So, you’ve decided it’s finally time to update your family picture. Great! That’s the easy part. The hard part is choosing a photographer, if you don’t have one you use regularly. Asking for recommendations from your friends and family is a great place to start, and a Google search will bring you plenty of results too, but it can be overwhelming to narrow it down and decide who to hire. Even as a photographer myself, I went through this struggle when searching for a newborn photographer.
This post is here to give you some things to look at to find a photographer who will be a great match for you, and who will deliver images you love now and years down the road.
Each photographer has their own style of shooting and editing their images, so make sure you find someone who has a style you like. It’s not fair to ask someone to shoot or edit in a different style for you, and most will decline such a request.
Look through different photographers’ portfolios and you’ll see some that display dark, bold, warm colors, others with soft and muted colors, and everything in between. Make sure you’ve seen plenty of examples of a photographer’s work and that you like the editing style on their images.
Look for shooting style in photographers’ portfolios, too. Do you want traditional posed portraits with everyone facing the camera, or do you prefer candid shots where the photographer catches you looking at each other? A lot of photographers will give you both types of images, but many will lean more one way or the other.
In addition to liking a photographer’s work, it’s also important that you mesh well with their personality. It can feel a little awkward to be in front of a camera, and it really helps if you’re comfortable with the person behind it. You should be able to get a feeling of a photographer’s personality and general “vibe” from their website and social media, or from talking with them during your initial inquiry. You might love someone’s work but just not “click” with them as a person, and that’s okay!
As you’re looking through a portfolio, notice whether all their images look relatively similar in terms of editing, exposure, and quality. Can they get the same results on a sunny day as they do when it’s overcast? Can they work well with different body types, skin tones, and ages?
Unless you book a photographer with their own indoor studio, your session will likely take place outside and you won’t necessarily have ideal shooting conditions. You want to make sure your photographer can deliver a good final product, regardless of the weather during your session.
Photographers have different specialties. Some will have more than one specialty or focus, but not every photographer is equipped to or interested in taking on every type of session. If you’re looking for family portraits, you’ll obviously have to find a photographer who advertises family portraits as one of their specialties. More than that, look for a family photographer who has proven they can work with families like yours. For example, if you have small children, you’ll want to see examples of how they’ve worked with children.
There is so much more I could say about searching for and hiring a family photographer, since I’ve been on both sides of the process, but I don’t want this post to get out of control. Hopefully these tips were informative and helpful, especially if you’ve never gone through the process before.
As soon as I’m back from maternity leave, I’d be honored to be included in your search! Send me a message for more information about my family sessions, or browse my galleries and website to learn more for yourself.