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d. White balance and skin tones – A good photographer should be able to present a photo with colors that are true to life.  Too many unskilled photographers can’t get it quite right and simply hang an artistic tag to the shot.  Of course I realize that good photographers can manipulate photos with funky color casts etc… but you need to know the rules first to break them effectively.

e. Post Production/Editing – There are a lot of pre-set Photoshop actions that photographers can get their hands on to enhance their overall picture.  You need to be vigilant when seeing photos that are edited nicely to make sure that the basics are still covered.  Is the photo crisp and sharp? Exposed correctly?  I’ve heard the saying “You can’t polish a turd!” and it certainly fits here!

3:   Portfolio Check – Digging Deep

When you are viewing the online gallery or portfolio of your potential photographer, you’ve got to look past the first few photos.  Understandably, photographers put their best foot forward.  They put their best images first.  However, if you dig a little deeper and find that the photography quality disintegrates quickly, or that the best shots come from only a handful of clients, you may want to find a photographer with more experience. 

Also, is their website modern or does it look like it was built in the early 90’s?  Is the content up to date, or still plugging a discount that ended three years ago?  Professional photographers will have professional websites.

4:  Price Check – Session and Products

The question of affordability is always high on the list.  Be sure to check all costs involved of both session fees and post-shoot display products.    Are you going to pay pocket-change for the session but need to take out a second mortgage on your home to pay for a framed wall-print?  Do you want a disc of all the images?  How much does that cost?  What are the package deals?  Professional photographers will layout all costs upfront so that there are no hidden surprises.

5:  Price Check – Location

Where is the photographer located?  Are you going to have to travel long distances to a studio?  Does the photographer need to travel a long way to you and charge you all the more for it?

Click on Page 3 below for the final 5 tips!