Choosing a Family Photographer

by Bibb Photography on March 18, 2013 · 0 comments

By Siobhan Bibb

When you decide it’s time to update your family photos, you have some important decisions to make! The first and most important decision will be picking the right photographer for your family. Hiring a professional family photographer is a wonderful way to celebrate your family. A professional photographer captures your life together in a very meaningful and beautiful way. However, photographers are in abundance, and your choices may seem overwhelming. Here are some key points to consider when choosing a photographer for your photo session.

Style: The first thing you should do is decide what type of session you would like. Do you want studio shots, on-location photography at your favourite park or beach, or would an in-home session bring out the best in your family? It’s important to understand what kind of photographs you want to hang on your walls, because this will affect which photographer you select.

Referrals: Once you have decided what type of session you want, a good thing to do is to ask friends, family, even community groups or forums for recommendations. If people have had a great experience with a photographer and love their photographs, they will want to sing the praises of that photographer. Alternately, if people have been left disappointed with their photographer, they may be able to give you some helpful insights that might save you time, money, and grief. Keep in mind you should specify the style of photographer you are looking for (studio, on-location, etc.) when asking for recommendations. You wouldn’t want to needlessly pursue a studio photographer if what you really want is to have a photographer to come to your home.

Browse: Now that you have a few (or more than a few) referrals, take some time to look for examples of the photographers’ work. Utilize the internet and spend some time on their websites. Many photographers also have a presence on social media, such as Facebook and blogs, to highlight their most recent work. These are also great places to get a feel for the photographer’s style. Photographers have more styles of shooting and editing than you may have thought possible, so make certain that the photographer you choose produces the “look” of photographs that you are drawn to. Also, pay attention to the photographer’s specialty. Not all photographers specialize in families and children; likewise, not all photographers will shoot weddings or newborns.

Interaction: I encourage you to contact any photographer(s) that meet your criteria. Introduce yourself, ask questions, and get to know them a little bit. This is one step that I find many people skip over. Keep in mind that you want this photographer to capture who you are as a family, and as individuals. Making sure that you “click” with your photographer before the session will give you the very best chance at getting the kind of photographs that you’ll love forever.

Services: You may find that there are several photographers who have caught your interest, but you have to narrow it down to just one for your family session. It’s important to decide now what you want out of the session.

  • Are you looking for canvas prints that you can display as art pieces in your home?
  • Or are you instead looking for a series of smaller prints that you can display on your walls, shelves, or desk?
  • Do you want albums, photo greeting cards, or another photo product?
  • How important is it to you to have a disc of your finished photos?

Take some time to familiarize yourself with what products each photographer has to offer, and if this will meet your needs. Keep in mind that professional photographers have the ability to offer higher quality products than are available at your local drug store or department store; these professional products are priced accordingly.

It is also important to choose a photographer whose services fit into your budget. However, be careful not to rule out a photographer that you feel would be a perfect fit for your family just because the investment is a bit high. When you find the right photographer whom you feel will capture the essence of your family, figure out a way to hire him/her even if their pricing is higher than someone else. Start a photo session fund where you set aside a bit of money each month. Ask the photographer if they offer a payment plan. Figure out a way to make it work if you really feel a connection with a particular photographer and you love his/her work.

Remember that professional photography is an investment in a product that you and your children will cherish for generations. It’s important to get the end product that you desire. Take the time to do the research, make the investment, and put aside an hour or two with your loved ones to capture these moments forever.

Siobhan Bibb is the owner/operator of BibbPhoto.  Siobhan is a portrait photographer in the Greater Victoria Area who specializes in on location and in-home photography sessions for children, couples, and families.

When Siobhan is not creating images for her wonderful clients, she is busy homeschooling her two oldest boys and running after her fun-loving three year old.

You can connect with Siobhan at any of the following places:




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