Hello Blog fans!
Today’s blog is a very important one so I hope you will all not only read it, but share it with your friends.

I read a disturbing article in today’s newspaper and due to the subject matter; it compels me to blog about it.
A (so called) photographer has been arrested for committing multiple crimes to put it mildly! It was later found that this person was only POSING as a professional photographer and not actually a professional photographer.

I’m always very sad when I hear HORROR stories from people about their bad experiences with photographers. One of the first questions that come to mind when I hear these stories is:

Did you ask the photographer the right questions before you hired them?

Many people don’t even know what questions to ask before hiring a photographer, be it for their wedding, portrait, baby pictures or anything else. That’s why on my website you will find a section with F.A.Q’s. Although they are not frequently asked…they should be!

If you want to read those FAQ’s, visit my website: http://www.diazdd.com/ and click on the BIO section. There you will see a list of questions that everyone should be asking before hiring a photographer and our respective answers.

The following questions are also just as important and will help you to distinguish an ACTUAL professional photographer from those who just claim to be…

Before you hire a professional photographer, ask, at the very least, these five questions:

1. Do you have a Business Certificate?
All professional photography businesses should have a current valid business certificate displayed in their studio. ($$)

2. Are you registered with the State/Town/City as a business?
A true business needs to register with the city/town they will be doing business in. ($$)

3. Do you have Business Insurance?
You have the right to request a copy of the Insurance Certificate for the studio you are going to hire. ($$$)

4. Do you have any references?
Any successful photography business will most likely have one or more past clients who have volunteered to be used as a reference. Get the numbers and call if you have any doubts.

5. Are you a member of any professional photography associations?
On a national level there is PPA (Professional Photographers of America) http://www.ppa.com/
Locally we have PPAM (Professional Photographers Association of Massachusetts) http://www.ppam.com/.

Most every state has their own professional photography association, where fellow professional photographers join and help each other learn and grow to maintain a higher level of professionalism and quality. It is not a requirement to join, but within the association, you will find those who are serious about the business of photography.  Even though we may be vying for the same clients, we have camaraderie and want to see each other succeed as well. ($$$)

There are several more questions that could be asked, but these are a few of the important ones. If you are thinking about hiring a photographer for a wedding or any other reason, do your part to make sure that they are truly a business, not just someone with a camera that claims to be. That way, you can avoid horror stories and bad experiences. Anyone can buy an impressive looking digital camera these days, but that doesn’t make them a professional.

One more thing to note would be the old adage which goes: “You get what you pay for”.

If it sounds like an unbelievable bargain…it probably is, so don’t believe it. Fine professional photography is like Fine Wine…It costs more money because it takes a lot of time and effort to achieve and maintain such quality. However, it is well worth the higher cost.  (The dollar signs above indicate that there is a cost involved in obtaining these things.)

Well, I hope this blog entry will help to serve people in the future who are looking to hire a professional photographer for their wedding or special event. If you know someone shopping for a professional photographer, please send them my way.  http://www.diazdd.com/

We will take very good care of them and we have the paperwork to prove it.  🙂

Thanks for listening. Tell your friends!

Until next time.

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