How to research for your new photographer? If you research ten photographer websites, does each of them have the exact same photographic style? The same policies? The same booking process? The same turnaround time of the images? All photographers will be different, at least on a few details. It’s impossible for you to know what specifics to expect with each photographer. Each photographer’s information tends to blur together as you do your research. For the security and safety of your peace of mind, discuss with your new photographer their policy on what to expect during your session before you make a deposit. How do you get this information? A contract should be involved. Using a contract does not mean that your photographer is untrusting or overly formal. It simply lets each client know that their photographer cares enough about your experience and your relationship with them to provide one. A contract makes sure that there are no misunderstandings or assumptions from either side. A contract does contain important legal matters. It is a model release with warnings about copyright infringement. However, a contract also lays out a clear explanation of how your new photographer works. It provides a set of assurance so that you know what rights both the photographer and client maintain. It should clearly identify what each are and are not responsible for. If either of you have a potential problem prior to booking of the session, it’s better to resolve this prior to any money exchanging hands. Not having a contract sets the stage for miscommunication. A contract is an example of a professional.