Is Your Photographer a Good Fit For Your Family?
Our families are important! When it comes to having family pictures taken most Moms (including myself) look for a professional photographer who will be patient and kind to our children. When it comes to photography, many people put a lot of effort into choosing a wedding photographer, but not as much consideration into who will capture their family photos. But these images of your family are just as important and will be something for your children, grandchildren, and future generations to look back on.
That’s why I have compiled a list of questions to help hire the photographer that will be a great match for your family.
1. How long have you been a photographer?
This is a great indicator of a business’s success. The longer a photographer has been in business, the more likely it is the photographer is not a hobbyist. While it’s great to help out a friend, if you’re looking for gorgeous Christmas card images, you don’t want to book a photographer who’s just starting out. Ask about their experience and look at some of their past work to determine if their images are consistent and their style would be a good fit for your family. You want a photographer who knows what they’re doing, has high-quality equipment, and can handle any type of lighting situation—or any rambunctious kids.
2. Do you specialize in a specific type of photography?
If you’re looking for a certain kind of photography, make sure to choose a photographer whose style matches what you’re seeking. Some photographers do more posed photos, and some go for a more candid look, while others do both depending on the client. If you want something specific for your images, don’t be afraid to ask. If you do your research, you will notice a HUGE difference between traditional posed family photos vs modern, lifestyle family photography. Both are great-but know what you're getting!
A photographer's style is reflected in their portfolio, so asking them to produce a radically different style is a recipe for disaster. Definitely look for portraits you can imagine your family being in.
3. Are the prices in your budget?
I know this is a tough one – everyone wants a good deal. It’s so tempting to go with the lowest-priced option… but this is one area where you often get what you pay for. I won’t go into all the details about why I set my prices to be what they are, except to say that this business takes a LOT of hours behind the scenes. I usually spend 10+ hours per session, including emails, editing, marketing, etc. And that there are a lot more expenses that you’d think (insurance, taxes, backup gear… FYI most low priced photographers do not spend money on these important things.) I have agonized over my prices and carefully considered what my overhead is and what type of experience I want to give my clients. I am in this for the long haul – I want to still be in business when your little baby needs senior portraits, and I can only do this if I am realistic about my pricing.
I can certainly appreciate a deal – but if you are considering an extremely low-priced photographer, consider why you are getting such cheap rate for the session. Is it because if a lack of experience? Is it because of poor quality images? Is the photographer using professional gear, or did they buy the cheapest DSLR on the market? Does the photographer have backup gear in case something breaks? Is the photographer insured in case something happens to you or your family? Is the photographer operating legally? Just remember, these moments you are wanting to capture only come once – you blink and these days with your children are gone.
4. Where can I find you online?
Photographer’s websites are a great place to view their portfolios. Determining whether your photographer is a hobbyist or professional is determining if they have a website or just social media pages. Similarly, like resumes, websites often put the photographers best foot forward.
5. How will I obtain the portraits you take of my family and when should I expect to receive them?
Professional photographers have a reliable system for delivering photos to you. Ask questions, and make sure you know what you're getting for your money. Did you only pay for a session fee? Are all of your digital images included? Do you have to order a certain number of prints?
6. Do you have a lot of repeat clients?
The best photographers often capture multiple milestones for the same families, from engagements to weddings to newborns and beyond. If a photographer has the same clients coming back again and again, that’s a good sign that their work is strong and consistent—and that they’re easy to work with.
7. Insider Tip:
Use your gut to judge their personality and rapport. Capturing emotions and moments are a photographer’s main job. If your photographer doesn’t mesh well with you on the phone or in person, chances are you and your family will not mesh well with them at your portrait session and this will show in your photos.
Other things you may want to ask your photographer:
- Clothing Tips
- Location Ideas
- Best time of day for portraits