We are living in one of the most visually documented periods of time. There are so many photos being taken on a regular basis. If you are a parent, you are probably the one taking the photos - and your main subject is most likely your adoring child. I fully admit - I am one of those parents! With so much of our focus on our little ones, where does that leave us in our family history book? I am on a mission to get parents IN photos with their children! Simply put, I want children to see everyone in their families years from now when they are flipping through photo albums, not just 7,492 photos of their messy faces, big toothless grins or awesome cartwheel tricks. Hiring a professional family photographer can not only help YOU to be present in photos with your most favorite people on the planet, but it is a wonderful way to celebrate your family. A professional photographer captures this moment in time together in a very meaningful and (hopefully) fun way. However, with so many photographers to choose from, how do you find the right fit for your family?
Here are 5 tips I've put together for choosing a family portrait photographer:
1. Choose your style. Do you prefer the look and feel of an indoor studio session with props or various backgrounds, or do you envision your family outdoors running around in an open field? Both types of sessions have their advantages and limitations, so it helps to know which look and style appeals to you.
2. Browse images. Spend time navigating through a photographer's website to make sure their style of work matches your taste. If you are looking for a traditional portrait session where everyone is sitting and looking at the camera, for example, you may not want to choose a photographer who displays images with a more photojournalistic feel.
3. Read the "About" page. One of the first places I go when I am visiting a potential photographer's website is their "about" page. I love when a photographer's personality shines through and I learn something interesting about them.
4. Experience with children. You want to choose a photographer that not only "gets" children and knows how to interact with them, you want to be sure they know how to connect with YOUR child. Whether your child is energetic or more on the shy side, it helps when the photographer you've selected understands this and does whatever it takes to build a relationship and form trust with your little ones. When there is trust, children are much more likely to relax and this is when their real personalities and authentic expressions shine through.
5. How much should you spend? Most professional photographers have spent countless hours learning about lighting, composition, posing, and have invested significantly in order to master their craft. A dedicated photographer and professional business owner will also strive to offer you, as the client, a quality experience that should exceed your expectation throughout the entire process. They should take the time to get to know you and your family, and understand your specific needs. When you find the right photographer whom you feel will capture the essence of your family, figure out a way to hire him/her even if his/her pricing is higher than someone else. Start a photo session fund where you set aside a bit of money each month. Ask the photographer if they offer a payment plan. Figure out a way to make it work if you really feel a connection with a particular photographer and you love his/her work.
Choosing a family portrait photographer is a rewarding experience when you've done your research and are able to find someone whose style and personality are the perfect match for your family. The images that you create with your children today will be their most treasured possessions someday. Take the time, make the investment and spend a couple of hours with the most important people in your life capturing who you are as a family at this particular moment in time. I'm excited to bring a brand new lifestyle session to my clients this year. I'll be looking for families who would like to participate in helping me create images for this new session in exchange for a complimentary session and digital files. Want to learn more? Sign up here to be first in the know!