You’ve made the decision to hire a child photographer and your search has begun. Maybe your family circumstances have changed and you would like images captured of your newborn baby. Maybe you’re looking for updated images of your children or maybe you’ve never experienced a custom photography session. There are many styles of photography including lifestyle, traditional, studio and outdoor. But the search can involve much more than this.
How to choose a child photographer in a local market that is saturated with hobbyists, amateurs and professional photographers can be overwhelming. So how do you choose a child photographer that’s right for you and where do you start?
Well known places to start your search would be Google, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Another great place to begin is through word of mouth. A referral from a friend is awesome because they have already experienced a session with that child photographer and can tell you what they were like and why they liked working with them.
Some of the qualities to look for when choosing a child photographer:
A website is NOT a good benchmark when deciding on a photographer. But a photographer with a good website is. Review the photographer’s website to get a feel for their work. Does it match your family’s style and taste? Is it consistent? Are the images timeless and void of passing trends? Do the images in their gallery look fun, and offer a variety of expressions, poses and models? Beware of a gallery that shows the same model in many of the images, unless they clearly state they are portfolio building or just starting out.
How long have they been in business? You are trusting your memories to this photographer and potentially establishing a long term relationship with them and want the comfort knowing they will be around for your next session and sessions to come.
I work with kids of all ages but the majority are between 12 months and 12 years. A lot of change happens in one year for this age group and it is not uncommon for me to see some of my clients 2 times a year and sometimes more often.
Do they belong to any Professional Photography Associations? Belonging to a professional association further demonstrates their dedication to their profession. Associations offer fantastic resources, continuing education and a supportive community allowing photographers to continue to grow and excel.
Are they a Jack (or Jill) of all trades but master of none? Multitasking is great, but not when it comes to photography. Look for someone who specializes in the type of photography you are looking for. There are few photographers (if any) that could excel at newborn, child and family portraiture along with wedding, boudoir, high school seniors, landscape, etc.
Quality images are more than just a fancy camera. Does the photographer showcase creative vision when it comes to composition, lighting, poses and backgrounds.
Interested in Getting to Know You
In my studio, it’s my job to capture true personalities and genuine expressions and I couldn’t do that if I:
A. Didn’t love doing what I do
B. Get to know your kids before the session.
Each of my clients are mailed out homework (yes homework) asking all kinds of questions about your kids and family. I want to know your goals for our time together and what you want your kids to see when they look back on the images in a few years.
If you have a little (or big) one who may need a little extra time warming up to a new face, ask if your photographer is willing to meet you once before your session. This may help ease some of the fears your child may have and can build a trusting relationship from the start.
After the session
What can you expect after your session? How long will it take to receive proofs of your images and how will they be showcased? Will the photographer meet with you to discuss ways to enjoy your art? How will the images be maintained after the session? Answers to each of these questions will vary from photographer to photographer and it will be up to you to decide which answers best suit your family needs.
The saying “You get what you pay for” is certainly true when it comes to photography. When hiring a professional photographer with a solid reputation, artistic vision, and images that will stand the test of time you can feel comfortable you have made a great decision and truly enjoy your photography experience.