Time to update your family portraits? Or perhaps you’re expecting a baby and want to catch those first few moments together? Whatever the occasion, big or small, there are some decisions to make to ensure you select a photographer that suits your needs and provides you with a wonderful experience with beautiful treasured images of you and your family. Kristy Jauncey from Kaptured By Kris Photography shares her knowledge.
There are many things to consider when choosing a photographer that suits your needs. Some of these things include:
What kind of session are you after? A studio setting? Outdoors? Posed or more natural, unposed lifestyle images? These are very important things to consider as it will set the basis for your session. Ensure your chosen photographer has consistency in their portfolio so there are no surprises. If on location, can they provide examples of their preferred locations? Or will they shoot in a location that is important to you and your family?
Packages & Pricing
This is a tough one, as there are many options that photographers will offer and you need to find someone who fits within your budget. Pricing will vary considerably from photographer to photographer, taking into considerations things like: experience, equipment, training, overheads, pricing models and what products you will receive for their fee.
Consider what is important to you and what you plan to do with your images. Do you only want prints, digital files or both? If you are after digital images, you will want them issued to you in a high resolution format so that you are able to arrange your own prints and enlargements with no watermarks/logos.
Will your images be edited? In colour, black and white or both? It is important you understand what you should expect to receive and how long it will take for you to receive them.
Sign a contract! A photography contract/agreement provide mutually beneficial protection to both you and your photographer. Read the contract before signing. This will ensure there are no surprises and you know what to expect, especially in relation to the photographer’s policies, payment requirements and delivery of their services.
Safety & Insurance
This is the most important aspect of choosing a photographer. Your photographer should provide a safe space to conduct your session, whether it be in a studio or on location, where is it safe for you and your family. For newborn sessions in particular, ensure the photographer is trained in newborn safety/posing and their vaccinations are up to date. There are plenty of poses in newborn photography that are ‘composite’ shots, meaning multiples images are taken and then composed/stitched together in photoshop. You do not want your baby to be put in a position where their safety is at risk. Professional photographers should have appropriate business and liability insurance, if you’re unsure, ask them.
Is it too good to be true?
Then yes, it usually is. If you’ve been accosted at your local shopping centre and won a free session or print etc, ensure you are aware of what you are entering into. Most competitions will offer a complimentary print but the additional prints/products may be well outside your budget, and leave you feeling disappointed with the experience. Ask questions first so you’re not having to later. Read the terms and conditions and this way you with avoid wasting your time, along with the photographers.
Make the decision
It might take you a few hours of checking out a bunch of photographer’s websites but ultimately it is about loving their portfolio. This is such an important memory to record, and it’s too valuable to lose. So take your time, ask questions. You should feel excited about your decision. Photography is like most things in life, you get what you pay for, and well-trained photographers who have spent years perfecting their art using high end equipment won’t often be at the cheap end of the spectrum. There are many unseen hours and costs that go into photography sessions that are factored into a photographers package and pricing structure. Once you’ve made the right decision, you won’t regret it. You will thank yourself every time you look at those beautiful images in your home that captured a special time in your life that you never want to forget.
Last but not least, mums, get in the photo! Your kids won’t care if your hair isn’t perfect, or whether your clothes fit right or your eyebrows need waxing. There will be a point in time where they will want to see photos of their mum, the love, memories and connection you shared together when they were growing up – so whether it’s your iPhone or a professional shoot, jump in the pic mums!
The NSM Directory has plenty of local, talented and highly recommended photographers where you can access their website information all in the one place… It’s a great resource and a great place to start researching.