The 10 questions every school needs to ask their photographer before signing a contract

Once you’ve had the chance to narrow down the short list of the potential photographers for your school, it’s time to figure out who is the best fit for your students. As you start this process, you’re going to want to meet with each school photographer in person (or by video chat if logistics are a challenge) to see if you’re comfortable around them. Ideally, they will be able to come to the school and you can meet with them face to face to ensure that this is someone you can trust.

We can’t stress enough how important is is to be comfortable with your photographer. It’s important not only for you as a Principal, Teacher or School Administrator but also for the students. It’s almost as important as the photographer’s ability to capture great photos behind the lens. You’ll have this photographer at your school for many hours (maybe days) so it’s important to be comfortable. Aside from using gut instinct, there’s always a couple question thrown around at schools hiring a photographer:

What should we look for in our school photographer? How do we pick a school photographer?

And for good reason!

This is an important decision and one that will impact your students and their parents for years to come. So, what should you be looking for in a school photographer? We’ve taken the time to dive into some of the questions you should ask and the key things that every professional school photographer should have. Over the last few years, we’ve worked with plenty of Schools across Nova Scotia to deliver student headshots and photography that leave schools happy and satisfied.

Here are a few things you should ask before hiring a photographer:

What style(s) do you specialize in?

Why you want to know: Most photographers have a blend of several different styles of photography but you’ll want to make sure they have experience shooting headshots and portraits. For example, if the photographers entire portfolio is built up of Weddings, it’s likely that they haven’t had much experience with students. You wouldn’t ask Shakespeare to write you a Pop Song, right? Going with a professional photographer who has experience in a student shots will give you the best results.

Will the photos be retouched and color balanced? Is that done before I see the proofs?

Here’s why you need to know: these are the techniques the professionals use to make shots look perfect. Some photographers will polish all the photos from the shoot, while others will show you untouched proofs and work their magic only on the images you order.

How many schools have you shot, and how many do you do in a year? Also, what’s your favorite part of a school photoshoot, and time of year to shoot?

Why you want to know: You only have one chance to get amazing school photos, so you’ll want to hire someone who knows how to get those shots under pressure (read: someone who shoots schools for a living, not your old college roommate who takes pictures as a hobby).

Do you shoot both digital and film?

Why you want to know: While digital is more common today, film has had a resurgence. If you want the latter, be sure your photographer has the relevant experience and skills required to execute this old-school format. If you’re obsessed with the dreamy quality of film, go with a pro in this medium. In addition to asking how many school shots they’ve shot in total (see above), let them know how many you want taken with film.

What other questions should you be asking?

These are just SOME of the questions you should be asking your photographer! Wondering what else you need to ask your photographer to ensure that you’re hiring someone who is great for your school – Download our free guide: