Our memories are the only thing we get to keep forever–and even those can begin to slip with time. The right family photographer captures a moment in time, preserving it for future generations.
Your family’s portraits are more than just pretty photographs. They are works of art that remind you and your children of who you are, how you live, and what matters most.
What to Look For in a Family Photographer
You deserve a family photographer who can capture your family at its best, with images that are still true-to-you. Here are seven hallmarks of a quality family photographer.
1. EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH FAMILIES
Families can be wonderful, but they can also be tricky. From screaming newborns to preschoolers who want everything their own way, and including wayward in-laws and awkward spouses—corralling everyone into a portrait session can prove awkward and challenging.
Experienced family photographers are skilled at handling difficult situations and will be happy to provide help and encouragement. More importantly, they’ll know how to work with the difficult members of your family to coax out a few smiles and some gorgeous natural candids. Ask about experience and be sure to view the photographer’s portfolio.
2. A STYLE THAT MATCHES WHO YOU ARE
Every family has its own culture. Some families eat formal dinners in the dining room every night. Others spend their weekends in pajamas playing games. Still others are committed to volunteerism or activism.
Because each family is unique in their own way, you need a photographer who understands and appreciates your family for who they are—not who the photographer wants you to be. Look through the photographer’s portfolio. Do the images reflect your family culture? Can you see yourself working with this person?
3. TIMELESS SKILL
Photography is both art and science. Having a quality camera and a website aren’t enough. The best photographers have honed their skills for years, and sometimes for decades. A skilled photographer understands how to create and modify lighting as well as pose the human body in a flattering manner.” Look for images that depict families in a way that transcends current trends. Ask yourself if these images will stand the test of time. Then look closely. Are the portraits flawless, beautiful, and unique? Your family deserves the best, so continue the search until you’ve found a family photographer who can deliver on the promise of expertise.
4. EXCELLENT SOCIAL AND COMMUNICATION SKILLS
A skilled photographer should be able to put you at ease in seconds, allowing you to feel comfortable and relaxed during your session. Photographers have to coax natural and beautiful portraits from shy or skeptical people. So look for someone whose love of people shines through. That love is what will help the photographer depict your family in a flattering, natural way. Excellent communication is non-negotiable, since it’s critical to the artistic process.
Good photographers control their environment to get the best portrait. Great photographers are prepared to deal with setbacks like rain, a screaming toddler, or a sullen spouse. When interviewing your photographer, ask about their ability to be flexible if something goes awry. This is particularly important if you have selected a public outdoor location for your session. Your photographer must have a plan B for rain, interruptions, or “bad” lighting.
6. AN EYE FOR DETAIL
You might not notice small details, like a hair curling awkwardly over your eye or a shadow on your baby’s face. A good photographer will. It’s a positive sign if your photographer swoops in to make a few corrections to the scene. Look carefully at their portfolio, too. Do you see a lot of wrinkled clothes or out-of-place hair? Is the posing awkward? Or has the photographer worked diligently to ensure everyone looks their best, that the lines are clean, and the lighting is perfect?
Does every portrait in the photographer’s portfolio look the same, involving the same poses and staging?. A great photographer will know how to create a style to portray your family’s unique characteristics Look for a diverse range of portraits in the photographer’s portfolio. If you have a specific portrait session in mind, ask for ideas. An expert will be brimming over with suggestions that can work with your photographic vision.
Your Choice Is Personal
At the end of the day, your choice should come down to the photographer you feel comfortable with and can trust to make the best use of your time and investment.
Gittings Photography is proud to offer artistic portraits that stand the test of time. Our heirloom quality of work transcends trends, preserving for eternity the memories that matter most.