How to Choose a Photographer for Your Family Portraits Part 2

In part one, we discussed the reasons to hire a professional photographer to take portraits of your family.

How do you find one? Your best bets may be:
  • Facebook - most people who get portraits done post them here, and often tag the photographer's business page. 
  • Pinterest - Photographers often create pin boards for inspiration for photo shoots, and pin some of their work as well.
  • Word of Mouth - Ask around. If you love a print hanging on your friend's wall, they will be happy to share with you who took them. 
So, how can you tell someone has the talent and technical know-how to trust with your images?
  • A consistent portfolio - beginners have happy accidents that may look impressive in their gallery, but they might not know how to replicate it for your shoot. What a disappointment that would be! You don't want to see distracting backgrounds anywhere in the gallery; that shows a lack of attention to detail. Images should processed with a clean timeless look, not heavily relying on filters or exaggerated color treatments that are trendy. Is the exposure correct? Are faces shrouded in shadows, or bleached out? Is there a greenish cast to the skintones? Are the eyes sharp, and do the subjects look connected with the camera? 
  •  Posing - Are subjects posed in the most flattering way? Body language should look natural, and hands relaxed. Professionals have been trained in posing to make bodies look their best.
Each photographer has a genre that they find most exciting to photograph. Their portfolio should reflect what they love to shoot, and the type of client they are hoping to attract. If their website features lots of families and children, you can be sure that they are passionate for subjects of all ages. Same goes for glamour, maternity, weddings, boudoir, etc. Experienced photographers have a 'style', which is defined by their preferred use of lighting (whether natural or flash), and color. You'll notice some photos have vibrant color tones in processing, and others may use more muted, earthy tones. Some photographers excel in the traditionally posed family portrait with handpainted backdrop, while others use a photojournalistic approach that documents relaxed and candid family moments. And if you desire a family portrait taken at the Botanic Gardens, you will find many that specialize in that, too.

What style appeals to you? Photographers want you to be delighted with the folio of images that they present to you, so choose one that aligns with your vision as close as possible. Communication is essential! A pre-session consultation helps everyone be clear on the expectations for the shoot and finished product, so ask if this is included in your price quote.

I hope I've helped you make a more informed decision for your family. Thanks for reading!


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