Picking a Rocking Family Photographer

finding a family photographer
Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Family photo season is quickly approaching.

As a professional photographer in my not-online-life here are some tips that I hope help you as you and your family make time to smile pretty for the camera.

Picking a Family Photographer

1.  Set a budget.  Remember how when you’re planning your wedding, it was so easy to get caught up in the pretty.  You wound up spending a bucket load of cash on those gorgeous centerpieces with the fresh flowers that died, like immediately.  The same can happen when you start looking at photographer’s websites.   You just fall in love with the gorgeousness on their websites and before you know it, you’re hiring the thousand dollar photographer with the photos of that perfect little hipster family because you just know that’s exactly what your family photos are going to look like.  Never mind that you’re not a hipster.  Remember to look beyond the website with the touching music, and set your budget before you even start looking so you don’t get caught up!

2.  Think about your style.  And then, find a photographer that matches that.  If you’re an outdoorsy family who enjoys being natural and casual, you probably don’t want to go for the studio portraits with the velvet background and starburst edits.  Take your time looking at websites and finding someone whose style seems to fit that of your family.

3.  Decide what you want to do with the photos.  Do you want a book?  Wall portraits?  Just some digital prints that you can share with your friends on Facebook?  Deciding this will help you determine what kind of photographs you want because you’ll maybe want to find someone who offers a disk with your session, or who has a number of print products to choose from.

4.  Don’t leave it to email.  Sure the Internet makes things like viewing portfolios and booking photo sessions super easy, but you might want to take a few moments to at least have a phone conversation with your potential photographer.  You can learn a lot about his or her personality by talking on the phone.  Not every photog is a good match for a family with a newborn and toddler twins and sometimes you can discern this when they get skittish on the phone while you wrangle children, walk the dog, and brush your teeth during your consultation .

5.  Don’t be afraid to be choosy.  Family photos are an investment and you can’t just trust any old anybody to capture your memories of your family as they are at that moment.  Once the moment is gone, it’s gone so make sure you get someone who can do it right.  Don’t feel bad if you don’t want to hire your cousin’s baby mama if you don’t really like her work, these are photos of your family and you have the right to cherish them for their awesomeness, not because they ultimately wind you up on Awkward Family Photos.



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Picking a Rocking Family Photographer

Amanda has been wowing the Internet since 2008 when she launched her pretty-much-useless guide for parents, parenting BY dummies. As it turns out, her parenting advice is not generally useful for more than a good laugh, but sometimes that’s exactly what you need! Amanda spends her offline time (which is embarrassingly limited) running a photography business, working as a social media director for a local magazine, writing freelance articles about stuff she loves, wrangling her 3 little Dudes ... More

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