If you have found this page it’s probably because you are thinking about hiring a photographer to take professional photos of you and your family. I’m also guessing that you have probably come across a variety of price points and packages and you want to know which one is right for you.
There is no short answer but hopefully, this guide will explain how to work out the difference in what photographers can offer and help you make your decision.
To start with there are two main pricing models: The session fee model and the fixed price model.
With the session fee model, a photographer charges a client for the photoshoot itself and for their time editing and putting together an online gallery of the images. Customers are then invited to view the gallery and purchase photos at an additional cost.
With a fixed price model a photographer has a set price which includes the photography session itself and a set of edited digital images which are emailed to the customer giving them the option to print or share as and when they please.
This might sound obvious but it can help when choosing a photographer to have in mind what you’d like to receive at the end of it—do you want prints, an album, or just digital images so you can send the photos to relatives or share on social media? Do you have the budget to splash out on a luxury experience and all the products or are your needs more simple? Costs for either of the two pricing models can hugely vary. The reason being that each service will offer something completely different from the next. Below are some of the main differences in family photography services.
Whether the photographer shoots in a studio or comes to your home or an outdoor location.
Their style. Do they shoot posed formal photography or more natural lifestyle photography? Do they provide props and costumes for babies
Whether they will spend time getting to know you in a consultation whether its face to face or over the phone.
The level of service you can expect during the session. Some services offer a luxury experience including hair and makeup for example.
Whether you have the option to choose which photographs you purchase
Whether the photographer will help you to choose the best way to display your photographs.
So let's say you have decided on a price model that works for you and you have a good idea of the type of service you need. But you have still only narrowed it down to several photographers in your area who’s prices all come into your budget. How do you decide which to choose?
Style and personality
Do you like their style? Look at their website. Is the style of their photography consistent? Is it the look that you are going for? Read about the photographer in their bio. Are they your sort of person?
Nothing speaks more highly of someone's services than a recommendation. Ask on local social media groups or parents forums. Follow a photographer you like on Instagram or Facebook. Also read their online reviews on google business.
Personally I don't buy into the idea that you need to have a photography degree to be a great professional photographer. Some of the most successful photographers I know are completely self-taught. Experience is more than just the number of years you have worked. It is also about the variety of work you have done. You can tell a lot about someone's experience by reading their bio. Ask yourself what does this person know about working with babies and children? Do they have pictures of young kids, older kids, families outdoor, indoors, large families, small families….
Photography is a luxury service but that doesn’t mean that it is always inaccessible. Look out for photographers doing discounts such mini sessions in quiet seasons and keep an eye out for photographers looking to increase their portfolio as they will often do pictures at a discounted rate.