long do I have to order prints after my session/wedding/event?
  16. What is included in the session/package/collection?
  17. Do you charge for travel?
  18. Are the images on your website of paying clients or models?
  19. Do you charge extra for weekday v.s weekend?
  20. Will I need to sign a contract? (this sounds very legal, but is very important to protect you and the photographer)

That is not an all-inclusive list, but should give you a head start on doing your research. Beware of photographers who won’t answer questions or who try to divert you away from your questions. Also, be willing to talk about what you are looking for and be open to ideas and suggestions. Hope this helps!

To contact us with any questions, feel free to call or use the form below:

 

 

Answers to some of your FAQ’s

We thought it would be a good idea to address some of the FAQ’s that we get regularly in an effort to make your photography experience as simple and easy to understand as possible. Here goes:

Q: How long have you 2 been together?

A: LOL. We aren’t together and have never been. We are best friends, roommates and business partners, but that’s the extent of it. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one to make that mistake.

Q: What are your prices?

A: Well, that depends. What kind of photography are you looking for? We do portraits, weddings, quinceanera’s, events and photo booths, so you will have to be a bit more specific. I can tell you for sure though that we would be happy to sit down with you and discuss everything in detail.

Q: Do you offer wedding or quinceanera packages?

A: We offer wedding collections, which are similar to packages but sound way fancier. They include different increments of time, different albums and other things. They ALL include 2 photographers, basic retouching and an online gallery of web-sized images.

Q: Can I get my images on a DVD, CD or flash drive?

A: We provide you with something WAY better then those…prints and albums! We can make you prints in any size  you would like and you will be happy to have them, rather then a DVD that gets scratched on the way home, then lost for 10 years in a kitchen junk drawer. We are print artists and we want you to have something you can treasure forever.  Also, we do have an online gallery available A La Carte if you really want images to share on social media.

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Q: How do I get on the list to receive an awesome Christmas card each year?

A: IKR? They are awesome and take months of planning to create. To get one, simply become a client, friend, family or collaborator.

Q: Do you give print or copy-rights to images?

A: We do not. This will probably be the only question you could ask that will be met with a straight up no. There is no sneak around this one, it is what it is.

I know that’s just a few basic questions, but we are more then happy to answer any others you can come up with. Just shoot us a message through the form below or send us an email, text message, phone call, IG message, SOS, or some smoke signals.

 

Win Some Photography!

It’s that time of year. The time of giving, the time of receiving oh and the time of giveaways and raffleboxes. Speaking of raffleboxes….we have two and are excited about them!

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We are so happy to have joined with the pediatric dental office of Sandra Makram, D.D.S. for our family portrait session rafflebox. The winner of this giveaway can win a portrait session that can last up to an hour and a half. To sign up for this please go to: 13027 W Linebaugh Ave Suite 102, Tampa, FL 33626. Don’t forget to call and set up your child’s dental appointment with them too. (813) 854-5800

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We are also happy to have joined with the Calla Lily Rose Boutique. This rafflebox is for 6 hours of photography for a Quinceañera. That’s right 6 HOURS! So if you or anybody you know is getting ready to turn 15 years old head on over to the Calla Lily Rose Boutique. They specialize in Quinceañera celebrations. They have dresses, tiaras and all other accessories for that special Quince in your life. To sign up for this giveaway head on over to: 2815 W Waters Ave, Tampa, FL 33614. Don’t forget to call them if you are looking for something in particular. (813) 935-8282

The final day to sign up for our raffleboxes will be November 30, 2017. If you need any additional information on our raffleboxes, have any questions about our portrait sessions, quicneañera or wedding collections or if you’d like to schedule a free consultation call or email us or you can use the contact form below. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.

So many choices and so little time…..

Choosing a photographer for your special event or portraits can be a daunting task. There are a lot of us out there, and we range from “just bought a camera last week” to “20+ years of experience”. We know that it can be super confusing and frustrating trying to narrow down your choices. Some people even get so frustrated they just give up and either don’t ever get portraits or they pick some random name. So, we decided to give you some pointers to help you make an informed decision.

Here are some things you should look for when checking out a website or social media page:

  1. Consistency. Do the photos look good throughout, or are only the 1st few nice while the rest are just OK?
  2. Do they look like real sessions or do they look like they were staged? (More on this in a later post)
  3. Is the site/page regularly updated or is everything on it old?
  4. Do the photos look like they have a ton of filters/photo shop work done on them? This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but can sometimes mean that the original photos aren’t that good, and the photographer has to rely on digital technology to make them passable. This can be a sign of someone who doesn’t really know a lot about the important aspects of photography.
  5. Do they have good reviews/comments from past clients?

