'Tis the season! It's time for family pictures, my friends. :) Whether it’s Christmas pictures, or an upcoming graduation or wedding...sooner or later, you might find yourself looking for a photographer. And trust me, you don’t want just any photographer…you want the right fit for your family and/or you. It can be a big decision! After all, you probably don't have pictures taken of yourself every day (eh-umm, unless you're a blogger 🙄) and there's a lot that goes into choosing a picture taker.
So what are the most important things to consider when evaluating photographers? How do you know if a photographer fits your style?
The photo shoot featured in this post is my recent session with the Willbanks Family. They have seven children (yes, SEVEN) and are quite possibly the most well-behaved children I’ve ever worked with. It was an absolute honor and joy to photograph such a beautiful family! I love these pictures and hope you enjoy them too.
“Pictures freeze our moments in time and let us relive the sights and sounds—feelings and emotions—as often as we like—as many times as we wish.”
Read more from my recent photography Q&A: click here!
Find Your Photographer in 3, 2, 1
Every photographer has a different style and expression...after all, photography is art! While a professional photographer has the ability to portray multiple styles in a variety of environments, generally speaking, you’ll find that each photographer has a consistent style.
So ask yourself these questions to help get you started when evaluating a photographer’s work:
- Do you like their photos?
This may seem like a no-brainer, but first things first…if you don’t like their pictures: NEXT!
- How do the people look in their photos?
Okay, so you like their pictures…great! Now, do you like how the people are portrayed in them? Photographs should look natural and comfortable. A good photographer should capture the best version of a person. Are the photos flattering?
- Do you like the way the photos are edited?
What kind of pictures are you drawn to? Bright and crispy? Dark and moody? Don’t choose a photographer whose images are melancholy and edgy if you like light and clean.
2. Price Tag
In searching for our own family photographer year after year, I can honestly tell you what you probably don't want to hear...99% of the time, you get what you pay for. Many photographers actually refer to their pricing as "investment," because ultimately that's what it is.
Every photographer has their own quote based on what they include, but keep in mind that you’re usually not just paying for a sitting fee…on a technical side, you’re paying for gear, shooting prep time, shooting time and post-shooting time, which includes sorting the images, organizing them and editing them. Some photographers may also charge additional fees for prints. On an artistic side, you’re buying into a person’s professional opinion, knowledge, experiences, quality and art.
- What is the photographer’s work flow like?
- How do they communicate before, during and after the shoot?
- Do they have good follow-through?
- Do they have a well-rounded and easy-to-work with personality?
These are not answers you may have until you’ve worked with someone. However, when you’re reaching out to various photographers on your search, response time and overall warmness in communication will be good indicators to start with.
I hope you’ve found these tips to be helpful! I’m grateful that pictures are becoming more and more of a priority to people, especially through the rise of the social media platforms we share them on.
On a personal level, I’m grateful for the amazing clients who take a chance on me, believe in my ability, and continue to color my pictures with life and love. I feel so honored to capture moments for them to relive as often as they wish.
Much love xo
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