You only need to type “family photography” into google to see that there are literally hundreds of family photographers to choose from.
Here are some of the things you should be thinking about when planning your family photo shoot:
- Studio or Outdoor – Do you like studio photography or do you prefer natural surroundings? Whether you live a city or in the country, you will have access to beautiful outside spaces, which make great locations for family photo shoots.
- Style – Do you like a traditional or contemporary style? Look at examples on photographer’s websites and shortlist the names whose work you like.
- Budget – What is your budget? Assume you will like the photos and will naturally want to have some (or all) of them to keep. Compare prices of photographers that you like.
- Finished Products – What do you want to have at the end of the shoot – a single, large framed print on the wall, a variety of framed prints (storyboard), the digital images to share with family and friends?
Once you have decided on the above, you can search more specifically online (for example, searching specifically for studio photographers or contemporary photographers). Look at photographers websites to see if you like their work and to confirm whether they suit your budget and product requirements. Also ask your friends – word of mouth is a great way to get recommended photographers.
Once you have a shortlist of portrait photographers, get in touch to confirm any outstanding questions that you have. Some points to bear in mind and ask for clarification are:
- Session Fees – be aware that very low or free session fees could mean higher product prices
- Product Prices – are these available on the website? If not, clarify. Be wary of “prices start from £x”. It might be a good idea to think about what you will likely want and check that price specifically, for example, a 20x16inch frame.
- Digital images – if these are available, does that include printing rights, are the images high resolution?
- Availability – some portrait photographers may be booked in advance, so have some dates in mind
- Clothing – ask your photographer if they have any advice on what you should wear for the shoot. I usually advise comfort, something that you like, plain rather than patterned, cute accessories for children such as hats and being aware that bold logos and fashion fads will date more quickly.
- Products – clarify how long it takes for products to be ready, particularly if you have a deadline such as a birthday present in mind.
- Specifics – if you have any other questions on your mind, just ask for advice. For example, sometimes I am asked if the family dog can be involved or I am told that one child in particular is very camera shy. Any information like that is useful.