When you get ready to book a family portrait session, here are a few tips and questions to consider that will hopefully help ensure you get the beautiful images you are looking for.
Before you ask friends for referrals or do a google search, ask yourself these questions:
1. What type of portraiture/photography style do you like? Do you prefer studio or natural light pictures? Do you connect more with images of families which are posed or those with a more candid feel? If you aren't quite sure, a quick Pinterest search for family portraits might help you narrow down your preferences.
2. What are the stories you would like to be preserved and handed down to the next generation? For example this family enjoys camping and the girls like to hullahoop! Do you have a certain season or location that is important to you? Or do you have a certain timeframe or date you'd like to book your session?
3. What do you hope to come away with after the session? Namely, what do you intend to do with the images? A full album, digital negatives to store and share with friends and family, prints to hang on the wall or just a few images for a birth announcement or holiday card?
4. Keeping the answers to 1-3 in your mind will help you narrow down a few potential professionals or studios. Next, consider what connection you have with them on both artistic and personal levels. In other words, assess whether you like their work, and just as importantly, whether you think you'd feel comfortable and at ease during the session. This can be critical - the more comfortable you are, the better you will look in the pictures.
5. Inquire about their availability, pricing structure, and if they would be willing to meet in person or online and collaborate on the session beforehand, if you'd like.
6. Once you book a session, if possible, do your best to keep the lines of communication open and lay out your expectations beforehand. The more the photographer is aware of your needs, the better they can prepare and be able to adjust their services.
I also highly recommend reading this helpful blog post when you begin planning your portrait session!