Occasionally I’ll get tagged in a Facebook post where someone is looking for a family photographer. These posts typically get at least 20 different photographer recommendations. That’s a lot of information to sift through.
If you’re looking for a family photographer, it can be overwhelming. Family life is busy. Who has time to look through dozens of photography websites.
Here, I’ve listed 10 things that can help you choose your photographer, and hopefully narrow down that list.
Do You Like Their Style?
A lot of people think all photography is the same, and that any photographer can easily reproduce any image you have seen on Pinterest. However, most photographers have a specific style, from the way they work with families to how they edit the photos. Make sure to check out their images to see if you like their style. If you have seen a specific image you like on Pinterest, ask them if it’s something they can/will do before you book them.
For me, my style is relaxed, outdoor sessions where children can play. I focus on creating joyful images that capture the love and connection within your family. If you want an image in front of a white backdrop with everyone smiling at the camera, I’m probably not the photographer for you.
“Donna is incredibly talented. The lighting she has captured is beautiful and we can’t thank her enough for giving us such special memories.”
Kerry – Caerphilly
What Sort of Photoshoot Would You Like?
Would you prefer an indoor or outdoor session? Do you want the photographer to tell you what to do or do you prefer a more informal approach? Some photographers offer both indoor and outdoor sessions. Make sure you can find examples of the type of photoshoot you would like so you know the photographer has the relevant experience.
I offer both studio and on-location sessions, however for families I recommend outdoor sessions as this is where I can get the natural, playful images that I am known for.
Are They Good with Children?
Photographing children can be tough. No matter how talented a photographer is, they also need to know how to deal with children of all ages. Different photographers have different passions. Some love landscape or wildlife photography but also offer family photography to bring in some extra income. Check that your chosen photographer has lots of experience of working with children and families.
I chose to become a photographer when I became a mother. For me, photography is a way to freeze time when my child is growing so fast. I’ve focused my business of working with children. I like looking at landscape photography, but I have no interested in pursuing it myself. Family photography is my passion, and I invest a lot of time and money in ensuring you will treasure your family photos.
Donna was amazing! She came to the location of our choice for our family photo shoot. The session was a wonderful experience. The children felt at ease and Donna captured some natural and truly beautiful moments that we can treasure forever. I highly recommend Sweet Whimsy Photography for any occasion.
Charlotte – Cardiff
What’s Your Budget?
There are photographers to suit every budget, from amateur photographers looking to make a little side income to big studios charging £1000’s, and everything in between. Everyone’s budget is different, but here are a few things to look out for.
- Be wary of very cheap photographers. We all want a bargain, but photography is a business and it costs money to run a business. Equipment, education, insurance, tax. These expenses and more must out of the money you are paying. If a photographer is charging a very low amount, maybe they are not insured, maybe they are not investing in education to learn everything they need to know. Many new and amateur photographers can’t afford to purchase additional items that a professional would consider vital. For example, I pay a high price for my memory cards so there is less chance they will malfunction. I also pay for software to recover lost images if that did ever happen. It’s my job to keep your images safe and I take it seriously.
- Is their pricing up-front? Can you find details of their pricing on their website or do you have to ask? Do you know how much images are before your session? Make sure you are aware of all prices and what’s included before you book. I list all my pricing on my website so potential clients can see everything before the book. I make sure clients are aware of what is included before they book with me.
What Products Would You Like?
What do you hope to get out of your family photography session? New art for your walls? A keepsake album? Do you want to high resolution images, so you can print them yourself? Check to see if your photographer offers the products you want. Many new photographers have not yet learnt about the products they can sell or where to source beautiful, quality products for their clients. Some photographers will not offer high resolution digital images.
I have spent time sourcing beautifully crafted, modern wall art and albums because I want you to walk away from your photography experience with a beautiful family heirloom. Commissioning wall art is not something you do everyday, so I have curated a selection of popular products to make it easy for you. I also offer high resolution digital images as I know that in this modern world we want to share our lives online.
Do You Like the Photographer?
You may like the photographer’s style, but what about the photographer personally? You’re going to spending an hour or two together and if there is friction you may be uncomfortable, and this could show in your images. It’s helpful to speak to your photographer before your session so that you can see if you are a good fit.
I insist on speaking to potential clients before they book, so that I can ensure we are a good fit. I do this over the phone so it’s easy for my clients. We have an informal chat about our families and what they are looking for from the session. As this is done before they book, they can choose if they want me to be their photographer after our call.
“If you are looking for a family photographer for an outdoor shoot in South Wales, I cannot recommend Donna enough. She put us all at ease with her wonderful character and gentle personality and the results were outstanding.”
Catherine – Tredegar
Will They Help You Prepare?
Having a portrait session is not something you do every day. Your photographer is the expert and should be able to help you make the most of your session. Do they offer any advice such as what to wear, recommended locations, how to prepare the children etc?
I make sure I am on hand to help my clients however I can. I have also written several articles to help prepare you for your session.
“Donna from Sweet Whimsy Photography was absolutely brilliant. We wanted a summer festival theme for our photo shoot (me and 2 children) and Donna had fabulous ideas. She suggested Merthyr Mawr Sand Dunes which turned out to be perfect. We tried on lots of fancy dress and had an absolute ball. Donna was very patient with my 4 year old and 6 year old as they had their moments (usual sibling squabbles!) but Donna wasn’t phased at all. The Final results were beautiful and I have had so many positive comments.”
Esther – Bridgend
Will They Edit Your Images?
Every photographer has a different style of editing and different capabilities. Some photographers will not edit your images until you purchase, so it’s hard to see what the final image will look like. Other photographers will not retouch or will charge extra. For me, I want you to love your images, so I hand edit every one before you see it. I remove bogeys and dribbles as part of your session fee, and if there are any cuts or bruises that you would like removed, please let me know and I will remove them at no extra cost. I’ve also been known to combine several images in one some instances where someone is not looking the right way. You will not be charged extra for this and you won’t even be able to tell.
Do They Offer a Money Back Guarantee?
If you do not like your images, what will the photographer do? Will they offer to re-shoot the session or refund your session fee? I want my clients to love their images, and to feel confident when the book me. That’s why I offer a to re-shoot if they are not happy, or to refund their session fee in full.
I hope these tips will help you find the right photographer for you. If you think that I might be a great fit for your family, get in touch with me and we can arrange a quick chat to plan your perfect session.