So after a bit of hesitation, you have decided that it is now time to get some portraits done of your children or your family. You're excited to get a session booked and get some new photos, yay!! But how do you choose? They are so many photographers in your area!
Fear not. I'm here to help! As a Gloucester Family and Children's photographer, I'm very familiar with the world of portrait photography, and I've got some useful tips to help you choose the right photographer to capture your family memories forever.
1. CHOOSE A PHOTOGRAPHER WHOSE STYLE YOU LOVE
First things first: If you don’t like the portrait photographer’s style, there’s no reason to continue. Everybody has a style they like or are looking for, even if you can't name or put your finger on it. Make sure to take a good look through the photographer's portfolio to see whether their style is consistent and is what you are looking for.
Settle on a style: It is important to consider the type of photography style that the photographer provides. Do any of the following appeal to you?
Instead of a series of posed photos, these are candid or spontaneous pictures. This style tends to be photojournalistic, you'll very rarely see people staring at the camera—the photos capture the moments exactly as they happened, and together they tell a story. These photos also tend to have very minimal editing. This style is great to capture raw emotions.
These tend to be more classic and traditional portraits. If you like posed newborn photos, make sure you are choosing someone who shoots those specific types of newborn photos, vs. in-home lifestyle photos. Even within studio portraiture, there is a lot of room for creativity.
I love studio work, posing families, children and babies. I love creating unique set ups for the families I work with, and strive to use my artistry in different ways.
In fine art portraiture, the artist's vision plays an important role. Though it's similar to documentary photography, this style gives the photographer greater artistic license to input their particular point of view and style into your photographs, this does not mean that the photographer will not spend time with you discussing your hopes for your portraits . Fine art photography is generally more stylized with a signature look. My favourite fine art photographers in the UK are Paulina Duczman and Lisa Visser have a look at their work if you can.
Edgy and Bold
When you see images with the camera tilted at different angles, a surprising view (i.e. a photo shot from overhead). Is an offshoot of fine art, is marked by "outside-the-box", tilted angles and unconventional framing.
2. CHOOSE A PHOTOGRAPHER THAT SPECIALISES IN THE TYPE OF SHOOT THAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR:
This may sound obvious, but it's not something that people always consider. If you are looking to have some outdoor portraits, it may be a good idea to go with a photographer who mainly does outdoor photography and uses natural light. If you are looking for portraits of your children, it makes sense to choose someone who specializes in family photography (rather than specialising in, say, landscape or pet photography).
Someone who specialises in the type of photography you are wanting will be an expert in that genre, and that will go far in getting you beautiful photos. I specialised in newborns, children and family photography within a studio setting. Do your research to ensure that the photographer you choose is good at the type of photoshoot that you are looking for.
3. CHECK THEIR PORTFOLIO, LOOK FOR CONSISTENCY.
Start your research by reading any reviews in Google or by checking the photographer's Facebook page. Have they got some testimonials in their website? What are the reviews like? Do they express happiness? This will give you an idea of the set of skills that the photographer has and what kind of work they have done and how their clients felt. The wording and design of their website, will also give you a glimpse about the photographers personality and sensibility.
Another important factor is the photographer's portfolio, is it consistent? If you notice that a photographer's photos don't have a consistent look overall that may be red flag. Are there enough photos in their Website or Facebook page for you to make an informed decision?. Is the quality of the photos, style, creativity and editing consistent? Does the photographer post images of their work regularly? I spend hours going through my work to perfect it, and I undertake continuous training to be the best I can be.
4. INVESTMENT, HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
Realistically this should be the last thing on your mind, but usually it's the first. If you want someone literally just to snap photos away - you can find that easily and cheap. But is that what you want? Good photography is not cheap.
Many photographers take their art very seriously and will go above and beyond your expectations. They will want to give you artwork to hold and cherish forever. A good photographer will invest time and money to ensure they improve their skills. It's important that your photographer communicates with you and hears about what you want from your session.
How much will it cost you? Is the photographer upfront with their prices? Do you know exactly what you’re getting from them? Every photographer has a different way of working. Some will do viewings and in person sales, some will offer all inclusive packages. Don’t forget the cost of your photos is not just down to the moment they press the shutter and take your image. You are paying for their knowledge and experience, processing, and equipment as well as an experience.
We recently had our family photoshoot done with a photographer that I adore. For me, getting the photos how I wanted them, was far more important than choosing photographer based on their price. My family deserve the best possible images!
5. CHOOSE A PHOTOGRAPHER WHO IS COMMITTED TO YOU FROM BEGINNING TO END.
A photo session is more than just showing up and having photos taken. Choose a photographer who is involved beyond just taking a deposit for a session, shooting the session and mailing you your images. Your overall experience will be enhanced if you choose someone who works with you on each step, from initial consultation to choosing a session date, helping you pick out outfits and helps you to design your session.
Personality: Check for recommendations. Are they good with children? Are they relaxed? Having your photographs taken in front of a stranger can be very daunting, you want someone to make it as relaxed and fun as possible!