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Frequently Asked Questions


What should I look for in a Professional?

In this day and age anyone with a cheap camera and a social media profile can add ‘Photographer’ to their name and call themselves a ‘Professional’. But, how can you, the buying public be sure they are a professional? Viewing pretty photographs on a Facebook or other social media site, only tells you part of the story. To assist you, we have created this list of frequently asked questions to help you know what to expect when choosing a photographer you can be confident in.

**Disclaimer: Rates and fees in this FAQ are based on our survey results and are for informational purposes only.  There may be photographers charging more or less than stated.


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Tuesday, January 1, 2019

What should we wear to our session?

This can vary greatly and depend on your photographers style, your style, the location, the ages of the people, etc.  Rule of thumb tends to be: choose clothing that does not detract from faces, or overpower the image.  Selecting 2 or 3 colours that blend well together for each person to wear is often recommended.  Ask your professional photographer for a consultation based on your situation.

Why do I need professional headshots instead of doing one myself with my phone?

Professional commercial photographers who specialize in headshots know how to light, pose, style and bring out the best in you, in a way you never could with your phone at the end of your arm.  You and your online persona deserve the best image of yourself!

What happens if I have a terrible experience with my photographer?

Well, that is where PPOC can help you!  In the rare case that you have a bad experience and can’t resolve conflicts with your PPOC member photographer directly, you can submit a complaint to our Ethics Chair, ethics@ppoc.ca.  They will work between both parties toward a solution.  This could save you time and money in small claims court. Only PPOC photographers in good standing will be assisted with any potential mediation.

How often should we have professional family portraits taken?

At the very least, once in your lifetime! However, we recommend every year when your children are very young, and then every 2-5 years after the age of 6.

How long does a session usually last?

This can vary but the average would be 1-2 hours for portraits depending upon the number of and ages of the subjects, variety of groupings, location etc.

What questions should I ask when looking for a wedding photographer?

Are you insured with at least 2 million dollars of liability?
Do you have a back up plan if you get sick?
Do you bring at least two sets of equipment with you in case of failure?
Do you have a legal contract I can view?
Will YOU be the person photographing my wedding?
What is your turnaround time for my wedding images?
What do your packages include?
Are you an Accredited Wedding Photographer?
How long have you been a Wedding Photographer?
What are your payment options?
Ask if you can have an in-person meeting to see if they are the right fit for your big day.
Do you have testimonials/ reviews/ references?
Will you provide the digital files or an album?

Why don’t some photographers sell all the files?

There are many different business models.  For example, many professionals only sell finished printed products and will include a small social media file for screen sharing from ordered images only.  They want to provide you with full service that results in tangible, finished printed products that hang on your wall, sit on a desk or are relived in a beautiful custom album.  Expert editing is done to each image depending on the size and medium of the final printed product.

What can I expect to pay for a portrait session?

They average family portrait session fees usually range between $100 and $300** not including products (albums/ prints/ files).

How much should I expect to spend on portraits?

Our survey results show anywhere from $200 to over $3000 (not including the portrait session fee).  The average falls into the $700 to $1000 range.

Don’t all photographers give portrait session files?

No.  While some photographers will sell or include digital files, many will provide you with archival printed products to be seen and appreciated in the physical form displayed as part of your home’s decor, or in albums.  Many of these products can ONLY be sourced through your professional photographer.

When should we have newborn photos taken?

Between 1 and 10 days old is recommended.

Monday, December 31, 2018

I'm not happy with the portraits my photographer took.  What can I do?

You can let them know your concerns directly and work with them to find a satisfactory solution, whether that be in the form of a reshoot, adjustment in pricing, or refund.  If you cannot work it out with your photographer, you have the option of filing a complaint with our Ethics Chair, ethics@ppoc.ca provided your photographer is a PPOC member in good standing.



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