Family portraits are precious keepsakes that capture the love, connection, and milestones of your family's journey and with that, you want to choose a photographer who's style matches your family so that when you look back, they are a beautiful reminder of those years. With sooo many photographers out there, it can be overwhelming to find the right one. In this blog post, we'll walk you through all the things to consider when you're choosing a photographer.
image by Cottonbro Studio via Pexels
Define Your Style and Vision
Before you begin your search for a photographer, take the time to define your style and vision for the portraits. We like to do this with Pinterest - create a board and pin all the family portraits that appeal to you and represent your family. You should start to see trends of your photography style once you pin a bunch of photos. Do you prefer candid, natural shots or more posed and traditional portraits? Consider the overall mood, setting, and aesthetic you envision for your family portraits. This clarity will help guide you in finding a photographer whose style aligns with your vision.
Research and Explore Portfolios
You're probably gravitating towards using Google to do your initial research right? Well, I actually like to start by searching on Instagram. Instagram has really improved on their search functionality and simply searching "photographer" will give me a good starting point! Since Instagram is so photo heavy, you can bet every photographer is on there showcasing their work so it's the least amount of clicking through different websites and portfolios to get to the good stuff quicker.
Now here's a tip when searching on Instagram. Search for "photographer" or "family photographer" or your location and family photographer (ex: "chicago family photographer" and Instagram should automatically pull some profiles up that are nearby your location (if you've set your location in your profile settings).
Now when you go through the photographers and see one you like, you can click the little person icon next to the "message" button and this will bring up suggested profiles. I like to do this because Instagram obviously does a great job of keeping you on their platform by showing things they know you like (hello hours of scrolling!!) so when you like what you see in a profile, you can bet the suggested profiles will be similar in nature so be sure to scroll through these too.
Instagram is a great starting point to see their work and then you can explore more of their website, portfolio, etc when you find one you like. Pay attention to their composition, lighting, and ability to capture genuine emotions to see if it aligns when what you're looking for. Look for consistency in their portfolio, as it indicates their expertise and commitment to their craft.
Read Reviews and Testimonials
This one is probably obvious but you'll want to gain insight into a photographer's professionalism, reliability, and client satisfaction, read reviews and testimonials from their past clients. Google reviews, social media, and forums or Facebook groups are great sources for reviews. Pay attention to the overall feedback and whether clients had a positive experience working with the photographer.
Assess Experience and Specializations
Consider the experience and specializations of the photographers you're considering. Family portraits require a unique skill set, as capturing the dynamics and interactions of a family is an art in itself. Look for photographers who specialize in family and portrait photography, as they will have the necessary expertise to make your vision come to life.
Consider Location and Availability
We talked a bit about location above but this is another one to take into consideration - the location of where the photographer is based and their availability. Choose a photographer who is conveniently located and available during a time that suits your schedule. If you have a specific location in mind for your portraits, ensure the photographer is willing to travel or has a studio nearby. Or if you're traveling, Flytographer is great to find people on-location of where you're going.
Reach out and chat
If the photographer offers meetings or consultations, take up their offer if you have the time so you can see if they're someone who will jive well with your family. The more comfortable you are around someone, the more natural you'll be. Keep in mind, photographers don't always offer this with shorter photoshoots such as mini sessions (photography sessions that usually 15-30 minutes in duration which means you usually get less photos and it costs less).
Discuss Packages and Pricing
Have a clear understanding of the photographer's packages and pricing structure. Inquire about the services included, such as the number of edited photos, print options, and any additional charges. Remember that quality photography is an investment, but it's important to find a photographer whose pricing aligns with your budget.
For us, we like to consider the occasion for the photos and how many people will be in them. Is it a special occasion with lots of family members? If so, you'll likely want to budget more as more time will be involved and you want to be able to have a lot of options to choose from so there will be photos that everyone loves. Or if it's a once-a-year treat to capture memories, we love choosing a mini session.
Ask About Editing and Delivery Timelines
Discuss the editing process and turnaround times with the photographer. Inquire about their editing style and whether they provide sneak peeks or proofs before finalizing the images. Additionally, understand the estimated timeline for receiving the final edited portraits.
Trust Your Instincts
Ultimately, trust your instincts when choosing a photographer. Consider how comfortable you felt during your meeting or communication with them. Assess whether they understood and valued your vision for the portraits. By trusting your instincts, you're more likely to find a photographer who can capture the essence and uniqueness of your family.
Choosing the perfect photographer for your family portraits is an important decision that requires careful consideration. By following these essential steps, you'll be equipped to find a photographer whose style, professionalism, and expertise align with your vision and expectations. Remember, the right photographer will not only capture beautiful portraits but also create a comfortable and enjoyable experience for your family.
Investing time and effort into selecting the ideal photographer is well worth it, as it ensures that your family portraits will become cherished heirlooms, reflecting the love and connection shared within your family.
If you cherish family photos, then be sure to check out Famtography where we teach how to capture those beautiful everyday candid moments (with mom in them!) using just your phone. Learn more or get started here: www.famtography.com.
featured image by Cottonbro Studio via Pexels