Finding the Right Family Photographer

Welcome!  I am so glad you are here!  If you are anything like me, you love having choices, but sometimes too many options can be overwhelming and daunting, especially if you aren’t entirely sure what you are looking for.  I am here to help you navigate finding the best family photographer for YOU and your family.

I have created a list of the most important factors to consider below.  For each of them I expand on key questions to consider, and give you ideas for the differences between photographers.

First thing’s first:

Why do I want family pictures of my family?

What are my plans with the final images I receive?

We all choose photography for a different reason.  Maybe you looked up, and the babe who once fit in your arms is now taller than you.  Maybe someone close to you was just diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, and the reality of the fragility of life has hit you hard.  Maybe your kids move too fast for your iphone and you consistently get back-of-the-head shots of your toddler. Maybe you want to do a shoot because you think you “should” and you don’t want to be “that” family who uses another fuzzy camera-phone shot on the annual holiday card.  Maybe it’s all the things listed above, or maybe it’s none of them.  But knowing your reasons for hiring a professional photographer will help you find the right fit for your ever changing and growing family.

Also, it’s good to be aware of what has been holding you back from investing in family portraits.  Are you afraid to get in shots with your kiddos, because you’re not currently at your “ideal” weight.  Is the thought of getting yourself, kids, and spouse ready for a photoshoot overwhelming?  Is the budget holding you back?

Style Compatibility:

What kind of family photography do I like?

Am I looking for posed family portraits, or am I looking for someone to capture the in-between moments?

Do I like the posing/editing style of this photographer?

Can I envision this style of photography in my home?

Like other professions, every photographer has a specialty, and along with that specialty comes a style.  It is important to trust their artistic-eye because these images will be displayed in your home, and later passed down to your children. If you would like your whole family looking at the camera in the center of the photo, there are photographers out there who are great at that.  If you like moody, artistic, lifestyle images, find a photographer who has mastered that. This is a big investment for you; invest in someone who’s style you CONSISTENTLY like.

Personality Compatibility:

Besides style and type of photography, personality is also important to consider.

What do my friends and/or reviews say about her?

Is she patient?

Is she easy going and flexible?

Does she respond to me in a timeframe that works well for me?

Can I trust her artistic eye?

Family photography requires a patient person. As you can imagine, getting your family in one frame looking happy doesn’t just happen after a few directions. It takes prompting, creativity, and flexibility. Sometimes kiddos just don’t want to cooperate. It’s important that the photographer is someone who is patient and calm, and will engage with your kids in a way that will bring out their fun little personalities.

Professionalism:

This is a big investment for you, is she equally invested?

Does she hear your visions and hopes for the photoshoot?

How does she continue to hone her craft?

Does she invest in top quality equipment (camera, lenses, computer, etc.)?

Have you ever been to a restaurant and you loved the food, but hated the service?  Well similar to that, I believe it is important to have an all-around positive photography experience in which you love your final images as well as your interactions with the photographer.  It’s important to find someone who is invested in you too.

Services:

What are my hopes and expectations for this experience?

Do I want to have an in-studio experience or an on-location experience?

Do I want someone to meet with me beforehand and help me plan and coordinate my family’s outfits, or is occasional email fine with me?

Will I make the time to order quality prints and products, or would I rather just have someone do that for me?

Do I need help deciding how to hang the final products on my walls?

This is all personal preference, and it’s important to know yourself and the reasons why you want professional photographic images in order to determine what kind of services will best fit your wants, needs, and visions.

Products:

Will I receive digital images?

What will I do with the digital images I receive?

Do I want fine art images to hang on my wall, and an artisan book on my coffee table?

Do I want someone to design and order specialty products for me?

Everyone is so very different.  That’s what makes this world so beautiful. Some families are ordering prints and products as soon as they receive the digital images. They know who their favorite vendors are and know exactly what size images, and framing styles they will hang on their walls. Other families will let the digital images sit on their computer, and hope to one day get around to ordering them.  There is nothing wrong with either of these scenarios, but knowing yourself will help you determine the type of photographer you are looking for.  If you’ve been married for years, and never got around to creating your wedding album or printing prints for your wall, you may prefer to have a boutique, custom experience, in which someone will help bring your ideas (and images) to life and get those portraits on the walls.

The truth is I don’t know that there are necessarily “wrongs” here, but more so what is right for YOU and your clan.  I’m confident you will find the photographer that is right for your crew, in which your creative vision and personalities align creating a beautiful photography experience.

Wondering if Stefanie Jayne Photography is the right artist for you?  Check out more information on the Family Photoshoot Experience here.

Happy Photog shopping!

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