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.

 

Retouching: Before & After

We have all seen beautiful photos of men and women with amazing bodies in magazines, advertisements and photos. They are meant to sell things, to make us want what they have and very often, especially for females, they make us self conscious about how we look. There is a fairly new “movement” going on encouraging you to accept yourself as you are, but I know 1st hand how hard that can be.

We at DLPS totally support people in accepting their beautiful selves and we encourage you to be comfortable in their own skin. But, as photographers, we can definitely “enhance” your natural beauty, without changing what you look like. Our motto for retouching is that we don’t touch it if its permanent. (The only exception to this rule is if you specifically ask us to) If it is temporary, for example, eye bags, pimples, a bruise, a scratch, etc, then we typically reduce or remove it.

People always ask us if we can “photoshop it”. The bottom line is, yes, yes we can. However, its going to cost you. We do basic retouching on all of our photos, but if you want to look 50 lbs lighter, or you want us to take people out of the photos or add someone in, that’s a lot of work and will cost you more money. We do our very best to get things in the original photo the way they should be, but we can always make them a little better. Check out the samples below and see what you think!

As you can see from the above photos, Courtney still looks like herself, but her beauty has been brought out just a bit.

Again, Victoria looks amazing before, but we just brought out her natural beauty and make it more of the focus of the photo.

For these wedding photos, you can see that we took out some distracting poles in the background as well as changed the portrait to black and white.

Our goal with retouching is to make sure you look amazing and still look like you. If you have questions about retouching or want to schedule a consultation, please contact us through the form below.

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:

What to expect from your DLPS Family Portrait Session

We want you to have a wonderful experience as a member of the DLPS family. We strive to be flexible, work with you and get you the images you want and need. We do have a process that we follow with each client and we want to explain that so that everyone is on the same page.

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The first step is for you to contact us and we set up a consultation. The consultation will probably be either in the evening or on a weekend. They usually go for about an hour, and during this time, we will find out a little more about you and what you are looking for. We will make a plan for your session, give you some tips on clothing choices, answer any questions you have and determine a location & date.

Next, is your session. Plan on your session lasting approximately 1 ½ hours. During that time, we will do portraits of your family as a whole, then split you up into smaller groups. The kids together, the parents together, each of the parents with the kids, etc. This will give you great options when it comes time to order your wall collections.

At the end of your session, we will schedule your sales appointment. At that time, we will meet, you will review your portraits, choose the prints, canvases and albums that you want and pay for your order. We accept credit/debit cards as well as cash. Plan on your sales session lasting at least 1 hour. We also ask that parents attend and that the kids are left at home if at all possible. This will limit distractions and will make it easier for you to concentrate.

You will receive your products approximately 2-3 weeks after your sales appointment. This can vary depending on what products you order. (Canvases & albums take a little longer, online galleries a little less time).

That is the basic process of doing portraits with DLPS. We encourage you to ask questions and to always get more information if you need it. We try to be as open and up front about everything and we want you to be comfortable with your choice. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

Meet our new Hair & Makeup artist!!!!

Meet Hannah! Hannah is currently attending Empire Beauty School here in Tampa and lives in Brandon, FL where she said she loves the weather, because its always sunny and warm. Empire offers a 9-month program and she will be graduating in March. Hannah is our new hair & makeup artist and will be available on an as needed basis. We are super excited to add her to the DLPS team!

I did a sit down interview with Hannah last weekend after Tony did some head shots of her and asked her the following questions:

How long have you been interested in hair/makeup?

I’ve been into it “my whole life, ever since i was a kid. I always got in trouble for cutting my sisters hair and ruining all my barbies and baby dolls”

What do you hope to do with your HMU experience?

“I want to work in a salon to get some experience and eventually open my own business doing photo shoots and bridal hair & makeup. I enjoy doing the styling part”.

Whats your favorite thing about doing Hair & Makeup?

“The art of it and making people feel beautiful in their skin”.

Whats a piece of advice you would give someone who is looking for a HMU artist?

“Look for someone who actually loves doing what they do and has a passion for it instead of just trying to make money. Someone who wants to make you look how you want, rather then how they want you to look”

Lastly, when asked about how she feels about working with us she said; “I’m so excited to be working with DLPS and your clients. I am looking forward to growing with your company and doing some awesome photo shoots”

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We are really happy to be adding Hannah to the DLPS family and can’t wait to introduce her services to our clients. For more information about how to book a session and adding on hair, makeup or both, please contact us through the form below.

 

Albums vs. Social Media

These days it seems we live in social media. Some people put every instance of their lives on various social media sites, whether it be on Facebook, Instagram, Snap-chat or whatever else comes along at the moment. The problem is that social media is fleeting. Remember MySpace? Hi5? Foursquare? Maybe vaguely right? Even if Facebook doesn’t disappear, your photos and memories will. They will get so lost on your feed that you may never ever see them again. Or, they will go the way of the previously mentioned sites and pretty much disappear all together. This is why we promote portrait and wedding/quinceanera albums!

Albums are amazing. They are beautiful, timeless and a wonderful way to keep your memories visible, not only for you, but for your kids. We offer 2 types of albums, one for portraits and one for weddings/quinceaneras. These alums are hand crafted in Italy and are designed entirely by us. You won’t get a cookie cutter, run of the mill album that everyone else has, because yours will be uniquely you.

So next time you think about just getting your images on a CD or flash-drive, remember, you may never see those pictures again. Treasure them and let them live on for years and generations to come.

For more information about a portrait session or event, please contact us through the form below.

How to pose better for portraits

Have you ever been in front of the camera and have no idea what to do with yourself? It happens to all of us. Whether its how to turn your body to what to do with your hands, it can be completely uncomfortable to be the subject of a photograph. So, here are some tips on how to pose better.

For Women:

  1. Don’t stand straight on to the camera. This will make you look wider then you actually are. Turn slightly to the left or the right
  2. Put your weight on your back foot. This will move you back slightly from the camera. Remember, whatever is closest to the camera will look the biggest.
  3. Stand up straight. Sometimes, even when we think we are straight, we are still slouching. Think of having a string at the top of your head and in your mind, pull that string up.
  4. To make your arms look thinner, don’t allow them to rest on your body. This creates a smooshing effect and will make them look bigger. Instead, keep your arms slightly away from resting on your body.

For Men:

  1. Men usually want to look powerful in photos, so being straight on to the camera will make you appear large and in charge
  2. To make your biceps look larger, keep them against your body.
  3. If you want to look leaner, shift your weight to your back foot.
  4. Don’t put all of your hand into your pocket. It will be bulky and look strange. Either tuck your thumb in your picket or your hand with your thumb out.

For Both:

  1. To avoid or lessen a double chin, extend your chin out and down a small amount.

In the end, your photographer should be giving you tips along the way and making sure that you look the best you possibly can. When in doubt, ask questions!!

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