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.

 

That’s (almost) a wrap…..

Well, Sunday will be the end of 2017 and Monday will see the world waking up to a brand new year, with new goals, plans and resolutions. 2017 has been a big year for DLPS, and we thought we would share a few of our exploits with you.

We started the year off right, by attending Imaging USA in San Antonio, TX. We attended lectures, went to parties and barely slept! Then we drove straight to Southern LA to attend a 5 day, intensive CPP prep class. By the end of those 2 events, we were both fried and needed a vacation.

In March, we took the Certified Professional Photographer exam and both passed. This is the 1st step to becoming certified. We also took a trip to FL to find a place to live and check out Tampa & the surrounding area. We stayed with some friends whom Jess hadn’t seen in close to 20 years. Luckily, Vermonters are friendly and always willing to welcome old friends.

In April, we moved to Tampa, FL from Monroe LA. We decided to come to Tampa for a change of scenery, city size and new opportunities. In doing so, we left behind a lot of fantastic people who were really supportive of our plan to build a photography business.

In June, Jess earned her Certified Professional Photographer certification through PPA and can now write CPP after her name. To earn this distinction, a photographer must demonstrate that they are knowledgeable and skilled in various aspects of photography, and must pass a written test, then submit 15 images through a panel of 5 professional photographers.

In July we went back to LA to attend the annual convention for LA Professional Photographers in New Orleans. We spent 4 days expanding our education, in addition to hanging out with some of our favorite LA photographers. We brought 2 of our LA models back to FL for 3 days of photography in the sun!

August was a hot, humid month, but we did get to go to Universal Studios with some family visiting from Hawaii. Jess learned that she is going to be an Aunt and we got to hang out in the land of Harry Potter! Plus we watched the eclipse through homemade pinhole cameras.

In Sept, we once again made the trek to LA, this time to Monroe & Shreveport for the annual Barksdale AF Ball. We also did senior portraits for Cam, a soon-to-be graduate in Bastrop, LA. We were able to visit some of our favorite restaurants and hang out with some of our favorite people. We also attended LightPro in St. Petersburg, which is one of our all time favorite conferences. Plus we survived Irma, our first Hurricane!!

November saw us heading North to Vermont, where we spent Thanksgiving with the Wakefield family. Of course we got out and took pictures, got some much needed rest and hung out in the snow. Tony also learned the basics of being a blacksmith.

In December, we donated 2 photo booths. One was for photos with Santa at Inspired Living in Tampa with many of their residents. The other was at the Christmas Charity Ball in Tampa, to raise money towards sponsoring families for Christmas. This was a great success and the charity was able to sponsor 60 families in the Tampa area.

Those are some of the highlights of 2017. We are still learning about everything Tampa has to offer and of course still working on getting to know people here. There are many places to see and things to do that we have yet to experience, but its all part of the fun. We will continue to build and grow our business here and are looking forward to a successful and fun 2018. We wish everyone a Happy New Year and will see you all in 2018!

Danville, Vermont USA

For the Thanksgiving holiday, we decided to get out of dodge and head north, to visit my (Jess’) family in Danville, VT. If you think you have never been to Danville, its possible you have, but you accidentally blinked while you were driving or riding and soared right through without noticing. Its a quaint New England town, sitting in the northeastern part of Vermont, about 55 miles south of the Canadian boarder and 20 minutes west of New Hampshire.

We flew into Boston, then took a bus north into New Hampshire, where we were met by my parents. My Dad recently had throat surgery to remove some cancerous lumps, so he regaled us with tales of the hallucinations he had while on the medication while we drove the 1+ hr further north to my parents house.

We were there for 7 days, 2 of which were spent traveling. My brother and his family came as well, so the house was plenty full (7 people, 3 dogs and 3 cats). While there, we hung out, played cards & Yahtzee, watched some westerns and of course took photos.

Barn in Danville, VT
A barn in Danville, VT

Tony took a crash course in the art of blacksmithing. He quickly learned that the hammer gets heavier with every swing. (That might be due in part to him taking 100 hits to achieve something that my dad can do in 10) Regardless, he made a plant hanger that we will definitely use on the patio.

