Autumn tips for selecting a professional photographer

DAYTON — The fall months bring cold weather, colorful leaves, as well as Photographer Appreciation Month.

As people begin to enjoy the changing fall landscape, they tend to book early with a professional photographer in preparation for the opportune time to take ‘perfect’ pictures.

However, a great picture not only requires a beautiful background, but a pleasant experience with the photographer. To select a reputable one, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) offers the following tips to the public:

• Request recommendations from friends and family.

• Look at online reviews from previous customers and take notes on the pros and cons from each review.

• Visit photographers in their studios to examine their equipment and view examples of their work in their online portfolio.

• Ask photographers about their styles and specialties, how long it will take to access the photos after the photo shoot, and who will hold the copyright needed to print the pictures.

• Understand what each package includes and what additional services are available, such as retouching, online galleries, and albums.

• Get multiple quotes so cost will not be the only decision-making factor.

• Secure the photo shoot details in advance, including the date, time, and location.

• Get everything in writing, including the final price, payment schedule, travel fees, and number of hours the photographer will shoot.

• Plan for contingencies should something not go as planned by establishing safeguards — like paying in installments rather than everything up front, and paying with a credit card so there is an opportunity for recourse.

A list of BBB-accredited photographers is available by visiting or by calling 800-776-5301.