1. Are you insured?
Professional photographers should have the proper insurance for their business. Insurance protects the photographer against equipment theft, but more importantly it provides liability protection in case someone trips over the photographer’s bag and breaks their leg. If a photographer does not have insurance, chances are they are new to the industry or are not taking their business seriously.
Dfine Photography holds Professional Photography Insurance including Public Liability Insurance. This can be provided upon request.
2. Are you a registered business?
Does the photographer carry out their business in a professional manner. Are they registered to provide a professional service? All Professional Photographers should be able to provide you with their registered business information, such as their Australian Business Number (A.B.N) and registered business name. (You can do a search here) if you are unable to find out this information you may have limited legal recourse if things go wrong for you. It is also a warning that your Professional Photographer may not be so professional after all and is not taking their role seriously.
Dfine Photography is registered as a business with the ABN 40 207 445 788, and is registered with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.
3. Do you have backup equipment?
While it may be cheaper to hire someone who does this on the side or a family member. You risk not getting any guarantee of the quality of images and risk losing your day or event forever should their equipment fail. Because memory cards do fail. Lenses do break and batteries do, unfortunately die. All at the wrong time! A professional photographer will always show up early with one or two backup cameras, lenses or flashes and additional lighting equipment. Professional photographers will always have contingency plans and backup equipment. Most of the time, things actually do happen in the background that photographers handle without anyone noticing, things like camera swaps, flash changes and extra lights. That's peace of mind you want to ensure your photographer will bring you.
Dfine Photography always has backup equipment on every shoot. As a minimum, cameras that record to two memory cards and a backup camera body. Ask yourself how you will feel when a photographer tells you your precious memories have been lost.
4. What are your fees? What does this include? What is the delivery timetable?
You'll want to understand what you're getting for your money: how much time, how many images, album types, the format for delivering proofs, what's included in your package. How much editing can be done? How long after your session will you have to wait to see something? How much time will you have to order after you see the proofs? Will you get images that you can quickly share on social media? Seriously. Ask all these questions, because you would not believe how often people assume that they are getting something and end up in an sticky situation because the expectations were mismatched.
You will always be informed of the cost, delivery format and times with Dfine Photography. Clear communication between the photographer and client is a hallmark of the professional.
5. Can you provide references? Do you have a portfolio of your work?
A true professional will have no problem offering as many references as you need from previous clients, partners and even fellow photographers. All good photographers want to showcase their work in the best light. Is your photographer showcasing their work in a professional way? This could be a printed portfolio or their own website. Be wary of anyone who just has a 'Flickr' or Facebook page. Whilst they might be a good or even great photographer, it makes you wonder if they will go to the extra effort to make your images look the best possible. Be sure to call the references and find out their take on the photographer. Here are some questions to ask:
1) What made you decide to hire this photographer?
2) Did the photographer capture the mood of your event in his or her photos?
3) Did the photographer give you photos that met your expectations?
Dfine Photography will be happy to put you in touch with our clients to see for yourself, the professional standards I uphold.
Even if you choose someone else as your photographer (I hope you don't!) I hope these points have given some pause for thought. Your memories are far too precious not to demand the best.