Choosing the Right Family Photographer for Your Family

It's a challenge. It can feel like a lot. Sometimes it's even frustrating. But's incredibly important. Just like a batch of homemade waffles, every single photographer out there is different and unique in their own way. This can be overwhelming, but also reassuring... because I can assure you, there is at least one photographer out there who ticks all your boxes, and even a few boxes you didn't even know you had. However, identifying that perfect match can feel daunting, so I've compiled a list of questions to ask yourself, and your potential photographer, before you make that decision. These questions delve deeper than they usual "what time of day do you shoot/how much do you charge/how long does it take to get my photos back" type of questions to help you uncover what YOU want for your session, and how to use that insight to find the perfect photographer for your family.

Why do you want family photos?

This is the core question you need to ask yourself first and foremost. Is there an occasion that you are celebrating? Maybe a grandparents' 90th birthday, or a high school graduation? Or maybe the birth of a baby you never thought you'd be able to have? The entire family is finally back in the same state for the first time in 5 years? The reason behind why you want family photos will help guide the rest of your decisions.

What kind of experience are you looking for?

After you've asked yourself why you want family photos, take that answer to help you answer this next question. The experience of your family photography is just as important as the images you receive. Are you on a time crunch, and need your photos as fast as possible? Or d you need as much help as possible choosing coordinating outfits and choosing a location? Do you want someone to help guide you through making your images into lasting artwork for your home? Some photographers are very hands off - you book the session, you do the session, you get the photos back in an online gallery and that's that. Other photographers create an in-depth experience, starting with personalized styling and location advice, to helping you hand-pick each image to create an album or gallery wall and even create mock ups of your vision to help make the decisions easier (I call this the Reveal & Order appointment, which you can read more about here!).

This question can translate to the following questions for your potential photographer:

  • Do you offer styling/location advice?
  • How will I receive my images?
  • What does your process look like after the session?
  • Do you offer help when choosing images/artwork/heirlooms?

What do you plan to do with your photos?

There are some photographers who only offer digital files of your images, and others that offer a range of tangible photo heirlooms such as albums, wall art, framed images, prints, etc (like me!). Think about what you plan to use your images for. Are they just for an updated Facebook profile pic or phone background? Or do you want to make an album for the kids' grandparents, because they're moving away? Or did you just close on a new home and you want to make the space feel like its yours, with images of your family decorating the walls?

This can translate to the following questions to ask your potential photographer:

  • Do you offer digital files/artwork/albums/prints?
  • How will I receive my images?
  • Do you offer image/product collections?

What type of photos draw your attention?

Think about those photos you see on Instagram that make you stop mid-scroll and take your breath away. What's going on in those photos? Are they glam shots, with the subjects in regal poses wearing golden crowns sitting in old Victorian chairs? Do they look straight out of a magazine? Or are they close up shots of wiggly baby teeth and dimples? Photos where you can feel the laughter through the picture? Do they subjects look posed, or do they look natural and relaxed? Are they dark and moody, vibrant with color, black and white?

This question can translate to the following questions for your potential photographer:

  • What type of editing style do you use?
  • How would you describe your photography?
  • Are your subjects posed/candid/etc.?
  • How do you typically run your sessions?

In Conclusion

No one can make the decision for you, and it all comes down to what you want for your family photos - the power is in your hands!. There are no right or wrong answers, only what fits your needs and wants. Take some time to think about these questions before you start your family photographer search, and then use them to find your perfect match made in photo heaven!