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How To Hire a Photographer For Your Family Photos

In today’s post let’s discuss how to hire a photographer for your family photos. Perhaps you’ve been thinking your family is overdue for a portrait session. Maybe you just found out that you’re expecting and hope to document your new child’s first year of life. Indeed, whatever your reason for booking a session, there are some basic factors worth considering as you start this process.

Expecting couple pose in front of river. How to hire a photographer.

Hire a Photographer in the Correct Genre

Okay, this one may seem obvious, but it isn’t always. For example, if you worked with a wedding photographer who you absolutely loved, the natural next step may be to consider hiring them for newborn photos. However, not all photographers are “jack of all trades”. Not all photographers have the same skill sets. It can be a common misnomer that photographers are just “button pushers” who only require a “fancy” camera to do the job.

The fact of the matter is that each photography genre requires a very specific skill set. A wedding photographer who is used to posing adults, may not have mastered the tricks and games needed to work with a squirming toddler. A landscape photographer may not necessarily have a lot of experience posing people. Your senior photographer doesn’t spend everyday soothing fussy newborns.

Do some photographers master multiple genres? Of course! Therefore, when seeking to book a photographer, check his or her website portfolio and social media. Are there several examples of the type of session you hope to book?

How To Hire a photographer. Mother cradles newborn during newborn photography session.

Consider Visual Style

When seeking to hire a photographer, consider what visual style you are drawn to. Common photography styles include: light and airy, dark and moody, true tone, earthy and desaturated, rich and deep, film aesthetic, and black and white. Pinterest and Instagram can be great places for viewing different styles and looking for inspiration.

Once you have an idea of what styles you prefer, spend some time looking around your house. What colors do you typically use when decorating? Ideally, portraits from your session will ultimately find a home displayed around your house. Therefore, consider whether the photography style will fit with your home’s overall aesthetic. Do you typically decorate with pastels and neutrals? Consider hiring a true tone, light and airy, or film aesthetic photographer. Perhaps you like warm and bold colors in your home. In that case, consider dark and moody or rich and deep photographers. Black and white is a timeless and versatile option.

How to Hire a photographer. Consider photographic style. Little boy in true tone portrait

What Posing Style Do You Like?

Posing, or the lack thereof, is a huge component of the art of family photography. Therefore, every photographer has his or her own unique approach to posing. Are you looking for a photographer with traditional posing where all family members will be perfectly arranged and smiling at the camera? Would you prefer a session that captures your family in their natural environment acting like they do every day? Then a documentary style photographer may be in line with your vision. Lifestyle photographers take a bending approach of guiding clients through posing but also looking for candid moments to capture. Editorial photographers specialize in unique, dramatic posing for very original family photos.

As you consider this component, don’t get hung up on whether or not you can pull off a certain pose. Posing is a major component of the photographer’s job during the session. A professional photographer will have a plan and should guide your through your session every step of the way.

Hire a photographer. Girls smell flowers in lifestyle photography session.

What Value Is Included When You Hire A Photographer?

Notice the word “value” here instead of “price”. Of course, every family has their own unique budge to work within. Still, it’s important to consider the full offer and what value is included in that offer when you hire a photographer. Avoid comparing prices on the surface level.

Will the package include professional print products that will last a lifetime and save you the trouble of navigating the print world on your own? Does the photographer offer a client closet that will decrease the stress and time involved in coordinating outfits? Similarly, do they provide in depth styling consultations? Is professional hair and makeup styling included or offered as an add-on? Does the session fee include access to a studio and props or permits to use an exclusive location? Will this photographer design custom wall art?

Some of these amenities may appeal to you while others do not. It’s also important to consider that a photographer with more experience, luxury amenities, or a time intensive editing style may require a higher investment. Many established photographers also offer payment plans. In a nutshell, every business is different! Take the time to fully understand what is included with each pricing structure and then consider what level of service best benefits your family. If you have questions about pricing, don’t make assumptions. Set up a call or send an email for clarification.

Photo session amenities. Image of dresses in client closet. Amenity to consider when hiring family photographer.
Image of Luxury albums. Photography session amenity. Why is photography so expensive.

Check Reviews

Before you hire a photographer or any service provider, it’s always a good idea to check out Google reviews or ask friends about their experience. Experienced family photographers should have reviews or testimonials available. If a photographer lacks a large online footprint, you could even ask to see an example gallery to get a fuller idea of the images you’ll receive.

What if a photographer has one or two negative reviews? Any business owner will tell you that bad reviews can unfortunately happen to even the most attentive, diligent service providers. Pay attention to how the photographer responds. Are they professional in their reply? Do they seem like someone you could communicate with if you had an issue? If the answer is “yes”, you can proceed with a good level of confidence!

Need Help Finding A Photographer To Hire?

Cradle & Folk is growing a directory of professional family photographers! Check it out here. Do note that many popular photographers book up months in advance. If you forsee yourself booking maternity, newborn, or family photography session this year, it’s better to reach out early.

Photography in article by Kelley Hoagland Photography

Want more info about how to hire a photographer for your family photos? Let Cradle & Folk answer some of your questions!

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