Updated: Jan 14, 2020
I think we can all agree that sometimes the task of coordinating family pictures can be daunting. You have to figure out what everyone will wear, what works for all schedules, where you want to do them, theme or no theme, and the list goes on. But, perhaps one of the hardest decisions to make is who will take them. The industry is filled with so many talented artists that the options are endless.
What should you consider when searching for your photographer?
Style! You thought I was going to say price first, huh? While cost is important, start by searching for the style you want. After all, price won’t matter much if you don’t really care for the photographer’s style. Different styles will catch your eye, but keep in mind this is art that will hang in your home for some time. Loving all of the current trends is natural, but do they match your style? Do they match your décor? Does the style reflect the way that you want your memories preserved? Is it what you want guests to see when they visit? Ask yourself some of these questions and make sure the style is a good fit.
The Photographer! Make sure the photographer is a good fit. What is their availability? Are they open to the kind of session you want? Are they great with kids? Pets? Whatever your needs are, make sure that your photographer can accommodate. It is unrealistic to select a photographer this is not a good fit, and expect the results that you want. It can happen, sure, but I’ve seen it too many times…clients want to direct the entire session and guide the photographer. That’s fine if that is the way that your photographer works, but if it isn’t, it can create a tense situation. Find a photographer that is a good fit and trust them to conduct a great session and you will likely be happy with the results.
Budget! Once you have determined the style you want and a few photographers with that style, determine if they are within your budget. Keep in mind that photography is a business just like any other. There are overhead costs and the photographer has to make a living. If the photographer is out of your price range, watch their pages and websites and try to catch a sale, if they have them. It’s best to check with more than one photographer that matches the style you want. If one doesn’t fit your budget, another might. It is important to understand the value of the photography though. The prices are what they are and if they offer sales, they are offering an opportunity to get a session that you might not otherwise purchase. Grab the great deals and don’t ask or expect your photographer to negotiate their regular prices. It is a luxury service and your nail tech, hair stylist, coffee shop and make up consultants all charge what they charge without negotiation….so should your photographer. If you love their work, value it and watch for a sale if you need to.
Turnaround Time! This is a bigger issue than most might realize. If you are having family pictures taken and need them by a specific date, you’ll want to know what the turnaround time is. Don’t wait until the day of the session to ask or you might be disappointed. It’s best to ask about turnaround times before booking. Some photographers book so far out in advance that turnaround times may be long.
Ask! Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your photographer would rather have clear and concise communication about your needs, so don’t feel like there are any silly questions or that you are being a bother by asking. It is important that you understand the process prior to selecting the right match.
At the end of the day, doing your research will help you make the most informed decisions. I am always delighted when a client tells me that they researched and are familiar with my work. Having a regular photographer that takes care of all of your photo needs is important so that your needs are understood and met.