312 Main St, Metuchen NJ 08840 - Phone: 732-995-5789 - maria@mariamanjelo.com

New Jersey Portrait Photographer – Picking a photographer

Being a New Jersey Portrait Photographer took me to get to my level over 15 years and I still have plenty of things to learn, since this art medium is constantly moving forward with new tricks and advancements. I am constantly in learning mode, there is plenty to read about photography, business and just everything in between. How to talk to people, how to take control of the photo session and how to pose clients from one person to multiple families.  What type of lighting to utilize and what better lens to use for the certain portraits. When searching for props and specialty stores that help photographers achieve beautiful photos, from little flowers for the hair to, backgrounds paper for the studio. This is all continues work. It takes control of my life and my soul but I know what I need to do become successful in my own right.

How to pick a photographer, I realized how you should pick your photographer. If your photographer will give you portraits, printed portraits he is a real, professional photographer!  Digital does not make you the professional photographer, period. I hate when people call me and think that just because I give them digitals it will be anyway cheaper. It’s the same work to create digital or print but my work isn’t done when I am finished with your digital portrait. Digital is just like it used to be a film, it is negative. You still have to go and print it and if you are not interested in prints of your photo session then why are you coming to a photographer? I don’t care if you want a 4×6 one size portrait, as long it’s a print that is given to you by a photographer, not some guy named Joe in some store.

You don’t go pizzeria and ask for their dough, tomato sauce and cheese and then go home and make yourself a pizza?

You can purchase those ingredients yourself and make yourself a pizza, it’s not hard! But, will it look good and taste delicious like in pizzeria, that is the important question. So why you don’t ask for things from some places and yet people think they can ask from others? So here what I would like to say to you. The photographer who is willing to give you a disk with all your images has issues. There are few of them and you can figure out yourself. Here are two:

One, they don’t care about you, if you will have some issues, they will ignore your problems. A big sign that this photographer is not professional and the only reason he/she is doing this is that because of money. Many times these types of photographers don’t charge a lot either. So when you spend $200 on your photo session and get 100 photographs, for you, it sounds like a great deal. Remember this, you are a $200 client and they will treat you like a two hundred dollar client. They have to quickly move on to someone else. They can’t survive on your $200. We all have bills to pay and cameras are not cheap or lenses.

Two, you are their first real client, which is fine! We all have to start somewhere but you can’t expect from them to create a high quality, great lighting,  good pose, gorgeous photos! They just started or being in this “hobby mode”  where they have to practice as much as they can. They don’t know a lot at this time. If you don’t mind to be someone’s lab rat and want to help out this is very optimistic of you. My friends and family helped me out a lot. I appreciate them for this. If you want to have spectacular photos that will make you cry then say,  Thank you and hang up, this is not a photographer for you.

Just remember the quote ” You get what you pay for” please do your homework and not by price but by the quality of the person, his/her work and what you receive at the end. 30% of disks lose data after a couple of years, maybe $200 is not a lot to invest but photos that you will lose can be very dear to you. The price becomes just a number and you may end up with nothing. A lost year is a lot.


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