For this post, I want to not only help clients that are all over the world but also clients that are thinking about hiring me as their family portrait photographer. So while reading over the post, I’ll give you general knowledge of what to look for and then I’ll give you my specific answers to those questions!
What types of photography do you specialize in?
“Portrait” is a broad term that can refer to everything from family photos to styled individual images. While some family portrait photographers offer a wide variety of sessions, others specialize in just a few specific types of photography and some photographers stick to one genre. Before you book a family portrait photographer, make sure that they offer the type of session you’re looking for. You may even want to ask what types of sessions they enjoy most as passion for a particular type of photography can translate to fantastic images.
After almost 12 years as a professional photographer, I have come to realize that I AM NOT capable of taking pictures of all the things. For instance, if you’re looking for posed newborn images where those cute little babies are all wrapped up and posed just perfectly, I’m not your girl. Those images are absolutely beautiful and take a ton of patience and time and…I’m not good at that. LOL. Clients that are usually attracted to my work are typically looking for a very laid back, lifestyle type of session. Lots of candids, natural “posing”, not too awkward or stiff. I believe those types of images are more pleasing to the eye, to my clients and really…they’re just more fun 🙂
What does your session fee include?
Every family portrait photographer has their own way of setting up pricing. Some have set packages that include a specific number of images or hours of shooting, while others create custom packages depending on each client’s needs. Most photographers charge a session fee, but what this includes varies from business to business. In many cases, the session fee only covers the photographer’s time and talent and does not include any images or products. Be sure to understand what the session fee includes before you sign a contract.
Family Portrait Photographer session fees include my time, travel within a 50 mile radius and an online portrait gallery delivered within approximately 2 weeks time. That gallery is filled with fully edited, hi-resolution images of your session and those images are yours to download and share with friends and family. Galleries are active for 90 days and can be reactivated for an additional fee if needed. Before anything is set in stone, ALWAYS be sure to review the contract and ask for clarity if you need it!
Can you tell me about your process?
Asking this question is a great way to get to know your potential family portrait photographer and how they work. There is no right or wrong answer to this question, but it’s important to understand what you can expect from your photographer and how they will get the best possible images out of you in order to determine if they will be a good fit for your portrait session.
“Fauxtojournalistic”…is a word us photographers who love candids but want to place our clients in the best possible situation lighting and composition wise, created to explain our process 🙂 And really, it’s quite simple for the clients. Most, if not all clients, usually utter the phrase “put me where you want me” at least once during a session. And that’s pretty much what I’ll do…just put you where I think is the best option and tell you to relax and enjoy!
How would you describe your style of photography?
Most photographers have a specific style of images they tend to create. This could be dark and moody or light or airy. Some photographers may focus on candid images, which is also called photojournalistic or documentary photography. If you have a specific vision in mind for your images, it’s important to find a family portrait photographer who can help bring that vision to life.
Pretty much the same as above with the “fauxtojournalistic” approach to creating your images during your session. As for my editing process as a family portrait photographer, I explain it like this…every situation is different. Every lighting situation is different. Every location is typically different. Every family is different. So why should all images be edited to the same exact specifications? Everything, to me, doesn’t fit into the mold of “light & airy” or “dark & moody”. I honestly take what the location and client give to me and capture and preserve those moments as best as I can. My goal is to make timeless, non-trendy images that your family can look back on 100 years from now and still appreciate and cherish
What are your terms and conditions?
Before you sign a contract with anyone, you should know what that contract includes. Talk to your photographer about their policies for cancellation or postponement because you never know what circumstances might arise that could force you to cancel your session. Terms and conditions also include deposits, payment terms and license and usage rights.
Life happens. I get it. So cancellations are something we all have to deal with sometimes. In terms of how I handle these, there’s 2 scenarios. 1. I will never cancel a session completely unless the client has gone AWOL after signing the contract. I email clients fairly frequently and per contract, you are required to confirm your session 48 hours prior to the session…because again, life happens. 2. The only other reason I would cancel is for poor weather. By poor weather I mean rain, hurricane, flooding…you get it 🙂 Cancellations with proper notice are ALWAYS able to reschedule but deposits and/or any payments made are non refundable if you choose not to move forward with any session ever. There are exceptions to the rules, obviously and I am pretty easy to work with so if there ever comes a time you book and have to cancel or reschedule, I try my best to find a way that works for you!
What will you do to help me feel comfortable in front of the camera?
Most of us aren’t used to having our photo taken, and it can cause a little anxiety. If you’re worried about how you’ll feel during your portrait session, ask your family portrait photographer how they will help put you at ease. Every professional photographer should have a clear plan for helping clients feel comfortable. If they put all the responsibility on you to prepare, that’s a definite red flag, and you likely want to work with someone else.
I love to laugh and sarcasm is second nature over here. There’s nothing left to explain 🙂
Can you give me posing guidance?
Along with helping you to feel comfortable, your family portrait photographer should be prepared to direct you into different, natural poses. You should never wonder What do I do with my hands? A professional knows how to gently guide and adjust you to create images that capture your authentic personality—photos you will want to share with everyone you love.
I definitely provide guidance! Simple, not overly posed guidance. 🙂
Can I see examples of your work?
You’ve likely already seen some of the photographer’s work on their website or social media if you’ve done your research, but it also helps to see galleries from other portrait sessions. Ask if you can view a full gallery or see more of their images to get a better idea of their style and if it fits what you’re looking for in your portrait session.
If you’re still on the fence and aren’t sure about what a full gallery could look like, I am always more than happy to share previous galleries of my work! Just ask and you shall receive 🙂 You can also find tons of my work on my website
What is the usual timeline for your sessions / receiving images?
Understanding how the actual portrait session will go can help ease nerves and give you a better idea of what to expect. Ask your family portrait photographer to briefly walk you through how your session time will be used and don’t be afraid to ask questions! You can also ask for a rough estimate on how long it takes to get your final images. Don’t be put off if the turnaround time is a little long—that just means they’re putting even more work into your photos!
Typically sessions are delivered within 2 weeks. If there ever is a delay, I will let you know immediately!