October! Fall is in full swing and so is the frantic rush to find your photographer for updated family photos. A friend once told me that Seattle photographers are like gas stations, there is one on every corner. And it's true! So how do you choose the right one for your family photos? As a photographer and also as a person who recently hired a photographer for my own family photos, I'm happy to share a few tips.
First, consider your goals. What are you going to do with these photos? What do you want them to capture? Are you looking for an updated picture of your entire family to include in your holiday cards? Or are you wanting to stop time for a minute and document your family's connections and unique dynamic?
If your goal is something quick and easy for a handful of updated photos, a mini session is likely a good fit. If you're hoping for something a bit more comprehensive, with lots of time for candid pictures of your family's intimate connection, then you'll probably want to book an hour-long session.
Next, consider the feeling. Do you like pictures of everyone perfectly posed, smiling at the camera, or would you prefer movement, light, and laughter? Is your focus on really epic scenery, moody editing, or intimate connections? Think about your family and the things that you want to highlight in these photos, and then start cruising websites to find a photographer that fits your vision for your shoot.
Once you start to dial in the feeling you want in your photos, then consider the kind of person you'd like to be working with. Are you a natural in front of the camera, or do you need a little coaching? Look for information on what the client experience might be like and find someone that you'll be comfortable with. If you're uncomfortable in front of the camera (you're in good company!) then look for someone who will direct you and your family every step of the way, making it an enjoyable experience rather than something awkward to endure.
Last, consider the investment. Everyone knows that you get what you pay for, so when you hire a photographer, think about the talent, experience, and expertise that you get for the fee and consider why one photographer may charge hundreds more or hundreds less than others. Also, think about what kind of packages make sense for what you're going to do with the photos - do you want all inclusive with printing rights to the digital files, or are you okay paying a session fee and then choosing a print package later?
I know, this decision is a lot more complex than it looks on the surface, but if you put the time into finding a photographer that aligns with your goals and vision for the shoot, then you'll likely have a great experience and enjoy the outcome. And of course, I hope that after reading this, you'll find that I'm a great fit for your family's photos this year! Shoot me an email to get on my calendar for Oct. or early Nov.