When it comes to family portrait photography, you want it to be great. One way to assure that is to hire a professional photographer. This may sound like a way-too-out-there idea, but in the end, you’ll be glad you did.
Getting the family together is in itself a major accomplishment. Help create a perfect memory of it by letting someone else do the hard work.
Hiring a professional photographer has many advantages. First of all, the stress is off of you! Instead of trying to figure out how to position everyone, get the kids to cooperate, find just the perfect place, not to mention the lighting, and be in the picture yourself, you can let a professional do it for you.
Professional photographers do this for a living. They know all the tricks, all the lighting techniques, are very familiar with their equipment, and have the right software to touch up a picture to make it perfect. They work for you, so they want to give you a picture you are more than satisfied with – one that will last a lifetime.
There will be some legwork on your part, but it’s so much easier than the work you would be doing if you were the photographer.
Here are some tips on identifying that perfect professional photographer:
1. First, look at their work
Professional photographers have samples of their work on their websites. Look at them. Are they appealing to you? Is the quality what you want? Are there different poses and backdrops to show enough creativity and ingenuity? Consider these things and ask yourself if you can see your family in any of the work you look at. Look at the backgrounds and lighting. Does the whole picture appeal to you? If you find yourself smiling at their work, you’re on your way to a good photographer. And read the testimonials. This will give you an idea as to the kind of work they do and to find out if it’s the kind of work you want done.
2. Talk to them
You will be conversing with them throughout the whole process, so start it right away. If you aren’t getting a good vibe from the conversation, just imagine how it will be when the actual photo session starts. You want to feel comfortable with your photographer. If they can’t accomplish this on the phone, they can’t accomplish it during a session.
3. Find out their credentials
How long have they been photographing professionally? What organizations or associations do they belong to? Why did they get into this particular area of photography? Where did they get their education in photography? Find out their background and see if it’s something you are comfortable with. Can they offer you what you want? What is their style of photography? If they don’t specialize in what you are looking for, find one who does. Asking someone to do something out of their range is grounds for disaster. You want to work with them, not against them.
4. How much does it cost?
This is something you definitely want to know. What are their prices and what does that include? What kind of timeframe are you looking at for the finished product? How many portraits are included? Are there albums or books created for the price? If not, how much extra is that? A good professional will work within your budget. Get this all straight beforehand to avoid unnecessary costs or surprises. And read the contract! If you have questions, ask them before you sign on the dotted line.
5. Ask about backup photographers and equipment
You’ve planned everything perfectly and then on your day, your photographer can’t make it. Do they have a partner who can step in? What if their equipment malfunctions? Do they have extra for just this kind of situation? This is not a very likely thing to happen, but preparing for it will help ease your mind and assure a proper arrangement. A good photographer will also have these things in mind. You’ve worked hard enough to make this day happen. Have a Plan B.
Finally, enjoy yourself! This is supposed to be a happy occasion after all. You’ve set everything up and you feel comfortable, so relax. Let the professional take over. If you listen to them and engage in the moment, everyone will have a better experience. So release your control and smile.