Tips on how to select a Paris photographer
Congratulations, you're coming to Paris! You're in for a huge treat! I may be biased because I live here, but I've been visiting my whole life, and while yes, Paris is a city and has big city issues (traffic, garbage etc), it's a gorgeous city.
Even now, all these years later, as I'm walking through the city, I see things that awe and inspire me. I think about the people who were here before me, and all the history I'm surrounded by on a daily basis. I love how walkable Paris is, and how it always seems to show me new surprises.
Maybe you're coming on a special couples' trip to celebrate an anniversary, honeymoon, marriage, birthday or other special event.
Maybe you plan to propose marriage to your special loved one.
Maybe you're coming to Paris with family or friends, or perhaps you're on a solo trip.
There are so many reasons to come to Paris!
Now you've decided you'd like do to a magical Paris photo session, and you've started the process of doing research. It's overwhelming! Like any city influenced heavily by art, fashion and culture, there are hundreds of photographers in Paris.
How do you choose one? Well, the simplest way seems to be based on price. You don't want to spend too much, yet you don't want a cheap photographer either. Fair enough, but please know that price is actually a tiny part of what you should be considering for your Paris photographer.
Of course, you're on my web site, Picture Me Paris, and I'd love you to hire me! But, maybe you prefer the style of another photographer, and that's okay. My goal is to provide beautiful work, and excellent customer service. But sometimes my style isn't one that appeals to you, so here is a list of considerations you should take into account when hiring a Paris photographer, whether you work with me or another artist.
REVIEW THE PHOTOGRAPHER'S WORK
You must always review the photographer's work on their web site. Do you like their work? Does it reflect your personal style and taste? Make sure that what you see there does, and don't go to a cheaper photographer with samples of another photographer that is more expensive and ask them to replicate their work. Respect each photographer for what they bring to the table and choose one that fits what you're looking for. This process does take a bit of time, but in the end it's so worth it because you'll have found the perfect match for what you're looking for.
REVIEW THE PHOTOGRAPHER'S WEB SITE
As you've never met your photographer before, it's more important than ever to review the content of their web site. It's really their "storefront". Do they have a lot of information to help you decide if they're the right fit for you? Do they explain their packages, their approach to photography, and their general passion for Paris?
Are they transparent with the information, such as their policies, availability, pricing and the products and services they provide? Is it difficult to navigate? Is there too little or too much information? These are some points to consider when reviewing a photographer's web site.
COMMUNICATION WITH THE PHOTOGRAPHER
When you contact a potential photographer, how long does it take them to return your email or call? Everyone can get busy of course, but if you're waiting days for a response, this may signal that they are not very responsive.
When they do contact you, are they professional? Do they give you the information you need to make a decision? Are you able to contact them via email, Whatsapp, SMS, phone, and chat? Is it hard to find their contact information? It's really crucial that your photographer is communicative and accessible.
Through your communication does it feel like you can trust the photographer? Do you have concerns of any type? If you're doing a surprise proposal, do you feel confident this person will show up on time and in the place agreed upon?
It is easy to book with your photographer? Do they have an easy to understand booking system, that allows you to see their availability straight away? You're a busy person, you should have all your questions answered in the quickest fashion.
When you book a Paris photography session you're not just booking someone to take your picture. Anyone can take a picture. You have to look at the other little things. Does the photographer seem personable? Are they friendly? Does it seem that they provide a professional service? Does it seem the experience will be a positive one? How well do they know Paris? How open are they to your ideas? How honest are they with you about their opinions?
Most photographers in Paris speak multiple languages, including English. But maybe you feel more comfortable with a native language speaker. Whether you speak Chinese, American English, or any other language. As communication is so important, make sure your Paris photographer is easy to understand and communicate with in your primary language.
AFTER THE SESSION
Does the photographer provide a great experience, good value, and do they offer other products and services you may be interested in? Definitely look for a photographer that will offer your images in color and black and white, as well as a photographer that offers not just digital prints, but has the ability to print images for your home, create beautiful photo albums, or other wall art. You may want to avoid a photographer who just provides digital copies and no other products, should you desire them. Work with a photographer that has products in line with your needs.
Pricing, I left this one for last. Shouldn't cost be the first thing you determine when selecting a Paris photographer? After all, price is the most important thing, isn't it? Actually, it isn't! I understand maybe you're on vacation, and you have a lot of expenses. You had no idea how expensive photography (or anything) in Paris is! You want to keep your costs low, after all, they're just taking your picture, no big deal, right, anyone can take a picture?
Not so fast. Yes, technically, anyone with a camera and an index finger can take a picture, but let me give you an example, I have a really good camera. I gave it to my colleague when we were on a business trip and asked him to take a photo of me. To my shock, the photos were less than stellar. Was it because of the camera? No, it was the photographer. He isn't a photographer, doesn't have the technical knowledge on how to create a technically sound image, nor does he have an artist's soul, and an ability to capture emotion through images.
A photographer, one that you'd want to hire, needs to have good skills. This goes without saying, right? But they should also have good customer service skills, effective communication, and know Paris very well, in addition to creating beautiful work. This is worth something.
You will find photographers in Paris that charge 100€ and those that charge 500€ and up. You also have companies that say that they do "free" photography (there's no such thing as free except for the sunrise and sunset, those are free). So do your homework, invest in someone's work you like at a price that seems fair for their skill level, provides a great customer experience, communicates well, and you will enjoy working with.
Don't forget, you're not in Paris every day. Especially if you're celebrating a special event such as a surprise proposal. It only happens once! Make sure it's captured!
As you can see, choosing a Paris photographer is a bit of work, but by following these simple steps, you'll be sure to find the photographer that is perfect for you.
If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about Picture Me Paris photography services in Paris, don't hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org