Finding the perfect family photographer for you…..and why it matters!
I always dread that one day at the beginning of the school year, the day when my sweet little child comes running into the house, school picture form in hand. “Mommy, mommy, mommy!! Here’s the form for my school pictures, you’re gonna buy some, right?” I hate to break her perfectly pig-tailed little heart, but I’m NOT buying those! I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking it’s because I’m a photographer and I don’t need to buy someone else’s photos of my kids (you’d be surprised, most photos I get of them are awful!) But, you ask me any way…”Why not?” Well, I’ll tell you….it’s like this: while those photos may LOOK like my little girl, they show none of her personality! They show none of her spunk, none of her sass, none of her “crazy-hair-don’t-care” attitude…they just aren’t her! When I pay someone for photos of my children, I want something that reminds me of how awesome they are, not just a record that they existed in the 3rd grade!
So many things to consider……
The first step in finding your perfect family photographer is to think about what you would like to see hanging on your walls! There are so many things to consider, like: do you prefer being in a studio, in your home, or outside? Do you prefer posed shots or more candid and connected shots? Does their personality work with your family dynamic? Do they offer styling or outfit suggestions? Does your photographer offer prints and wall art? Does any of that even matter?
To studio or not to studio?…that is the question!
The location and the style of your photos kinda-sorta go hand in hand! If you love lifestyle photography or a more connected candid look and feel, you will more likely choose to have your session in your home or somewhere outdoors. But if you want a more posed look you could opt to visit a photographer in their studio instead! For example, I have 5 children….I am terrified that they would destroy the photographer’s studio and would prefer an outdoor location where I know they can run around for a few minutes if they can’t control themselves. I can also get pictures of us walking and holding hands, or playing in the autumn leaves. I personally choose a more lifestyle/candid style for my family photos. However, I have friends that love the more traditional posed studio look to hang on their walls. Luckily, we all get to choose what we love!
Let’s talk personality, session styling, and other services…..
We all have one, sometimes its big and loud, sometimes quiet and shy! Now is the time to get on the phone with prospective family photographers and get to know them a bit. Ask a lot of questions, hear their voice, get a feel for how your shoot will go! This is important!! You don’t want to have email-only conversations with your photographer only to find that their loud voice terrifies your 3-year-old. You won’t have a pleasant experience, and she probably won’t be her smiling happy self! It’s SO important to have in-person or a phone consultation with a photographer before your shoot! You want to be comfortable knowing that everything is going to work out just perfect during your session! This is the time you can talk to them about what to wear, where you want the shoot, and what you plan to do with the photos!
I know…you’re still probably asking “does any of this really matter?”
OF COURSE IT MATTERS!!!! (And here’s why….)
The photos you have taken of your children, of your pets, of your whole family, are what future generations look back on to learn about you! These photos, these memories are what will visually connect the future generations to you. Your children’s children will look at these with wonder as they marvel over Grandma’s hairstyles and Grandpa’s full head of hair! These are their windows into the past…not to mention the gorgeous images you hang on your walls now!! Get them printed, small or big, it is so important!!
More on that next time……