How to Choose a Family Photographer
February 13, 2014
Selecting the Right Family Photographer
Selecting a family photographer from the pack can be a bit of a minefield. Here a few tips to help you on your way.
First and foremost, it is always best to go with a personal recommendation, especially if you are taking children to the shoot. It is essential that your photographer knows how to interact with children and is comfortable if and when they have a tantrum or ?accident’ in the middle of the shoot! Look for feedback on the photographer’s social media sites and ask around your social circles to get as much information as you can before making contact. We run a very successful referral program and the majority of our new clients walk through the door on a personal recommendation.
Many photographers call themselves ?Award Winning’ but these are just industry awards, and not recommendations from ?real people’. What is more important is your impression of the images you see on the photographers website or hanging on your friends wall. Look for a particular style that you like and imagine that style being replicated with your family as the subjects. Most important of all ? don’t be afraid to let the photographer know exactly what it is you are after when you make your enquiry and always ask if the family photographer who took the photos on the website is the same one that will be taking your pictures. Some studios have a few photographers working for them and you want to be sure that you are going to get the quality of photos ?as advertised’.
Studio Shoot or Location Shoot?
Another choice you might need to make is between studio shoot and location shoot. Some photographers don’t like to leave the confines of their studio, and others only offer ?lifestyle photography’ and don’t have a studio at all. To make your decision easier, we offer both. Our new studio has beautifully manicured gardens next door and is located in a rural village within short walking distance from the essential amenities including an expansive parkland and meadow area. Within the studio we have a choice of 9 vinyl and paper backdrops some of which up to 3m wide and cloak the floor and the entire wall. We also have a huge array of props, posing aids and floor effects to use depending on the needs of the shoot. The lights are fixed to the walls so there are no loose cables lying around and we have a separate changing area upstairs to store bags and little people who might be in the way of a particular shot. Most clients prefer to choose one location only for a particular family shoot but it is entirely possible to do both studio and an outdoor location in one session. We can start the shoot in the studio when the children are feeling a little shy, using bubbles, music, toys and dress up clothes to make them play and feel at ease. When they are warmed up and need to let off some steam we can walk them to a safe and aesthetically pleasing outdoor location within the village where they can run around and be ?free’ of the studio confines. Capturing these two sides of children produces a lovely combination of expression and style in the final collection of images.
A final word on price. Be wary of the family photographer who skirts around the question ?how much will it cost?’ Most studios, us included, run promotions to find new clients, but there are horror stories of larger studios enticing clients in through the doors with free offers only to sting them with heavily overpriced and elaborately framed prints at the viewing and then warning that the images will be deleted if the order isn’t paid for there and then. Discounts will often be available for orders placed at the viewing but there should also be the option to add to an order at a later date. Please also be aware that your photographer’s time and skill should be valued very highly ? a studio offering a £10 print or a CD of all the images for £100 is unlikely to be creating images of a professional standard. If you need to know in advance how much to budget for, ask for the price list upfront and let your family photographer know what you have in mind.
A family portrait session should be a fun, relaxing and enjoyable experience for all concerned. I hope these tips will help you make your experience exactly that.