Arthur Ellis | Photography Presents:
Selecting a Family & Children Portrait Photographer
The images created by professional photographers touch every aspect of your life and give you a beautiful way to preserve those memories. A portrait can be enjoyed in many ways, whether you incorporate it as a wall portrait in your home decor or purchase copies of the final print for the entire family. Consider the following tips on selecting and working with a photographer for your family’s portrait needs:
• Interview several photographers. They should be willing to take the time to listen to what you want and ask questions about you and/or your family. A photographer needs this information to create images that tell the story of who you are, or who you would like to be. Keep in mind that you are not hiring someone to simply take a picture, but to tell your story.
• Ask about style. Do you like photojournalistic images? Or is your style more classical, whimsical or romantic? Let the photographer know what you have in mind, and ask if he or she has experience in that area. You want them to use the style that best captures your personality.
• Look at samples. Ask to see some of the photographer’s work. This will give you an idea of both the style and quality each photographer provides.
• Additional services. Some professional photographers may provide specialized services in addition to photography. These services may include retouching, for removing blemishes or otherwise altering images; photograph restoration, which can help preserve memories from past generations; and custom framing, to make your portrait look its best. While your photographer may not offer all of these services, he or she can refer you to a quality vendor.
• Communicate. Make sure the photographer has a clear understanding of your expectations. Take the time to discuss the services and fees involved. This helps avoid any future misunderstandings.
• Ask about credentials. Membership in a professional association, certification or a photography degree shows a certain level of commitment to the profession. These types of credentials can help you determine which photographer is right for you.
• Check references. A friend’s recommendation, the Better Business Bureau and professional associations are excellent sources of information.
Once you’ve hired a photographer, he or she should take the time to talk to you about your family and their favorite activities, as well as offer suggestions on location and coordinating clothing and colors. The photographer will use this information to create a photograph that tells your family’s unique story.
In fact, many families make their portraits more memorable by turning them into an event. One way of accomplishing this is traveling to your favorite location, like local parks, your family’s place of worship, or at a family member’s home.
Remember to use Professional Photographers of America’s free referral service (Find-a-Photographer) to help you locate the right photographer for you. Search the Find-a-Photographer database for a professional photographer or call (800) 786-6277 for assistance.