Posts Tagged ‘Choosing a Photographer’


What You’re Really Paying for at my Photo Sessions.

April 7, 2017

As a photographer, when I began designing my photo collections I thought to myself, “How can I give my clients exactly what they need and still run my business effectively?” After all, there are about 100 different ways photographic artist conduct business.

Really, once I considered what was important to myself when it came to my personal photos, it didn’t take long to decide what I wanted to do. My business philosophy basically boiled down to this:

“I want to be paid for my time, and creative skill rather than forcing clients to purchase expensive prints that can’t be saved or backed-up.”

That seemed to make the most sense, while still being fair to both myself and my clients. Not to mention, it’s literally how almost every other service functions – pay for service and materials then receive the result.


Now, of course there are exceptions to every rule. For instance, boudoir portraits. Only professional labs will print these types of photos. (( Besides, who really wants to print their own flirty photos while the photo associate is silently judging you? HA HA! )) Then there are also occasional mini sessions I require some sore of product purchase, because it’s too difficult to put a price on such short sessions, where only one photo or two photos would be the ideal outcome.

But I digress. When it came to choosing between a USB of photos, or print orders for my regular sessions the first “pro” was clients being able to back-up their professionally captured memories. I thought about the thousands (yes, thousands) of photos I have being lost in a freak disaster: fire, flood, tech failure and etc… I would be completely devastated. So why put my clients at the same risk with their most important life events?


Plus, by providing a USB, I can deliver photos to clients much faster, and have time to offer some totally rad photo products that are much harder to find than regular prints. (And YES, they are completely awesome – especially for gifts and artistic, decor displays!! CLICK HERE TO CHECK THEM OUT ——–> Photo Product Info.)

The only thing I require in return with my Print and Publish release is this:

“The photos are still legally copyrighted to me, and should therefore never be altered other than sizing. In addition, when posting online add my photo credits {ie. Photos by…} to your post\description or even tag my business page.”

My work is my passion and my biggest form of advertisement. So all I ask is please give credit where credit is due.

{So what are you really paying for at my photo sessions and events?} My service, my creativity, my utmost attention to detail during post-production, and the priceless ability to preserve your professional memories.

When you choose to make an investment with Noel Photography and Design, I want it to be a LASTING one!

Thanks for reading and be sure to follow along here on WordPress by blog or email, and hit “LIKE” on the Facebook page!

Happy Creating!



Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

April 3, 2015

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, meaning it should be documented exactly the way you planned, and remember it to be! Nobody wants a scenario where they thought their photos would temporarily “take their breath away,” and instead get ones that make them stop breathing all together.

Now-a-days, the options for photographers are overwhelming, making it easy to grab one and go. Unfortunately, many couples realize later they should have taken more time to select a likable candidate. Take a look below at a few of Noel Photography & Design‘s tips, to help you find the right artist for your special day!

Photo courtesy of Public Domain.

Photo courtesy of Public Domain.


Your Style.

Every wedding has a theme or certain feel to it. Your personality should definitely be carried out through your photos. When you look back on your images, you will want to recall the feeling you had that very day! Every photographer will do their work a little differently, so it’s important to make sure your artist fits your needs, in the category of style.

Before diving into contacting hundreds of photographers, and asking the same questions over and over, use the web to your advantage. Take the time to browse different photography approaches and styles online.

Do you like high contrasts or airy chic filters?  Would you prefer traditional, or extremely artistic shots? Will I want my photographer to shoot with film or digital? The options are endless, so by doing some research on creative approaches, it will help you decide the look you’d like your photos to have.


Location. Location. Location.

Whether you choose your style, or the location of your photographer first, it doesn’t really matter. But you will definitely want to consider where your artist is coming from. Most photographers take into account they will have to do some travel, and reflect that in their cost. However, if your wedding is a long ways out-of-state from where you live, consider finding a photographer in the area of the event. Extensive travel and potential housing usually ends up being additional costs, outside of their package price. Not to mention, a local photographer will know the “lay of the land.” Meaning they know the area well, and may provide better backdrops and scenery for your images.

After you’ve chose both the location and style you want, browse portfolios of artists in that area. This will significantly narrow down your search, by seeing which one fits your theme in the most convenient location.

[Out-of-country Destination Weddings see below.]


