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Over the course of the last two years, I have come across quite a few people who have never booked a photo shoot for themselves before, and they always ask the same few questions...

How does this work?

What do I do?

How much is this going to cost?

When do I get to see my images?

Of course, I can't speak for other photographers, but I can walk out the process of booking with me to show you how simple and fun it really is!

First thing's first:

You have to choose your photographer. Refer to this helpful blog post I wrote about that subject to get a better idea of what you need to look for!

- Once you find someone whose work just blows you away, visit their website and look for a contact form.

- Use that form to write out a simple email introducing yourself, telling what type of session you're looking to book, where you are located, and anything else that may be helpful to the photographer to see if you are well suited to work with each other.

- Most photographer's will get back to you within a few days providing you with more information, asking more questions, or to schedule a meeting to discuss further.

- If it's a match, you pay your retainer fee, and begin planning your session. It's that simple, guys!

Be sure to note that every photographer has different rates based on experience, whether they do it full time, how much time and work is put into each session, etc..

It's also common for rates to go up during busy seasons, so have a budget set aside for images that you will have with you forever!

TIP: I personally suggest talking over the phone or in person with your desired photographer as an initial consultation to get an in depth look into what the cost of your particular session and products will be. It is SO important to ask questions and have a complete grasp of what it is you are receiving.

For example, I have been focused on creating physical products for the home and gifting this past year. The work I create gets printed in the highest quality and carefully created to last a lifetime, so that the client doesn't even have to think twice about it or go through a million "print at home" labs trying to get a nice print for their wall.
Because of this practice, digital files are no longer a popular part of my structure, and it ends up being beneficial to both the client and I. Clients of mine pay a session fee to cover planning, consultations, the session itself, and my editing time, then everything else is purchased a la carte on a basis of "you only buy what you love."
Ask your photographer up front how long their session turnaround time is. I tell my clients that it will take two weeks.
At that point, we schedule a reveal and order appointment where they get to see their images and order their gift prints, wall-art, and social media files. If the photographer of your choice has a structure like this, please come prepared! Bring all decision makers, an idea of what products you're going to buy, and your wallet to this session. Some photographers charge an additional fee for their time if you have to schedule another order session.

Is there anything I missed that you still want to know about? Have questions about anything mentioned above? Feel free to contact me!

Share these tips with your friends!

Did I leave anything out? Let me know!

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Dominique Benedict

Arkansas based music and portrait photographer. Open to any projects, and available for tour.
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