There's a few of you out there right now thinking, "Why is she writing this? Doesn't she want us to pick her as our photographer?"
Simply put, of course I do. But there's something I want more. I want you to love you images. Photographers are different. Some shoot light and airy, some shoot with more contrast. Others prefer bright, vibrant colors over earthy, subdued tones. Some will help you with a stylish, matching wardrobe for your entire family and others will want to capture your family as they are. You have options when it comes to photography and I want to help you make an informed decision above anything.
1.) Figure out the kinds of images you love. Pull out your favorite images of you, your family, your kids, etc. In the images that you love, what are they doing? What elements about the photo do you love the most? For example this is one of my FAVORITE pictures ever of Declan, and per usual, he's not looking at me.
But that doesn't matter to me because my favorite images of him are when he's immersed in an activity. But that's my personal preference. Your favorite image of your kid(s) may be the Christmas photo you take every year in front of the tree when everyone is perfectly coiffed. So pull out those photos, and take a look. Which are your favorites? Keep those in mind when you're looking at a potential photographer's work.
2.) Ask your friends... And then do your research. Word of mouth is huge. If your friends used a photographer and raved about them, they're definitely worth a look (especially if your friend has similar taste in "favorite" images). But don't just go book. Take a look at their website and social media. How are their reviews? Are they short, one sentence, "They were great!" type of reviews, or did the photographer inspire folks into writing in-depth odes to their amazing-ness? Those are the kind of reviews that will indicate a great photographer. Not a lot of reviews? Look at quality over quantity. They may just be starting out.
Short little PSA here... If you have an amazing or not amazing experience with a photographer or any other service provider, review them! Someone providing a service should want to hear how they can improve or if they knocked it out of the park if they're worth their salt! You have no idea how much it is appreciated. Even I need to get better about reviewing ;)
3.) Once you have your short list of photographers, check their information pages, pricing, and any FAQ's. These should give you a really clear idea of what to expect at your session before you even start. What are you planning to do with your images? A couple canvases for your walls? A photo album? Social media sharing for family members out of state? Depending on what you want, you'll need your photographer to provide different things. Remember that quality products will cost more, but will also last longer and the color will be truer to the original image.
4.) After you have information back, a couple things you should look for are a contract (as this will protect you both) and consistent, clear communication. Customer service is key and you should always be able to get clear answers to any questions you have!
I hope these tips help you find the photographer that's right for you. Photography is and should be an investment. These are your memories made tangible. I sincerely hope you find the photographer whose images make you smile every time you see them.
If you have any questions about any of this, don't hesitate to reach out and say hello!