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Prepare for your session with the photographer by looking your best and bringing a few outfits with you. You may even consider bringing winter and summer wear no matter what the season really is. Be sure to tell the photographer what you'd like to see in the finished product. For example, if you're taking photos for a business card, tell them you want a "professional" look. If you're taking photos for an online dating service, tell them you're trying to attract the opposite sex. That way they know what type of lighting, poses, and framing to do to make you look your best for that "look".
After your photo shoot, the photographer will have you look at "proofs". These may be digital and available instantly, or they may take some time to process. You look at the proofs to determine which photos you'd like have 'printed'.
With so many digital tools now available, most photographers do a wide range of "post-processing" or touchups or airbrushing. This is where the photographer can do things to make you look even better. For example whiten your teeth, remove a wrinkle, make you look a little more or less tan. Ask your photographer what kinds of post-processing they do. Touchups can make a huge difference in the final photos.
Once you've decided on which proofs you like best and what post-processing you want done you're now ready to order prints. Your photographer may sell you a "package" of various sizes or you may choose a à la carte. You're likely to find that the prints from the photographer are not very cheap, especially if you're comparing it having a roll of film processed at the supermarket. What you have to remember is these are some of the best photos ever taken of you and they will make a lasting impression on all who see them. It's OK to spend a little money.
One other thing to consider is who owns the copyright of the photo. Believe it or not, most photographers retain that right even if it is a picture of you. This means you can't legally scan and make copies of the photos you buy from them. Some photographers will sell the copyright to the customer to be sure to ask about that.
Go to the Helpation Photo Forum!
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