Cost Expectations. 

After style and location, is the subject of money. Let’s first discuss cost expectations. One question often brought up for wedding photography is, “Why is it so expensive?”

There are several things to consider when choosing your photography budget, and knowing what goes into your cost will definitely help. Remember artists not only have to charge for the time they spend at your wedding, but the hours they will be putting into editing your photos afterwards. On average, an hour of shooting produces 75-100 photos. Now consider they are at your event for at least two to four hours. That’s a lot of post-production!

On top of the hours of service, for your protection and theirs, event photographers need insurance on their person and\or equipment. After you factor in those expenses, plus any additional costs, such as travel and housing, it all starts to add up quickly. Most would be shocked to realize how low a wedding photographer’s hourly rate actually is, despite what they charge.

Wedding 2

Photo courtesy of Public Domain.



Now that you have an idea of what is going into your cost, how do you choose a budget? Some are maybe thinking, “Well can’t they cut out editing or something, I don’t really need that, do I?

Making only two important questions that couples need to ask themselves:


1. Do we want a professional photographer?

If you want the quality and creativity, then YES, choose a professional artist. When I say “professional” I mean those who have experience and\or a degree in photography. Professionals charge what they do because of their experience and post-production skill. You never know what will happen the day of, so having a professional will help keep the photo drama to a minimum.

If you’re thinking no, to keep the cost down, I am going to ask you to first take a minute to reconsider. Yes, professional photography is more expensive than Aunt Rita, or your neighbor who has a “professional camera.” However, just remember, its not the camera that produces that level of professionalism- its the artist.

Having a nice camera, does NOT guarantee great photos.

Someone who does a “shoot and burn” session, completely skips the post-production step. So all you receive is an archive of unedited photos. This means: no lighting correction, no color adjustments, and any skin blemishes standing proud. More often than not, unedited sessions result in photos you’re not happy with.

In summary on this question, choose a professional artist that meets your location and style criteria, but who also has plenty of package options. Doing so will accommodate your budget, while still getting those breath taking photos that include all the perks of being professional.

[Note: Typically a professional will edit all, or at least 50-75% of your images. So regardless what price level you choose from a professional, ALWAYS ask what their retouching procedures are. Do they edit all, some or none? Doing this will make sure you don’t hit a random, expensive “professional” who is cutting corners.]


2. Do I want full coverage of the event, or just a few hours?

As mentioned above, photographers often have different package “levels.” So the second, and real deciding factor question, is all about time.

After all, “Time is money…”

On average, if you are looking to have your whole day, or at least 3\4 of it covered, with multiple photographers, its safe to say you should probably budget at least $2000. Some may even reach upwards of $5000-$10,000.

On the contrary, for a less expensive option, choose a smaller package with just a few hours, or partial coverage of the event. While you may have to decide what portions of the day are most important, smaller packages will likely be $1999 or less. This varies upon the exact time you need, number of photographers, how many images they deliver and edit.

[Note: For package options, its extremely important to ask your potential candidates what their packages include. Examples may be: copyright release to print and post photos, physical prints, and/or specialty items. All of those are great package extras, and are important to know, to make sure they meet your needs.]

In a nutshell, a good rule of thumb to remember with photography: You get what you pay for.


Destination Weddings.

These types of weddings are somewhat of an exception. Trying to find a photographer in another country will likely be too much of a challenge. Hiring out-of-country may cause communication, cultural, or currency issues. In the case of destination weddings, it will probably work best to first define your wedding style (as described above), and then narrow down by who is able to make the journey. If you prefer someone local to you, check their website, or make a call to find out if they’re willing to travel. On the other hand, a simple search of “destination wedding photographers” will produce a list of candidates. One way or another, bringing your own photographer will be better than trying to find someone there, or using a resort’s on-staff photographer. Your personal artist will be more likely to get the quality and kind of photos you want.

As for budgeting expectations on destination nuptials, it would be wise to plan for at least $3000 on professional photos. Again, keeping in mind quality, creativity, travel, food, and housing expenses.

Image From Public Domain Files

Photo courtesy of Public Domain.


Hopefully these tips will put you on the road to successfully finding your wedding photographer. If you have questions, or helpful comments on this subject, please feel free to comment below!

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Happy Creating,


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