So you’ve decided it’s time to update that picture of the family that’s been hanging in your hallway since 2003. Fantastic! You google “your city family portrait photographer” and are welcomed with 241,000 results. Not so fantastic.
When it came time for my family to hire a photographer, I searched high and low. I had a budget in mind and I knew I wanted someone with a similar style to mine. I narrowed it down to a few, read their blogs, and made my decision from there.
I know it’s not always that simple/easy for everyone, so how on earth do you decide which photographer to use? I’ve come up with a few questions to ask to hopefully make that process a bit easier on yourself.
1.What do you get for your buck?
This is a big one, how much are pictures worth to you? First, decide on an amount you are comfortable starting with, and narrow your search from there. Be careful and know exactly what you will be getting with that price. While $300 might buy you a portrait session, that could be all it will get you. Another photographer might charge you $350, but you also get some prints or an album with that fee. Read the fine print and always ask questions because it is an investment.
2. What kind of photos do you like?
Do you want a studio session or an outdoor session? Are you looking for formal portraits or more natural posing? Do you like heavily edited photos, or minimal touch up? Visit local photographers websites, blogs, facebook pages, and google+ pages to get a feel for the type of photography they specialize in. Do you like more candid pictures between your family or do you want things a little more posed?
3. Are they good with kids?
This kind of goes hand-in-hand with #2, but it’s a little different. If you are wanting family portraits and the photographer you seem to be drawn to shoots weddings, you might have a slight problem. Make sure that the photographer you end up working with has taken pictures of children before and wants to do it again. Children add a whole new dynamic to a portrait session and you want to be sure that you hire a professional, especially with the money you are investing.
4. Ask your friends for referrals
This is how I get most of my business and it goes a long way with me! Ask your friends and family if they have any recommendations (good and bad) for local portrait photographers. This will probably be your best indicator as to whether you end up booking a particular photographer or not, or at least help to narrow down your list of potentials.
I hope this was a little bit helpful to you. Choosing the right family portrait photographer can be a fun process, so don’t get too bogged down with the overwhelming amount of choices. If you are ready to learn how a photoshoot would be with me, you can read more about the experience here.