finding the right fit

There are so many amazing photographers in Oxford County, covering everything from families, newborn, weddings, births, and beyond! Everyone has their own style and pricing, usually dependent on their experience, overhead, and education. I would love to work with you, but I understand I may not fit with your vision or budget – and that’s okay!! You should be IN LOVE with your photos when you get them back! Your memories are priceless and there are a lot of moments that don’t have a redo button. With so many options out there, (and many new photographers popping up all the time!) I wanted to write out a few tips for choosing the perfect photographer to fit YOUR needs.

Couple cradling newborn on living room couch

gear, portfolio, and values

  1. Make sure they are using a professional camera (this means a DSLR or mirrorless). Everyone starts somewhere, but if your photographer shows up with their phone or a small point and shoot camera, they should NOT be charging you.
  2. Ask to see their latest shoot in the genre you’re looking to book. If you’re booking a newborn session in a studio, ask to see their latest studio newborn session – and a full finished gallery, if possible. Photographers often have style changes over time, so you want the most accurate expectation of how your session will turn out. If you love a photographer’s work but they haven’t done what you’re looking for, it never hurts to reach out and ask! They may not have had the opportunity to try that genre and would love to help you out, or can suggest someone else.
  3. Check out their website. Brand new photographers might not have one set up yet, so don’t let it deter you entirely! But a website will often give you a better peak into their work, their personality, what makes them passionate about photographing, and the kind of experience you should expect if you book with them.
  4. Ask what they use to edit. Any photographer who is charging should be using professional software, not phone apps and filters. Proper software is expensive – mostly because running them requires a beastly computer – and is one of the reasons photographers have high fees. Some photographers are a little sensitive about this question (competition is stressful) but it's not top secret information.
  5. Make sure they value your privacy! You should ALWAYS have the option on whether your images are shared and where (if anywhere). The only time this doesn’t apply is if you've agreed to do a model call or portfolio session for free or low cost in exchange for the use of your images, but then a specific contract should be signed outlining the details.
  6. Look at the photographers reviews. And I mean REALLY look. There's a really bad trend right now with photographers asking for fake reviews in exchange for discounts or extra chances in a giveaway they're hosting. It gives me such a gross feeling and doesn't help potential clients. Most photographers will have reviews on multiple platforms, such as Google or Yelp, as well as social media and their website.
  7. Check out their social media posts. Some photographers are great about posting on social media, some are only good on one platform, some try their best but get overwhelmed (pst, it’s me!), and some photographers rely purely on their website and word of mouth to reach clients. A lot of photographers are more “casual” on social media and let their guard down to really show their personality and values, which I think is important when picking someone who will mesh with you.
  8. Review their portfolio. I know I mentioned this earlier, but take the time to look at other sessions - even if they aren't what you're looking for. Are the images edited consistently? Does the photographer pay attention to everything in the picture or just the people? Is everyone wearing the same colour palette? Time of day, season, location, and what each person is wearing makes a huge difference to each session.
  9. Check their pricing and what it encompasses. Are you paying them just because they’re a “professional photographer”? How many images are included in your session? How are the images delivered (low resolution via email, potentially unsecure via Google drive, a private online gallery, physical prints and albums, etc.)? Does the photographer offer wardrobe assistance or use, studio or venue use? What do they cover with editing and is there an extra charge for extensive edits like head swaps? Do they offer body retouching? These are all things to consider.
  10. Don’t be afraid to ask about their education! Some photographers have degrees in photography or have done a course here and there. Others are self taught but have invested hundreds into mentorships or subscriptions created by successful professionals in that genre.
Woman in blue dress cradling pregnant tummy, holding a blue elephant lovey.
Couple cuddling on open grass at Pittock Conservation Area, Woodstock



There should always be a contract! This protects you, protects the photographer, and should give you a very clear outline of the session expectations (such as timeline, delivery date, and session length).

Ready to pick?

Taking a chance on a new photographer is NOT a bad thing! Everyone has a different budget, so do what you need to do! I always recommend putting aside a little money here and there or asking your preferred photographer if they do payment plans, but sometimes you have something unexpected happen that you NEED to professionally document and you can't afford your first choice.

At the end of the day, the biggest question to ask yourself is whether the photographer you’re looking into is worth the investment.


Some photographers just starting out will offer portfolio building sessions for free or at a large discount. I did the same thing when I was starting out and absolutely suggest applying or letting the photographer know you’re interested, as long as you're okay if the session doesn't work out. Please don’t volunteer to be part of a photographer’s growth and then give them a bad review or go off on them if the pictures aren't what you expected! They are learning and you (hopefully) knew that when you went into the session.

If a photographer is charging and calling themselves a professional, make sure you love your photos! This does not mean a photographer should change their editing style to match someone else's or that you can dictate the session (trust me, no one will be happy). You've chosen this photographer because you love their work; trust them to deliver a beautiful gallery of your memories. If your pictures are nothing like what you discussed, then you have absolutely every right to let your photographer know they’ve let you down. Most photographers will work to make things right because we want you to have amazing memories. I promise!