Learn from a local - Madison Hope Photography

Shot by Lemonhearted, edited by Madison Hope Photography

Shot by Lemonhearted, edited by Madison Hope Photography

4 minute read

Have you thought about starting your own photography business or perhaps you are on the hunt for a photographer for a special occasion?

I got to sit down with floppy hat wearing, eyeliner-always-on-point, Orlando based photographer Madison Hope and her co-founder and Managing Director Natalee Kennedy for an educational session on all things photography.   


  • DON'T ask for RAW images from your photographer. Why? A raw image is not complete until it is edited and converted into a JPEG. Raw = Unfinished.
  • DON'T let Pinterest overtake you. Why? Collecting images for a board to show a photographer your style is a great tool but asking for exact replication takes away from a photographers creative abilities.
  • DO trust who you ultimately hire. When you hire a professional high end photographer you are hiring an artist not a camera operator. You must trust that they know what they are doing, otherwise you really don't have a good reason to hire them.
  • DO listen to their recommendations. If a professional photographer tells you that a certain location or outfit might not photograph well, trust them. It's their job to see things differently.
  • DO give credit. The majority of what photographers shoot comes from word of mouth or social media referrals, so make sure to tag them appropriately.
  • DON'T screen-shot images and share them. It's a blurry pixelated mess.
  • DON'T use instagram filters. Professionally edited photos should never have additional Instagram filters put on them. Editing is a huge component of what photographers do. A Nashville filter is not helping.


  • A photographer and a photography company are two different things.  A photography company is responsible for client interaction, process, business operation, among other things. If a company does not have operational processes in place, clearly defined steps for completion or communication, this effects you as the client.
  • Don’t look for a company with a quick turnaround time either. While it seems great getting your images back sooner, a fast turnaround time means either that photographer isn’t getting enough work (probably for good reason) or they aren’t spending time on your edit. Neither is a good scenario for you.
  • Find a photographer whose aesthetic and portfolio matches your style. It's better to start off on the same page than to ask a photographer to edit or shoot completely out of their natural style.


  • "Branding is so important. I became known for my love of shooting in front of white walls so now I stick with it. It's a signature of my brand. People now ask for it." - Madison
  • "Temperament is so important for all photographers. It can be a very stressful job and clients cannot see any breakdowns or freak outs." - Natalee
  • "Find something that you are in love with and make it your brand." - Madison
  • "Don't get discouraged if you don't start off booking a lot of sessions. If you worry about that too much you will lose why you love it. Keep shooting what you can and practice as much as possible." - Madison
  • "Practice your weaknesses to get better and it will directly effect your strengths." - Natalee
  • "Learn how to harness the power of social media to properly market your business." - Madison


  • It's a highly competitive arena, but that doesn't allow stepping on anyone else's toes to get ahead. Be respectful.
  • It's OK to share shooting locations because a true artist will shoot something completely different than another in the same setting.
  • Never use another photographers image unless they've given you permission.
  • Be respectful of marketing boundaries. If you see that someone is looking for a photographer but is already speaking with someone, don't engage. 

There is a lot more information to touch on, but let all of this knowledge wet your appetite to learn more and hopefully position you to make smart decisions when hiring a photographer or as you begin your own photography business.

To book Madison Hope Photography send email inquiries to info@madisonhopephotography.com. You can also follow her on Instagram for inspiration and pictures of her ferociously fierce cat Banks, who is serving up serious face on the daily @mhpandco.  

All photos provided by Madison Hope Photography unless otherwise stated.