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!

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!!

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:

Barksdale Air Force Ball 2017

This past weekend we had the pleasure of photographing the Barksdale Air Force Ball in Shreveport, LA for the 3rd year in a row. It was great to see so many familiar faces and lots of new ones as well. The event appeared to be a huge success and there were beautiful women and handsome men as far as the eye could see!

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Lots of people took the time to come by and have fun with our photo booth, either taking a more traditional formal photo or getting silly with props. Everyone was great and seemed to have a great time.

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We want to say thank you to the event committee for once again putting your faith in us and our photo booth & candid skills. We always have a blast with you and hope you all enjoyed yourselves!

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If you would like more information about booking our photo booth for your event, please fill out the form below

Photo Booth Charity Fundraiser Events

So, as many of you know, we have a photo booth set up that we use for weddings receptions, parties, reunions and other events. We have decided that a fun way to give something back to the community is for us to set up our booth at some local charity events.

We come to your event, set up a photo booth and start having fun. We charge people a reasonable price for prints, with a designated amount from each sale coming back to your charity as a donation at the end of the event.

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There is no cost in it for you, with the potential to raise some money and let your attendees have fun and take home a souvenir photo.

We would love to discuss how we can help you raise money for your charity! Contact us and lets talk!

Clearwater’s Red, White & Bark Festival

Well it’s that time of year. Summer is upon us and there are tons of things to do in the Tampa Bay area. So make sure you check out events happening near you and hit up a few. You never know what kind of fun you will get yourself into!

Speaking of fun… Coming Saturday to a park near you…in Clearwater, that is. On July 1, 2017 is the Red, White & Bark Festival. We will be there, setting up a photo booth for everyone to enjoy. So come on by with your children, pets or yourself! You can grab a prop, strike a pose, and LET YOUR FUN FLAG FLY! A portion of all proceeds will go to help local animal-friendly organizations.

Admission to the festival is FREE!

When: July 1, 2017 9am – 2pm

Location: 10525 49th St. N. Clearwater, Fl 33762

For more information you can check out their page at: https://www.facebook.com/events/210193636169932/

Aside from us having the photo booth, there will be food trucks, face painting, pet costume contests, a doggie fun zone and music.

So come one, come all. Get ready to hangout for a bit and let’s have some fun!

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It’s never to early…to hire your photographer

We know we have touched on this before, but we want to express again how important it is for you to hire your photographer ASAP, especially when it comes to your wedding. People often think they can wait until a month or 2 before their wedding, but by then, it may be next to impossible to find someone who is available.

Some photographers schedule a year or 2 in advance, but most ask for at least 3-6 months. That’s not saying that they never have availability sooner, but as a rule of thumb, your better off if you don’t procrastinate.

At DLPS, we ask for a minimum of 3 months, but we prefer at least 5-6. This gives us a chance to meet with you a couple of times and make sure we have everything set. It also gives you time to pay for your photography in payments, rather then having to come up with the whole amount at once.

If you would like to talk to us about your wedding photography needs, please contact us through the form below to set up a consultation:

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