 

We also traveled to Bretton Woods, NH to the Mount Washington Hotel Resort. Its a beautiful old hotel at the base of Mt. Washington and has some fantastic views from its wrap around balcony.

mount washington hotel, NH
The Mt. Washington Hotel, Bretton Woods, NH

Of course, with my niece Zoey there, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take some portraits. Zoey takes after my sister Eliza, the horse trainer. Zoe loves all things horses and is beside herself with joy any time she is around my moms horse Arlo.

Zoey & Arlo
Zoey & Arlo

Overall, we had a fun trip and it was great to see some family. It even snowed a couple of times. Apparently, it snowed quite a bit more the day we left, as my mom texted me a photo of it snowing with a text that said “thanks for wishing it would snow”. I can only assume she was being sarcastic. We arrived back in Tampa on Monday night, flying in to a beautiful sunset over the water.

Sunset over Florida
Sunset over Clearwater/Tampa

Let your fun flag fly (photo booth style)

The holidays are upon us and we all know what that means…break rooms full of snacks and treats, decorations galore, weight gain and of course, holiday parties!  What could be more fun at your office party then a photo booth?

Our photo booth is available for all of your office or house party needs. We have 3 photo booth options to choose from, all very affordable and super fun. We will bring a backdrop, all the lighting/camera equipment and a real live photographer. We will also bring a bunch of props so that you can get wild and crazy!

Contact us today to book your holiday party photo booth. It will spice up your party and make all the neighbors and other offices in your building jealous!!

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:

Timeline for Holiday Portraits

The holidays are right around the corner and it’s time to update your family photos. We currently have a few openings for family sessions and we want to make sure that everyone understands the timeline for these types of photos.

Due to the volume of photography taking place this time of year across the country, professional labs set deadlines and get swamped with orders, which can sometimes slow down processing. Also, more sessions mean more work and less time to meet with clients. Therefore, we ask that people pay attention to the time constraints and plan your sessions accordingly.

In order to have your photos edited, reviewed, ordered and received in time for the holidays, you need to have completed your session with DLPS by December 2nd.  If you want to order Holiday cards to send to friends and family, you should do your session in November. This will give you adequate time to go through the process and get them mailed to your friends and family.

If you would like to get portraits taken but do not need them in time for the holiday season, then we ask that you have them taken by Dec 17th. Please keep in mind that we will be closed from Dec 23rd until January 5th 2018.

We have limited spots open, so please do not wait until the last minute. Contact us through the form below to schedule your consultation:

 

Happy Halloween! Be Safe!

It’s that time of year. You know the time when ghouls come out to play and the dead walk among the living. Witches and wizards are everywhere and mummies just leave their rags on the streets from dragging along. Argh, argh. (That was my mummy sound.) All we can do is think about how much candy we will get. Well….I know I was but only the crunch bars and kit kats. I may have to go trick or treating myself. Think it will work?

I checked and it seems that Halloween falls on a Tuesday this year. Now, I don’t know about you, but when I was a child, OUCH!…I think I just sounded old, we went trick or treating the night of. It seems as though the rules have changed since. I’m not sure but I believe here in Tampa all the festivities and trick or treating will happen on the weekend before Halloween. Whether one goes trick or treating, attend the festivities or goes to a party, let’s all just be safe.

For those of you with ‘lil’uns: if you plan on trick or treating, let’s keep the following safety tips in mind.

  • Don’t go for a completely dark colored costume. If you plan on crossing streets you will be very hard to see in the dark.
  • Don’t get a full face mask. They can be hard to see through and hard to breath in. Have you worn one?
  • Travel in groups.
  • Go through the streets with the most lights on.
  • Don’t go to houses WITHOUT their lights on.
  • Check and double check those treats. Make sure that they have never been opened and are free of any sharp objects.

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If you miss trick or treating or want to have an alternative there are most likely other things to do in your town or city. There are fall festivals, trunk or treating or maybe even a “shin dig”. Some of them are even free to attend. Just check with your local google search, right at your finger tips.

Now, for us “grown folk” out here who are trying to party…

  • Have a DD (designated driver) or just UBER/taxi if you’re going to drink.
  • Don’t leave your drink unattended.
  • Travel with a buddy. You never know what can happen.
  • If you are alone check in with someone.

Above all, remember to have a safe and Happy Halloween!

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