You are ready to update your family's photos, now what?
You have finally decided that the outdated portrait of your family needs to change. Perhaps your son or daughter is now five years older and he or she is telling you that they want to see the "real" them on the walls of your home. Often when children are between the ages of 1-5, families update their portraits every year. Children change a lot during that time, and perhaps a sibling has been added. So, the family unit changes and updated portraits are needed.
Once children start school, they often get their school photos taken and life gets busier with extra curricular activities. (2020 not included in this!) Family portraits go by the wayside as everything else takes over.
That does not have to be the case!
There are studies that show that children who grow up with seeing their portraits on display in their home develop a better sense of belonging and value. At any age! So updating the entire FAMILY portrait is essential to helping them see their worth. Of course, we would love to be the studio that does that for you, but if you are on the hunt for a photographer, here are a few tips that will help you choose one that is best suited for your family.
Check out the photographers portfolio.
Seeing imagery that resonates with you emotionally and mentally is a good sign. There is a connection. You like what you see. Whether that is a more posed, formal look, or candid and lifestyle or all three. Most photographers have a certain style and love to photograph a certain way. If that way is something you like, then most likely that photographer is a good fit for you.
Check out the variety in the imagery.
Does everything look the same? Are their images of the entire family only? What about the kids? Most photographers will photograph the kids together, separately and then the entire family together with different poses and in different areas. Even in the studio, most experienced photographers will be able to capture good variety in posing and subjects.
Check out the experience of the photographer.
How long have they been in business? Do they have any certification or education? Or are they just getting started? What about their business practices? When the digital age came upon us, the entry into photography became very low. Cameras were created to create imagery that just a click of the button could produce. But, there is SO MUCH MORE to taking a great portrait than that. Technical skills are just as important as the artistry that attracts most people to photography. So, if you find a photographer that is charging a very low amount, you might just get what you paid for. And, that is often ok. It depends on what you value and what is important to you, but that is another blog post for another time.
Check out the reviews.
Most people who are happy with their portrait experience will post a review. Whether that is on Google or on the photographer's website. Check them out. They are often good indicators if the photographer and/or studio will provide you with great imagery and a great experience, especially if the studio and/or photographer has responded.
Check out any credentials and awards.
Having been published, given a talk at a convention, or won an award are all big deals. Usually, that means the studio and/or photographer is serious about their craft and wants to continue learning. The biggest photography non profit organization in the country, Professional Photographers of America, exists to help studios and photographers in many, many areas. They offer image competitions and many opportunities to learn and earn degrees. If a photographer has any initials after his or her name, it is a good indicator that they care about their craft immensely and wish to create the best portraiture and give the best experience to their clients.
What do you value?
Lastly, what do you value? Do you value having the best imagery in your home that is archival enough to be passed down to your children? Or, are you looking for the cheapest photographer out there and do not really value having archival art in your home? Know that there are both options out there. And, there will be a wide variety of costs involved.
Whereas one photographer might charge $75 for a mini session and give you all the digital negatives, another might charge $150. Why the difference? Many photographers are weekend warriors who photograph part time for friends and family. They do not have a lot of business expenses to pay for, and have another job to provide their income. The photographer who charges $150 has incorporated his or her business, pays liability insurance, taxes, and other business related expenses. He or she does not have a full time job and prices his or her digital negatives, sessions and other art according to best business practices in order to stay in business. This photographer continues to learn and better his or her craft. The $150 is the bare minimum he or she can charge in order to not go backwards financially.
So, think about what you value. Whether that is an archival print, experience of the photographer, credentials, your own experience at your portrait session, referrals from friends and family and cost. All these things will help you choose the best photographer for your family.
If you like what you see, we would love to help you see the love and beauty of your family.