Year after year the same question comes up. What to buy for the man who has EVERYTHING? There’s always another “dust collector” to be added to an already abundant array of lovely gifts, something golf related (again….snooze), wine (though it’s hard to say we wouldn’t both appreciate something rare, something exquisite), this year I want to REALLY shake it up. No more electronic gadgetry, dinners, evenings of theatre (never convinced he like that much anyway), no desk accessories, or leather goods or things from the nationally known department store gift guides (including the one from my namesake, which I am ALWAYS fond of seeing in a small gift bag – hint, hint, honey if you’re reading). Nope, this year it’s all about ADVENTURE (and I don’t mean Costa Rica). This year, I venture into uncharted territory. Something provocative, something timeless, something personal, something a little more than terrifying for me, a photographic keepsake.
- A photographer capable of putting you at ease on the phone and taking the time to listen to what you want to achieve is probably a photographer capable of doing the same thing for you in front of the lens (again, this CAN be intimidating and someone willing to take the extra time to reassure you during this process is worth their weight in gold).
- Determine what YOU want from the shoot, talk with your photographer about options, do they have a stylist they work with, can you bring one along, will you be on location, in a studio??
- How much time will they dedicate to the session? If you shoot on location a lot of people consider their commute time to get there as part of the “ticking clock”, make sure you have enough time to not feel rushed or stressed to accomplish your goal.
- How many wardrobe changes will they allow. Some photographers limit you to three or four (seems common in my research). Be sure you agree on this in advance, or, at least make sure they’re flexible if you can’t commit until you’ve worked with a stylist (or at least a girlfriend with a GREAT eye for detail).
- Get a contract outlining what you can expect: Amount of time on the shoot, how many prints you get, the sizes, the finish options you may want, how much additional money that will cost (some photographers will do them on canvas, offer metallic glazes, specialty finishes or an array of books, calendars, etc) and what you can expect in the way of “fixing” your final selections (a little nip here, a little tuck there, minimizing some of natures laugh lines, etc).
- Cost – this is a BIG one. Some places, particularly studios have packages addressing “boudoir” shoots. Many times these are more affordable than some of the other photographers out there. I offer only one bit of caution. This is a special undertaking, a thoughtful, yet personal (very much so in some cases depending on how much or how little clothing you don for your shoot) gift – so, don’t skimp on the photographer and splurge on the frame (some people spend more on their frames than they do the photographer). So many people want a Picasso but only want to pay for an “unknown” artist. When you’re “shopping” for your photographer it is wise to have a budget in mind and know that just like ANY art form, you will plunk down more money for the more experienced and talented ones out there (just like anything else). After all, you won’t get a Bentley at Gremlin prices (for those of you unsure as to what a Gremlin is – you are too young to worry about having laugh lines touched up).
- Finally, after all the research, the talking, the selecting of wardrobe, studio, location, etc. Just try to relax and enjoy your special day, it will come across in the photos and in the end, you will have something to give that no one else can…..an original piece of art, featuring YOU (another original piece of art).