Planning a family photoshoot can be stressful but it doesn’t have to be. As an experienced family photographer I always try to make your family photo session easy and enjoyable!
With so many photographers out there, choosing the best family photographer can be overwhelming. Photographers vary in style, approach, editing and more. You want to invest in one that will capture the best photos for your family and one that you can rely on year after year.
5 THINGS YOU MUST KNOW WHEN CHOOSING A FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER
1. TYPE OF A PHOTOGRAPHER: LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHER vs PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER
Lifestyle photography is a style of photography that focuses on capturing connections and moments that happen organically. It focuses less on getting the perfect portrait with everyone looking directly at the camera with the perfect smile, but more on capturing the uniqueness of the family bond.
Traditional portrait photographers focus more heavily on posing and getting the perfect shot with everyone looking directly at the camera.
I offer a mixture of lifestyle and portrait images in my sessions, which provide a variety of special memories.
Decision Tip: Both styles of photography are beautiful but it comes down to what you want most from your photos, and what aligns more with your family style.
2. STYLE OF A PHOTOGRAPHER
Photographers are artists and will typically have a signature style or look and feel to their work. There are so many classifications of “styles” of photography from Light and Airy, to Dark and Moody, to Timeless and more.
These labels will likely mean nothing to you, though it makes sense to explore the photographer’s portfolio. Their work will have a look and feel to it. Pick a photographer that has a style that resonates with you.
Decision Tip: These photographs will likely adorn your walls for years to come. Pick a photographer that has a style that will match your decor and will fit nicely in your home and personal style.
3. STUDIO vs NATURAL SETTING
Most lifestyle family photographers work in a natural setting. This could mean shooting at an outdoor location or potentially in a family’s home. Working in a natural setting introduces more elements for variety into your session such as weather, lighting and scenery.
Studio photographers work in a controlled environment, without the elements of the weather. In a studio setting, a photographer has complete control of lighting.
Decision Tip: Choose an outdoor session depending on the season. Spring and autumn offers the most stunning backdrops for a family photoshoot. Studio photography tends to be more popular during the winter.
4. LOCAL PHOTOGRAPHER
First of all, you should not need to travel far, or pay excessive photographer’s travel expenses. A local photographer will be familiar with ideal locations for an outdoor family photo session. A photographer near you will instantly know all local parks and unique places that would be perfect for your family photoshoot.
Entering key words to your google search will certainly help narrow down to the most relevant options. For example: family photographer in Barnes; child photography in Chelsea; best photographer in Chiswick; outdoor photographer Primrose Hill; portrait photographer Kensington, or studio photographer in Richmond. The search can be further refined by postcode: family photographer W8; children’s photographer SW3; portrait photographer SW7 – the options are countless but can easily be refined to your preferences. Avoid large scale searches like portrait photographer in Surrey or family photographer in London.
Decision Tip: Choosing a photographer near you will make it easier to schedule or reschedule photo sessions, and even arrange a meeting to discuss your family photoshoot’s needs.
The more comfortable you feel with your photographer, the more at ease you will feel on the day of the photo session.
Decision Tip: Schedule a call with the photographer if you don’t know them yet or don’t feel connected to them. It is always good to take some time to speak with them personally.
RESEARCH YOUR FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER BEFORE BOOKING
Photographers are just like any other professional service. Each one has their own style, personality, and approach to capturing family photos. Take the time to research more than just their portfolio and pricing.
READ THE REVIEWS
Google is a great place to research a photographer. Take some time to read the reviews and see if there are any trends. Are they known for being great with kids? Are they noted as being great at communication? Pick a photographer that is known for what you need.
From the first enquiry, you should get an idea of how responsive they are. Photos are an investment and you should feel well taken care of from the first enquiry through gallery delivery and beyond.
You want to feel confident that a photographer will be capable of reproducing the photos you see in their portfolio for your own family. Look through their portfolio and pay attention to how consistent their work is. You should notice a trend in the style of shooting, editing, and types of photographs they showcase.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PACKAGE?
Pricing and package structures can vary widely. Some photographers will include full rights and digital download of the entire gallery, while others will charge a session fee only and sell the prints separately (look out for hidden costs!). Aside from price, you must look at the full package to determine the value you will receive.
WHERE TO FIND QUALITY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHERS
Asking friends and family for referrals is a great place to start. You will not only see their work but also get a first hand review of the experience.
As with most things at our fingertip, Google provides infinite search options. Keep in mind that there are many photographers out there so narrowing down the search to precisely your needs and location will help.
I hope you found these tips helpful in finding the perfect family photographer for your next photo session. If you did, please share with friends or family members that may need some advice too.