Choosing a newborn or family photographer can be a totally overwhelming process. For someone who isn’t well versed in the art of photography and doesn’t necessarily know what to look for in a quality photograph, here’s what typically happens:
You turn to your friends. Or you post on social media, either on your own page or in a Facebook moms group, something like this: “Does anyone have a family photographer they recommend?” And because most people are blinded by their own children’s cuteness (because, DUH! “Look at my bayyyybieees!! Sooo preciousssss!!”), you will get all sorts of recommendations of different photographers with different styles and different levels of experience.
How do you tell these photographers apart? How do you decipher the bad from the good from the great?
Finding a great photographer means finding someone with both a great artistic vision and the proficiency in business to provide excellent customer service. Let’s talk first about the art!
The first thing to look for in a great family photo is focus. A great photographer will consistently show and deliver photos that have the eyes in focus. When the photo is out of focus, there is a slight softness or blur and the image won’t look crisp when printed for your wall. Here is an example of two photos, one with sharp focus (right) and one that missed focus (left).
The next thing to look at is skin tones. A great photographer makes intentional decisions when operating her camera and in the editing process, and you’ll see consistency in the color tones which are best noticed in a person’s skin tones. Often with beginners who are photographing with the camera on auto, you’ll see a wide array of cool and warm skin tones in her work. A seasoned photographer will show skin tones that reflect the natural warmth and proper exposure of your skin.
I know, that is a lot of photographer jargon, so let me show you what I mean. Check out this adorable family below.
Look at the photo on the left (feel free to use your hand to cover the photo on the right). If you were this sweet boy’s mama, you’d be absolutely in love with the emotion in this photo and his smile. But looking at the final image on the right after skilled editing, there’s a glow to their skin that displays expertise in editing that isn’t shown in the same image on the left. A great photographer will display images in her portfolio that are all edited consistently.
And finally, the most subjective of the ways to compare photographers artistically- look at their styles. In the photography world, there is such beauty in the diversity of styles. For family portraits, some photographers prefer more posed looks while some favor candids and capturing interactions between family members that tell a story. Some photographers edit with a dark range of tones, some are more neutral and true to life and some have a more light and airy feel. There are photographers who encourage clients to embrace colorful wardrobes and others who encourage a more neutral palette. In newborn photography, the distinctions are even more vast. Whether you prefer prop-heavy posing, sweet squishy nudes or authentic lifestyle images, you’ll be able to find a photographer who specializes in what you are envisioning.
Why does this matter? Because you need to look at people’s portfolio of work and imagine that style on your walls. Photographers work hard to hone their craft and perfect their images in the style that makes their creative heart sing, and you want to be sure your visions align so that you love your end result!
Once you’ve found some great photographers who are skilled and match your vision for your dream family photography session, reach out to the ones you like!
As you’re interacting with the photographer, notice:
· Does the photographer respond to your communication in a timely fashion?
· Do they have a contract that outlines their responsibilities to you as the client and yours to them?
· Do they only offer digital images or do they take pride in helping their clients find the perfect images from their session to hang on the wall with quality prints that last for generations or treasure forever in an heirloom album?
· What’s their turnaround time for edited images and completed printed artwork?
· Do they have reviews and testimonials from people you don’t know that back up their work?
· Do you connect? Could you imagine working together?
There are so many things that can make a photographer a great choice. From artistic skill to reliability in their business dealings, there’s so many ways a great photographer can distinguish herself.
It goes without saying that I am a firm believer that Rachel Friedman Photography is that choice, if my style matches your vision. Let’s chat and get to know one another and see how I can serve you and your family.
Rachel is a premier family, newborn and maternity photographer who provides a custom portrait experience for families across DFW. She serves moms-to-be and mothers of young children throughout the metroplex, including Plano, Dallas, Frisco, Garland, Grapevine, The Colony, Little Elm, Richardson, Addison, Denton, Lewisville, Carrollton, Southlake and beyond.