"Photography is an art of observation. It has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them. " Elliott Erwitt
Finding a family photographer may seem like a daunting task as there is no shortage of local photographers with varying degrees of talent, experience and price points in just about every neighborhood today. Not to mention all the friends and family we all have who have claimed the title "photographer." But when it comes right down to it, your family portraits are once in lifetime memories that pass by so quickly and it's important to invest in your memories in a way that can be enjoyed and treasured for many years to come.
I often receive inquiries simply asking me "how much does a session with you cost?" And while that is a good question to have answered, I have some other important considerations for you when selecting the best photographer for you.
Here are my top five tips to help you find your perfectly matched family photographer:
- Style. Be sure to look through your prospective photographer's portfolio of work. You would be best suited with a photographer who has a style you love or is similar to your own. Are you fun-loving and light-hearted, a classic, a romantic, or high fashion? Consider their body of work as their general sense of style. Consider if they are more photojournalistic, enjoy black and white imagery, traditional or very artistic.
- Recommendations. Talk to friends and ask family or community groups you belong to who their photographer is and who they trust. Review their testimonials page and see what others have said about their work.
- Services and results. Does this photographer offer the type of photography you are interested in? (Do you want a specific location or studio, want to bring your pet, how about adding in extended family.) Also, what are the options for the end product? Are digital photos included or for sale, do they offer a print service? Do you need them on a specific date or within a certain time frame?
- Investment and Budget. (Yes. It's on the list, but as you can see, it's one of many considerations.) Discussing the fees involved and what's included and what will need to be purchased separately is important. As is an understanding of what the average investment most other people make.
- Comfort. One of the most important aspects of photography is the relationship between the person being photographed and the photographer. If you find yourself comfortable and trusting your photographer it will show through in your final images. Make sure you have a good rapport with your photographer. Often you can "meet" or learn a little more about a photographer's personality by reading their blog or following them on social media.
Don't be afraid to shop around and do some research. Having your family portraits taken can be a rewarding and memorable experience that results in lifelong memories to enjoy. Now, go forth with you new found wisdom and find your family photographer soul mate with confidence.
Interested in learning more about the types of photography you can request from your photographer? I've written up some of my thoughts on that too and you can read up on them here: http://www.danielles-photography.com/blog/2016/10/posed-lifestyle-photojournalism-danielle-jackson-family-photographer