There are so many photography choices out there these days, finding the best children’s photographer for your family seems unnecessarily complicated and difficult. The digital revolution has brought out so many fantastic photographers but with the good comes the bad as well. How do you go about finding the best children’s photographer for your family and child? Many people default to shopping on price alone or opting to work with a family member who has recently started their photography business. However in photography, as in many big purchases, buyer beware! You often get what you (may or may not) pay for. Despite the sexiness of it even “free” can be a waste of time and an exercise in frustration for the photography lover in you.
A few years from now, you hope to be looking back on the years of your child’s childhood with fond memories. The reasons for having professionally taken images of your child at this time are numerous and the biggest reason for creating image art work with your littles is simply because children do not stay little very long. You want to trust that the photographer you choose will be able to bond with your family, your child and capture the very best parts of the personality of your children. You know that the images that you commission by a professional children’s photographer should stand the test of time and not fall into any sort of trend. You may worry that the images you see in the photographers portfolio are only representative of their very best work and not truly what is typical for a session with that children’s photographer.
There are several very easy ways to ensure you are choosing the very best photographer for your family.
- Read the photographer’s biography page. Pay special attention to the approach that the photographer in question takes. Pay special attention to other clues: does the photographer seem to care about creating a connection or is the main focus of discussion regarding their gear and their accolades? While gear does help create quality photos the best photographers can create art with minimal equipment. Accolades are great and can really show dedication to the art of photography, make sure the mention of accolades is balanced with a love of working with clients and looking out for their best interests. A good way to find this out is to ensure you have a pre-session consult where your photographer takes special time to get to know you and your family prior to “clicking” and “shooting” (can be done over the phone very easily)? It is much more important that the photographer take time out to get to know you on some level (and for you to get to know your children’s photographer) then a boatload of credentials and gear.
- Browse through the photographer’s online portfolio and make sure that the style that you are seeing matches your own vision. Be cautious of web galleries filled with trendy effects such as yellow looking images, excessive fading or vintage effects, selective coloring or cross processing (where there are out of this world unusual colors). A little goes a long way with both these effects and although they are nice a truly capable photographer does not need to showcase so many of this type of imagery to wow a potential client. Here consistency is key and you may want to ask the photographer to view a full previous session gallery before booking.
- Is the photographer willing to take time out to allow you to view their work in person? A professional photographer that is willing to take this extra time with you is willing to go the extra mile to ensure client satisfaction. I cannot tell you how many emails, phone calls or other conversations I have had with people who have had horrid, sad stories of how they entrusted a friend, relative or amateur to photograph an event or special day and how many images were lost or poorly exposed due to amateur incompetence. With the dawn of the digital revolution there are many inexperienced amateurs without knowledge or the appropriate equipment back up doing “business”. Ensure that you will not fall prey to this, this is why it’s highly important to entrust a professional with your children’s memories. This time in your lives is fleeting and today is not like any other day. Your family deserves the very best in portraiture and you should ensure that you are trusting your memories with someone who will do the job well.
- Cheapest is not best in many things, photography is no exception. If photography is very important to you it will be well worth the investment you make in getting your children’s portraits done by a quality professional. To many of our clients photography of their children is highly valued, almost as much as saving for their children’s college educations. Do not be scared to ask for testimonials, do not be worried that the photographer will look at you oddly for asking this. Custom photography is a large investment but one that will be cherished forever and will be more priceless than anything else you can purchase. Please keep in mind that the price of a 30×40 Gallery Wrapped Canvas amortized over the years and years of time that you will cherish it is miniscule in comparison to the priceless nature of that very same piece of portrait art. You should be less concerned with price for this type of custom art work and more concerned about the quality of the printed work you receive.
- Finally, realize the choice of a professional children’s photographer to photograph this precious time in your lives is important and that you should take time to research. The decision to choose a quality professional photographer is more art than science; if there are questions that you have and cannot find by viewing the photographer’s website, simply call or email the photographer and ask!
Hopefully this article will assist you in finding the very best photographer for your family. Many years from now you should be able to look back on the images you have created for you at this time and find them as moving (if not more) than the day you first lay your eyes on them. Photography is life in visual form, make sure you select the best fit for yourself and your family.
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I just wanted to say that I love that portrait!
Really well thought out and written article. Hopefully it shows potential clients just how important it is to hire a professional like yourself.