Booking a portrait session can feel pretty overwhelming. There’s loads of aspects to think about when you’re booking a family shoot: outfits, location, being camera shy, persuading the family, will the kids cooperate? The list goes on! A great photographer will take care of those details for you. These tips will help you choose the person who will be best for you and your family:
Start with the end in mind
When you imagine the results of this photoshoot what do you see? Do you see a large frame of your family above the fireplace/sofa? Or do you see a photo wall of smaller frames or a set of three medium-sized frames in the dining room? Most people imagine their photos on the wall, but you might also want digital copies as a record or you might also love an album as a keepsake/heirloom.
Do you wish you could just click your fingers and have the photos magically appear on your wall? In that case, it would be better to choose a photographer who has a selection of framed and fully finished product options. Or, are you super crafty and enjoy taking the time and effort to source and organise your own frames, prints and mounts? In your case a photographer who gives you the option of a fully digital package would be best.
But. Be honest with yourself. It’s tempting to go with a digital package knowing you’ll have all the images but will you definitely get round to ‘magicing’ them onto the wall? If you chose the digital option for your wedding photos and they’re still stuck on a memory stick 5 years later, chances are you won’t get round to framing up your family photos either. We all love the idea of having those memories of our loved ones banked but if we don’t get to see and smile at them every day and complete the end result we’ve been imagining, it can feel really unfulfilling so make sure your photographer meets your individual needs.
Who will get the best results for our family?
Check your photographer has plenty of images of children in your family’s age group. This is especially important with little children because, as we all know as parents, they don’t always go along with what we have in mind! A specialist family photographer will be experienced in sneaky ways of getting kids on board and keeping their attention when it’s needed. They’ll also know the best times of the day to photograph babies and children and just as importantly, the times to avoid. Check how long they’ve been in business and if you still want to know more, ask for more examples of their work showing families like yours and/or have a quick chat with them on the phone.
Can you find out the price for frames and products is in advance?
Family photography is strongly entwined with our emotions. When you see a beautiful photo of your family you’re guaranteed to love and want it. making it all the more important to know how much to budget for your shoot. Don’t put yourself in a position where you love the images but they’re not within your budget.
Do you love their work?
Do you love their photos? Can you imagine yourselves as the family in their pictures? If the answer to those two questions is yes then you’re onto a winner already. Look for consistency in the style of their work and don’t be afraid to ask to see more examples, most photographers will be only too happy to show you more of their work.
Choose someone who you’ll love working with
The key to any great family photo is a great rapport with the photographer and the family. If you don’t think you’ll get on then it’s never going to yield great results. The beauty of the time we live in is that you can easily get your photographer on the end of a phone or even a video call and truly get a sense of if they’ll get on well with your family.
How much should we budget?
There are masses of photographers to choose from so you’re guaranteed to find one for absolutely any budget. The question is, what’s right for you? A good rule of thumb is, as with all important things, it will probably be something you’ll save up for but it shouldn’t bankrupt you either. This is an investment purchase and something you’ll have to keep and to enjoy for the rest of your lives. My advice is make sure the above criteria have been met with a photographer you love and work out if it’s feasible for your finances to book them.
Choose someone who’ll make it easy and fun
Having your photo taken can be nerve-wracking and getting your family to a place at a set time, well dressed is no mean feat so before you book make sure you get a sense that your photographer will guide you through the decisions, give you expert advice and most of all, make the shoot fun. The best portrait session is one where you don’t even remember having your pictures taken.