Here are some things you should pay attention to when you are trying to get information:

  1. Is it easy to get a hold of the photographer? They may not answer the phone when you call, but do they call you back if you leave a message? Or answer in a timely manner if you email?
  2. What is their demeanor on the phone/email? Do they sound like they are rushing you or not listening to what you have to say?
  3. When you ask questions, are they truly answering them or are they moving past them without giving you a real answer?
  4. Are they giving you information about costs and charges that will be associated with your session or event?
  5. Do they have a contract for you to sign? (contracts, while sometimes a pain to go through are vital. They protect you and the photographer)

And lastly, here are a few questions to ask to get a feel for the photographer and their personality/style. It is important that you mesh well, especially in a wedding or quinceañera situation, as you will be together an extended period of time.

  1. Ask about pricing. It should never be a deciding factor, but you have to know if they are in your budget. If they are not,  you may need to re-evaluate your choices or your budget.
  2. Ask how long they have been doing photography. Everyone doesn’t need years and years of experience to be good, but if you are going to pay for it, you should get what you are looking for.
  3. Ask if you can do an in-person consultation. This is super important, so that you can make sure you are on the same page in relation to what you are looking for and how much you will spend.
  4. For portrait sessions, ask for clothing tips, location suggestions and time of day options. Trust me when I say that these are all important and will effect the overall look of your portraits.
  5. Ask about anything you are unsure of. The photographer should have no problem answering your questions, clarifying information or solving your objections.

If you have any questions or need more information about what to look for, please feel free to contact us. We are happy to help, even if you aren’t our client. You can always contact us at the form below:

Coming Soon….To Monroe, Louisiana

We are making plans to come back to Monroe, Louisiana. Yep, that’s right we are coming by to say hello and of course do some photography. We will be in town September 14 – 15, 2017. This is your chance to book us for a portrait session, whether it be senior, family, children or an engagement session. Maybe you want to book us for an upcoming wedding that takes place at another time. This would be a good time to meet with us to go over all the details and book us for that wedding date.  Besides, how often can you say you hired an out of state photographer for your portraits?

Our sessions are first come first serve and will be booked up quickly. Contact us for more details.

Turn your home into an art gallery!

Imagine having company over and them being amazed at the beautiful canvas portraits of your family on your walls. Our canvas collection wall art pieces are sure to make any room in your house stunning and will be great conversation starters.

The color and clarity of these pieces are phenomenal. We couldn’t be happier with our decision to offer these vibrant, in your face, canvas portraits. With so many varieties in sizes and collections,  you won’t be disappointed. This is a great way to display your portraits in a way that nobody else does. You will definitely stand out among everyone by having portrait art that you can pass down to your children. Portraits printed on canvas are beautiful and will stand the test of time, all while turning your home into an art gallery of your family!mikebritcanvas

Want more info about who we are and what we do? Contact us below:

Stephenie + Dennis Riverwalk Monroe, La

We have known Stephenie and Dennis for awhile now. Tony first met them in Tae Kwon Do through Stephenie’s daughter Talia. We had the joy of photographing their family on Christmas Eve, Talia’s senior portraits and now their engagement session. We were so excited and honored when we got the call to do their session.

We were all trying to keep an eye on the weather in hopes that it would not rain us out, but no matter what, we all pushed forward and we are thankful we did. The fog that rolled along the river at the Riverwalk in downtown Monroe was great and added an awesome mood to their portraits!

With Dennis around there is not a dull moment. We handed them an umbrella since it started to sprinkle and Dennis just had fun with it. You would think he was going to break out in song and dance. It started pouring rain just as we did our last portrait, so apparently Mother Nature is looking out for these two!

They compliment each other so well you can see how in love these two are. We can’t wait to see what is in store for their future. Where ever it leads we know it is going to be great!

For more information about Engagement photography, contact us through the form below:

Calling All Couples!

It’s that time of year! Love is in the air, “engagement season” has just passed and Valentine’s is quickly approaching. If you have recently gotten engaged or are in the midst of planning your wedding, having couples portraits taken is a great way to test out photographers for that BIG DAY by having a session done of the two of you!

Even if you are not engaged, or have been married for years, having your portraits taken together can be fun and a great way to get some new images of the 2 of you just because you can!  Call us now for more information on our portrait & engagement sessions at 318-503-2147.

2017: The Year of Change

Last year was all about our clients and we worked hard to provide an excellent experience and service. We hope to build on top of that in 2017 and keep improving! After all, we appreciate our clients greatly and wouldn’t be where we are without all of you.

With that being said, 2017 is The Year of Change for us. Some of these changes will be big (maybe even huge) and some of them so small you may not even notice at first.

One thing we will be doing differently is our packaging of products and we couldn’t be happier. We really liked what we did last year, but this year it’s going to be even better! At least we believe so.

Our portrait and wedding collections are changing as well. We added to our wedding collections by offering more for our bride and grooms. We have even added new session types and put a beautiful, handcrafted wedding album into all of our collections. As for our portrait collections let’s just say we believe it to be even BETTER! We believe in our service and product and your investment will be well worth it. We even have a new product or two.

Now we can’t give all of our changes away in one post! This is an exciting time for Dark Light Photo Studios. So be on the lookout for new things coming in the upcoming weeks & months of 2017. We hope you will not be disappointed! Stay tuned.

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