The 4 Best Questions to Ask a Photographer Before Hiring Them

Updated: Jun 9

Whether you have an upcoming wedding, need baby portraits, or want a beach photographer for a family session, you want to find a photographer that's just right for you. Everyone has different preferences on style and budget ranges, but it's also important to make sure you actually enjoy spending time with your photographer. If you're starting that search, here are some of the best questions to ask a photographer before hiring them.

Starting Your Photographer Search: Looking for Photographers for Hire Near Me

When looking to hire a photographer, you need to know a couple details before you start sending out cold emails.

1. The Occasion

What are you hiring a photographer for? Hiring a photographer for an event is an entirely different process than selecting someone for a newborn shoot. Different photographers specialize in different genres of photography. Even if they're a Jack or Jill of all trades, you might not like their style when it comes to your particular project.

So sit down, figure out what you want to accomplish with your photographer, and then you'll know what to look for when scouring different freelance photographers' websites.

2. The Budget

You absolutely need to know what you're able (and willing) to spend before you reach out to a photographer. When you put "photography for hire near me" into Google, you're going to get a wide variety of price points. This is especially true when you're looking for wedding photographers. So know what you're willing to spend before you send that email.

3. The Dates

One of the most important things to be aware of when looking to hire a professional photographer is the dates you want to work with them.

As a photographer in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, my busy season is the end of May to the beginning of September: family beach photography season. It's important that people reaching out to me know when they're going on vacation, because that way I can check and reserve my availability. Even if we're the perfect match, I can't offer my services if I'm not available.

Questions to Ask When Hiring a Photographer

Now that you've got the essential details on your end and you found some photographers you like, it's time to send that email.

Here are some of the best questions to ask a photographer before you book a photoshoot with them.

1. What Does Your Package Include?

Just because two photographers are charging the same amount, it doesn't mean you'd get the same thing. If two beach photographers are charging $250 for a session, find out what that $250 gets you. Do you get the digital downloads, or do you only get a few physical prints? Are the photos professionally edited? How long is a session? How many photos do you get?

You want to know what you're getting for your investment. Every time you hire a different photographer for photoshoots, you'll get a different experience. Ask upfront what that experience will include.

2. What Locations Do You Suggest?

As a seasoned Rehoboth Beach photographer, I have my go-to locations that I like to bring my clients for beach sessions. If you aren't familiar with the area, or you don't have a private location in mind, ask the photographer where they suggest you get the pictures done. They might have the perfect spot for senior photos, or they might have a studio to take newborn portraits. If you don't already have a spot picked out, your photographer could have some great locations to suggest. They also likely have a preferred time of day, so ask about the best time for the shoot as well.

3. How Long Does a Session Last?

When planning out your day, it's important to have an idea of how long your session will take. See if they have a strict cut off time, or if they're willing to work with you on a more open-ended timeline. Different sessions require different approaches; if you're getting a professional headshot done, a strict 15 minute limit should be easy to meet.

As a family photographer, Delaware beach sessions with me are more open-ended. If you have kids, it might take a bit of time for them to warm up. You don't want to add the stress of a time limit.

family of four posing on the Cape Henlopen beach
These kids took a bit to warm up, but once they did, we had a blast!

4. How and When Will I Receive My Photos?

One of the most important questions to ask when hiring a photographer is what form you'll receive your photos in. Some photographers still do the old fashioned method and you only receive hard copies.

I recognize that most of my clients are only ever going to share the photos digitally. How are you supposed to post a 8x10 glossy print on Instagram? I share the finished, edited photos through a site called Pixieset. You can download them straight from there, and you can also purchase hard copies from the site as well.

And make sure you know how long to expect to wait for the photos. Photo editing is an art and takes time to get done correctly.

The Best Questions to Ask a Photographer: Getting to Know Them

A qualification people often overlook when figuring out how to hire a photographer is if you and the photographer are compatible. Photo sessions should be fun! You're going to want a photographer you enjoy spending time with. When sending the best questions to ask a photographer through email, take note of the tone with which they respond. Do they seem friendly? Do they make you feel like a priority? Do they seem excited to work with you?

Book a photoshoot with a photographer you'll enjoy working with. And if you're in search of a Delaware photographer, reach out to see if Still Poetry Photography is the right match for you!

bride and groom kissing on a bridge while the assistant makes her veil fly
A fun behind the scenes shot of working with me and my husband. We're super fun to hang with!