How to choose your Family Photographer
Well, hello there!! I thought I would change things up today and slip you a little info on how to choose a family photographer that is right for you!
I have no secrets over here. I’ve always been that friend who will tell you exactly where I purchased something from, how much I paid for it and why I love it! And if I have time, I would probably go and pick one up for you too if you! So today I am sharing some insider information to help you choose the very best photographer for your needs.
Of course, I could just insert all the wonderful things I do for my clients here and call it a day, but that would not be an unbiased article that I would like to share with you. The truth is that there are a number of great photographers right here in Switzerland. I of course would love to crush your family session for you, however I do understand you need to look at you options. So here are some of the things I think you should consider when booking your family photographer.
1 – Do you LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the photographers body of work?
This one should be obvious, but you’ll be surprised how often it gets overlook for something more practical like pricing (which I will get to soon!). As recently as a month ago, I was approached by a family unhappy with their last family session. They wanted one look, and the photographer delivered something quite different. A photographers website, blog and social media platforms will give you an excellent indication of their style. So, hop on Pinterest, click around and really consider what it is you love about the photos you pin. Once you see a pattern of the images you love find a photographer in your area that has a similar style. This ensures you will receive exactly the results you are hoping for!
2 – Pricing.
Guys, this one is a little harder to breakdown, but I’m going to do my best. Firstly, you need to be 100% be comfortable with the price you are paying for your photos. Whatever that price point might be. Of course we would all LOVE to be photographed by Annie Leibovitz (no? just me??!) or someone as equally as renowned, but I’m probably not going to be comfortable paying their day rate. Photographers by nature love to make pricing super complicated. It is important you understand pricing structure your photographer uses. You must get a total breakdown of your photographers prices and packages before you enter into an agreement with the photographer.
Some of the ways photographers price their services are:
- All Inclusive (my favourite and what I offer!) This is a flat rate that includes your photo shoot, all of your digital images that the photographer has hand edited and possibly a printed product. I love this because it is uncomplicated and my clients know EXACTLY what they will receive for the price they have paid. There are no surprise extra expenses (but sometimes there are surprise extras products from me!) and you get to keep all the images that your photographer has hand selected to be part of your gallery.
- Your choice of Collections that includes the session and products together in packages that the photographer has careful created for you. This will give you a choice of what you would like to spend based on how many images and/or products you would like to purchase. This can be a little tricky if you love more images than what your collection allows, it could mean you’re forking over more money than you expected.
- A session fee PLUS a choice of collections that the photographer has created for you. Again, this could add up if you love more images than you expected you would.
- A session fee PLUS a-la-carte products. You can purchase exactly what you want and spend as much or as little as you wish. I personally feel this pricing structure is more suited for the photographer than client as each individual item can have quite a hefty price point.
However your photographer sets their pricing, I promise you this:
Photographers are pricing themselves to not only provide you with an amazing experience and final product, but they are also pricing to make a profit. We are after all, self employed and running a business. The time we spend on your family alone is somewhere between four and 12 hours from start to finish. It is a misunderstanding that we only work for the one hour you spend with us on location. We work very, very hard to give you the very best photos your family deserves.
In my experience, the photographers who price themselves a little higher, are in this to be here for you for the long haul. It means we have backup programmes in place to archive your images long term. We are also more likely to answer your emails in a timely manner and won’t disappear off the face of the earth if there is a problem to resolve. We are passionate about our families and the final product we produce for them. We are consistent in our work and always produce high end results.
Your photos are an investment, an investment that grows with time.
3. Do you LIKE the Photographer?
What I am talking about here is the photographer as a person, not just their work. It is important that you really jive with the person you would love to take your photos! It’s a relationship! For me to bring out the genuine laughs and intimate moments from you, you need to like me! That is why I share a lot about myself on Instagram and give you all the feels on my website. Take the time to check out your photographers Instagram and websites to see if they are saying what you need to hear.
4. Will they help you prior to your session
I often tell my clients that all of the hard work happens before they show up for their session. Although I try to make all things fun and easy, there is a lot to prepare beforehand. This is why I send all of my clients my Prep and Style Magazine in the mail as soon as they book. This is their go to manual on how to look great and get the whole family out the door on time for our session. I’m rooting for you guys and this little booklet proves it! I also have Pinterest boards full of outfit ideas if you’re feeling uninspired by what is in your wardrobe. I can even recommend a professional stylist to bring everything together for you too if you need! Hair and make-up? I know people there too! Ask your photographer how they will help you to ensure you have a successful shoot. Whoever you choose to photograph your family, ask them how they help. I promise you, most of us have resources for you!
Relax. Your in Good Hands!
Fortunately for you, there is a good selection of photographers in every town, region and country! You are now armed with powerful info to find exactly what you need in a family photographer! Hooray!
I hope these tips will help you as you work through the process. If you need any further help, feel free to check out my blog post about how to survive your family photo shoot. Or you can view a few of my family sessions such as this one!
If you would love a session with me, I would be delighted to help you with that too! Feel free to drop me a line here or email me direct at firstname.lastname@example.org.