Tips for choosing the right photographer for your family
We’re all constantly snapping away on our phones, so you may think you already have quite enough images of your nearest and dearest. But a professional will create authentic, natural portraits capturing moments and memories you’ll want to treasure forever. Equally, you’ll have a more easily accessible image to keep on permanent display – which you probably can’t say about all your phone snaps!
Of course, if you’ve not commissioned a family portrait before, you may feel rather daunted at the prospect of stepping in front of the camera.
The right family portrait photographer will understand this and do everything possible to help you feel comfortable and actively enjoy the experience.
Yet with so many options around for this kind of portraiture, the different deals and prices offered can seem bewildering. So how do you choose the photographer who’s best suited to your family?
Be clear on what you want – and why
Think about what you want from your photoshoot and discuss this with each other before talking to a photographer. Outdoor shoot or studio session? Do you want the emphasis to be on capturing a fun image or are you after something more subtle? Bright colours or muted shades?
If it’s an outdoor shoot, how far are you (and/or the photographer) willing to travel? Or would you prefer to have the photographs taken at home?
How will you be using the end results? Do you want a portrait to hang on the wall or a photo to share with others? Do you want to be able to buy digital files afterwards and print out your own pictures? It’s prudent to get a detailed product guide and price list from the outset.
Being clear on your goals in advance will make it easier to find the professional who’s the best fit for your family shoot. Each one will have their own distinctive style. Some will have specialisms in family shoots with pets or small children, for example. Others will be skilled at outdoor shoots.
While this may sound obvious, you’ll also be wise to choose someone with extensive previous family portraiture experience.
Look for inspiration
Browse online to see examples of photographers’ work and get ideas. Facebook and Instagram can be useful sources of inspiration, while many post their latest pictures on other social channels. Photographers’ own websites are also important – so if someone doesn’t even have a site, that should be a red flag.
Look for Qualifications
It is comforting to know if a photographer is qualified with a recognised body or indeed has won awards for their photography.
Ask for recommendations
As with any other service, ask family and friends for recommendations, and read online reviews.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
No professional worth their salt will mind you asking questions about anything you want to know. It’s important that you feel comfortable in advance. Equally, don’t be nervous about putting forward your own suggestions for the shoot.
You’ll no doubt want to know about your photographer’s experience, costs involved and what you get for your money. Remember, though, that while price is important, it’s not everything.
You’ll also want to feel you have received good value from your photo session. As with anything else, costs vary considerably, as does what you get for what you pay.
Get the personal chemistry right – and go with your instincts
A family photo shoot can be quite intimate, so choose a professional with whom you get along and with whom you sense a personal chemistry, so that the session is fun and enjoyable for all concerned.
Sometimes, as so often, it simply comes down to an instinctive, gut feeling about who you sense would be the best fit for your family.
- I’m a Fife-based photographer specialising in portraits of families, groups and individuals. My own specialism is outdoor shots using natural light. I like to combine spontaneous images with posed ones, and I can come up with some inspiring ideas for locations. Give me a call today 07933 510234 for an informal chat about what you need.