Here’s How To Choose THE Perfect Family Photographer for Your Family
School started a few weeks ago signaling an end to summer and even with the Vegas heat in the 100s- it’s time to look ahead to booking your family photographer for fall family photo session for holidays cards. I know this can feel like a daunting task but as a photographer I can share with you the best tips to consider to find the perfect fit for you and your family. Remember the most important thing you want is to find a photographer that you feel comfortable around, feel like you can trust them throughout the whole experience- a person you’d actually want to hang out with 🙂 I have so many clients turned friends because I love what I do and connect with families so deeply during even the shortest mini session.
1. Determine your vibe
This is the first and most important step as it’s the foundation for getting your perfect gallery of photos from your family photographer. Cruising around social media, you’ll find many of your own friends have profile pictures you adore. Ask them who their photographer is. You can always create a mood board or Pinterest board with the feel, the vibe, the style of family photography you’re looking for. Do you want everyone looking at the camera for your Christmas card, drawn to photos of a family posed nicely on a bench in a park? Or would you rather have a more candid moment on a blanket hugging during a chaotic ticklefest? Do you want outdoor photos unposed/lifestyle or posed in-studio? Make sure the photographer you inquire to book jibes with your vibe to ensure you get what you want in the end. Keep in mind what YOU would want to see on the walls of your home & what will make you smile every time you pass by. Synching your photography styles ensures that your final product is exactly what you envision.
2. Be sure to choose a specialist.
Many people who love their wedding photographer will use them for all events even maternity and newborn. I highly recommend someone who specializes in families because they have more experience in toddler wrangling, baby captivating, and husband assuaging all crucial skills for your family photo experience to run so smoothly that it’s actually enjoyable! Imagine that! Yes, it can happen as long as you choose the right photographer. Check their social media presence as well as the photos on their website to be sure they not only have a wealth of family work but also mesh with your style (see above).
3. Referrals are the best place to start.
You love and trust your friends and often even have the same style. You can’t go wrong with a trusted friend who’s one through the whole process already gushing about how much she loved her experience with her family photographer that she hires every year and even a seasonal mini or two! Be sure to ask her if she was happy with how the photographer integrated with her family, if she got her images on time & great quietly after editing. Don’t reinvent the wheel, trust your friend’s advice. Not to mention many photographers like myself included, offer wonderful referrals credits like free images or a lump sum in print credit for both you and your friend to prove how thankful they are for your word of mouth.Check out their customer service firsthand by reading reviews other Facebook page or yelp site to see if they’re they willing to make special arrangements or are good about handling unhappy clients? Do they try hard to make their customer happy making them feel comfortable, happy, and at ease?
4. Understand pricing and all policies BEFOREHAND.
Pricing should be clear and easy to understand. There’s nothing worse than being surprised with extra costs after all of your gorgeous images have already been taken. Cost can be a big factor. Sometimes it can be the deciding factor. But, the most important thing to figure out is what is included in the cost of the session. Sometimes a photographer may look inexpensive. However, once you factor in prints, digital negatives, and any additional fees they could end up being the most expensive of the photographers you are looking into. If something is unclear ask for clarification before you sign a contract. Remember you get what you pay for so ask yourself, “Why is this photographer so inexpensive?” Odds are they’re overbooked, you won’t get your images delivered for months, they probably don’t pay for the necessary permits, business insurance, etc. all very important factors to consider.
5. Meet your photographer.
I often meet with my clients so they can get a good sense of my personality outside of my Instagram account. It is a good idea to check out their social media and blog first to see if you like them, have things in common, and feel like you could be friends in real life. When you meet, you’ll be able to see if you mesh and also ask about all the policies and pricing in person. I also bring a portfolio with me to my client coffee meetings to go over ideas for best locations, show them what my work will look like in print, and even help to style their session. If you don’t leave the meeting feeling sure you want to book them, it’s okay to keep looking 🙂