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Finding the Ideal Portrait Photographer

Finding the Ideal Portrait Photographer

In the second article of a two-part series, Brittney Kwasney of Bright Photography gives Vancouver moms some tips when selecting and evaluating portrait photographers for you and your family.

If you’re satisfied with the photographer’s responses to the questions in Part 1, move on to the all important triple-hit question series:

1. How much will it cost, what will you get in the end, and when will the end be?

These are questions you must ask and understand the answer to when you hire a photographer.  There are many products that you could possibly receive in the end – some of which may be more money that you bargained for.  A lot more!  Here’s a list of common end products:

A disc of all images at full resolution. This is the most ideal option and one I personally have made as a key offering to my clients. Having the disc makes it possible for you to do all the printing yourself, saving you time and money.  It also gives you ownership over your photos.

A disc of all images scaled down. Essentially this is just a proof album in the digital world. You might be able to print as large as an 8×10.  For anything bigger than that, you will most likely have to order from the photographer at an extra charge.

An album of printed proofs.  This is the most classic final product, most often associated with wedding photography.  It could be an optional add-on, or included in the original commission.  Either way, with this option, you are almost always ordering prints from the photographer at an addition cost.

2. What is the timeline?

The turn-around time will vary depending on the project.  As for any project with fixed resources – the bigger it is, the longer it will take.  For portrait sessions, I endeavor to have a DVD delivered to the client within two weeks.  For a wedding, it may be 6 weeks. I’ve heard stories of photographers taking an entire year to return wedding photos!  If you have a fast-encroaching deadline – such as a birthday, ensure the delivery date is understood.

3. Finally, is the price right for you?

Once you understand what the outputs could be, you can assess its value to you.  Factors like package inclusions, reprinting, framing and location can affect the final cost.  You may wish to scale down or up based on what you have learned. Also ask if the photographer provide any incentives?  For example, Bright Photography is offers preferred rates for a baby photo series.  As babies grow and change so fast, parents sometimes wish to have photos taken every few months.

I hope this information will help you to be fully satisfied with your next professional photography experience.

Brittney Kwasney is owner of Bright Photography. To find out more about Brittney, visit her site at or email her at brittney [at]

Photo © Brittney Kwasney.

View Comment (1)
  • Great article! Another thing to look for is whether black and white (or colour, if your photo package is for black and white shots) duplicate image files and/or prints will also be included for the price.

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