If you are a mama, chances are you LOVE photography because let’s all be real… who doesn’t love having fun, beautiful and amazing images of their little ones right?! It doesn’t matter who takes the photos, as long as the image captures our little ones as true to who they are in the moment right here and right now… we love them and we want them!
On the other hand, as a mom myself, I know at least for me, I also want to be IN a few pictures so that years from now my little one can look back and know how much his mom loved him. I want to be in the images so that when he’s grown he can see (truly see) what I looked like and remember all those small details of me, the tiny little quirks or characteristics that made me who I am… his mom.
I want him to see his whole family! I want him to see how we are together! How we laugh, how we play, and who we are as he is growing. And guess what: I can’t do that all by myself. There are times when I need to hire a professional photographer and I want that professional photographer to be the right fit! Gosh ya’ll that is so important!
I want that photographer to understand who we are so that he or she can capture that perfectly and authentically! So how do you know if the photographer you like or have found IS the right fit? There are soo many photographers out there these days, so how do you choose?!
I’m going to share 5 secrets (plus a bonus) to help you find your BEST family photographer today! Believe me, it’s make a HUGE difference! It’s so much more than just liking their images in their portfolio gallery or online, you want to make sure that you connect with them as people! Your photographer is going to be spending time with you and your family capturing images that will hopefully last a lifetime and tell your story that will be passed down generation after generation. You want to start thinking in terms of who can I TRUST with my families visual story?! You wouldn’t want someone just off the street. You want this person to understand you. You want this person to be someone you like and who cares about you! So how do you find this person?
- Scout their website and read their bio page! Maybe you found them on instagram or facebook, it doesn’t matter where you found them just make sure to read their bio page or about me! This is the first place you can start to get an idea of whether you and this specific photographer are a “match.” Do you have anything in common? Do you share the same ideas, goals, likes or dislikes? Do they have anything in their about me that instantly attracts you or just as important repels you? Go to their website and read their bio page! These are more detailed than on instagram and we purposely write these to attract our ideal clients. If there is something that stands out either positively or negatively, that is a wonderful thing! There are so many photographers out there right now that YOU ARE BLESSED as the client! You can absolutely find the perfect photographer by finding someone that no only has the style of photography you like but also clicks with you personally and this is so important. Most people don’t realize that connecting with your photographer personally can make or break a session. When you feel comfortable with your photographer, you let down your guard and that’s when the images become authentic and magical! Those are the images that feel like home! That’s also when the photography session feels fun and inspired and will keep you coming back time and time again!
- Check them out on their feeds Instagram/Pinterest etc: After you have read their bio pages, scroll through their instagram feed! Instagram is the new everything and right now many photographers are posting really beautiful and heartfelt posts! It takes just a minute to scroll through someone’s instagram feed and what you might find can be really revealing. Do you scroll through and read the captions and say, wow.. me too?! Or, gosh this feed is inspiring? Or does it leave you feeling confused or as if your missing something? Notice how you feel and that should tell you if they are the right photographer for you and your family. You should love most everything from the environments and locations they are choosing to the outfits and the expressions on their clients faces!
- Read their blog! Yes, please take the time to head over to their blog and read a few of their posts! This is where their showcase their clients! This is where potentially one day your family session will be featured! You should take a moment to read how the photographer writes about each family that steps in front of his or her camera. Do you feel something when you read their posts? Do you want to read more? Do you feel like your heart strings are being tugged? This is so important! You might love everything about this photographer and then head over to their blog and realize, wait… something doesn’t sit right! The opposite could happen too, you might be on the fence about someone and head over to their blog to realize that their blog is what they are using to really highlight their clients! They might be better with words than social media and that changes things for you! Blogs can still be a very powerful tool, especially for photographers, so don’t miss that chance to get to know them!
- Take the time to e mail the photographer (not instagram message, or facebook message): E mail is by far the best way to communicate with your new potential photographer and it’s also the best way to determine how your new photographer will value YOU personally! When you take the time to e mail your perspective photographer what kind of response do you receive? Is it a one way, one word answer? Are you genuinely excited about one another? I know this sounds silly but YES IT IS A LOT LIKE DATING! Your family photographer should have a client experience and you should feel that from the very first interaction. If you do not… please find another photographer! This experience should be important to both of you and if it’s not, move on! You should be able to feel the photographer’s personality from their first e mail response! They should be excited to work with you and want to know more about you and your family!
- Meet for Coffee: If you still aren’t sure, meet one on one! I have had plenty of coffee dates and they are the best! Many of my coffee dates with potential clients turn into lasting friendships and lifetime photography clients! Professional photography is an investment, you want to make sure that this is a perfect fit for BOTH of you! One of the best ways to do this is to meet in person to make sure that your visions are along the same path! The best advice that I can give to any client is you want to feel like you are showing up to a play date and not for a photography session when all is said and done! A photography session should never feel like a photography session. The only way that can truly happen is if you and your photographer are more than just client and business owner.
- All about the kids~!! This is something I like to add on because it’s important to me and it should be for you as well. When you are talking or meeting or even on the session with your photographer, you want to find a way somehow to see how they feel about the kids! Family photography is and should be ALL ABOUT THE LITTLE ONES! It needs to be fun and kids should always be a priority! There have been many times where I’ve had clients come to me after sessions with family photographers where family sessions were dreaded because photographers did not pay attention or speak to the kids at all. Where kids were expected to “act perfectly” and the list goes on and on! Please understand this and make sure to ask your photographer how the kids will be treated! Kids are KIDS! They should not only be the focus of the session but they should be allowed to be kids! Emotions happen and they should be embraced rather than worried over or prevented. The more playful and loud and silly as session is the more enjoyable the session usually will be!
I hope that these little tips help you on your search for your BEST family photographer the next time you are looking to capture your family photos! There are so many wonderful child and family photographers out there just waiting for you to find them, all you have to do is spend a little time doing your homework!~ You never know who you might find and how they might impact your life! You could find your next best friend waiting around the corner.
I know I’ve been so incredibly blessed to find so many new mom friends and I’m so thankful for all the families that have trusted me to capture their family legacy and story throughout the years!