This is a question that I get asked all the time, and not just about couples, but also families, headshots, you name it. So I wanted to give you my top 3 tips that will help you find the right photographer for your next couples session specifically whether you find them on Google, Instagram, or any other platform.
1. Look at their portfolio
Some photographers have a website and some focus mostly on social media, but regardless every photographer will have past work that they have published online.
Between you and me, if they don't then they are order a true hobbiest or very new to the industry and not very tech savy. You may want to avoid these one. I would always recommend hiring someone that has experience and past clients have reviewed their work (more on that farther down the list).
Once you find the platform that their past work is displayed on, you want to take a good scroll through and see if you can imagine you and your babe as the couples in their work. Would the settings and action taking place be something that you two would be comfortable doing? Are you a couple that are very affectionate and adventurous? Then maybe a sexy and fun beach or snow session would work great for you. If you two are more quiet and reserved then you might considering finding a photographer who's past work shows more of something like that. Sometimes it can work, but usually if one of those couples takes photos like the other couple, you won't be in love with the photos years from now because they don't feel true to you. I would never let my couples do something that doesn't reflect them. A couples photo session should be all about capture memories and moments that are authentic and true to you and your babe.
2. Do they have past client reviews???
Google Business Listings and Facebook page reviews can be two great sources to look at when looking for what past clients think of working with a said photographer. Everyone has their own interpretation of situations, so make sure to read the text portion of reviews and not just the star rating.
I trick I always use personally is to first read a couple of the 4/5 star reviews to see if there is anything in common that a bunch of past clients love about working with the photographer. Next, I always look at the 1/2 star reviews. I want to know if there is something that the photographer does that people don't like, or if it was someone that was angry because of something that happened outside of everyone's control.
This is where tip #1 and #2 tie in together. One of the most common reasons why someone isn't happy with their experience with a photographer is because they don't like the way their photos turned out. This is commonly because the client didn't do their research into the photographer's shooting and editing style before they book with them. Also, sometimes this issue will also come up when client's ask photographers to do sessions that aren't in their niche. For example, my niche is couples, which then translates into some family and branding work, but I would never take on a session that was exclusively pets or cars even if people ask nicely because that's not something I specialize in. This kind of thing can be compared to asking a fancy, five-star steak house to make you chicken fingers. They probably could generally do that for you, but that's not what they have designed their business around doing so they may not be the best chicken fingers you have every had.
3. Always inquire first and get them to send you their pricing guide before you book anything
This is always one of my top suggestions to any couple looking for a photographer. The first reason is because then you are clear on exactly what the photographer's packages will include and for what price. A good, reputable photographer will have different packages at multiple price points. This shows that they have thought through who their ideal clients are and what would best serve them.
I myself offer three different couples packages with varying amounts of included items and coverage lengths so that there is a package for every different types of couple. Some look for something short and sweet in order to update social media mostly and then there are others that are looking for a longer session with multiple outfits and settings in order to get a wide variety of images to pick from and to find the best one to print and send to Aunt Jane compared to give to Mom for the mantle.
The second reason why I always suggest this is because it also gives you a chance to see even more of the photographer's past work. Us photographers love to cram out price guides full with past work to make sure you see our work ahead of booking. We never want to see you be the disappointed couple/person mentioned in tip #2.
No matter if a couple books specifically with me or not, I want to make sure that they are educated and feel like they are making the right decision for them when picking a couples photographer. If you have any questions after reading this article, please feel free to contact me. I would love to chat more with you. If you would like to check out some of my past work, click the button below.