I hope you’ve been finding this series helpful and at the very least, you’ve picked up some information to use the next time you’re planning family portraits.

little girl, growing

Portraits taken through the years help to give a child a sense of self history.family portraits.

First we talked about what you can get from a portrait session.

Next we talked about what types of portrait sessions are out there.

We’ve now come to the final step and I have to admit, I really struggled with putting this last.  You see, as an artist, I really want you to fall in love with my work. Then I want you to just have to book a session with me.  But I know that there are a lot of factors that go into choosing a photographer.   Hopefully you’ve read over my suggestions on types of products and types of sessions and now that you have a good idea of what you want, it’s time to really look (and get ready to fall in love) 😀

Step 3: It’s important that you look around.

As I mentioned earlier, there are tons of photographers offering a variety of products and services for a variety of budgets.  It’s important that you investigate your options.  Visit websites and facebook pages.  Look at Instagram feeds and Pinterest boards.  Talk to your friends and find out their experiences. These outlets are not only important for seeing the quality of work a photographer produces, they can be a great way to get an idea of the photographer’s personality.  When looking at images, it’s not just about seeing that they look pretty.  Look for consistency in style and processing.  A seasoned photographer will consistently have good quality work.  Seeing a mix of beautiful, correctly exposed images with dark, out of focus images could be a red flag for a newbie, someone who is trying to jump into the business without enough technical training and experience.

Warning, image theft is real and a big problem in the photography industry.  There are photographers who lift others’ work and use it to market themselves.  It’s frustrating for the photographers and also for clients who end up being mislead or worse, scammed.

When looking at a photographer’s gallery, it’s also important to look at the kind of posing that they offer.  Are the poses straight forward, formal poses or are they more natural, life style images?  This will help you get a good idea of how you want your family portraits to look.  If you prefer the more natural style, then you want to look for a photographer that offers “life style” sessions.  If you want the formal, studio look, make sure to find a photographer that offers sessions at a brick and mortar studio.

Finally, I recommend reading the words that your potential photographer writes. Personality isn’t everything.  However, if you have small or sensitive children, it’s important to get a clear idea of your photographer’s personality.  For example, if you have a child with special needs, hire a photographer that has the patience and understanding in order to work with your child.  I once knew a family that hired a photographer for portraits.  One of their children was autistic, making eye contact very challenging.  Again and again the photographer demanded the child look at the camera, making the child and the his family uncomfortable.  Also making for a disappointing photo session.   It’s so important to have a photographer that is sensitive to what your family needs not just imagery but also relationally.

When you find that photographer and fall in love, hang onto them if possible.  Building a relationship with your photographer will do so much towards getting you amazing images that truly show your family.  By sticking with that special photographer, your kids build a relationship and will be more at ease in front of the camera.

Family portraits are important.  They aren’t about having a beautiful image of your kids to put on the wall.  They are about documenting a life- documenting a family. It’s important to capture all the changes that happen as they grow. This also helps kids to begin to develop a sense of self-history.  Looking at photos from the past anchors their place in their family.  It helps to see that who they are at this moment, isn’t exactly who they will be in a year’s time.  This is such an important idea for kids to grasp- they aren’t limited by who they are in this moment but that they are on a journey.

Taking the time to plan what you want, the session that fits and finding that perfect photographer can make the entire process so much easier.

Contact me to talk about planning your session.

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Hi there, it's Jodi!

I hope you enjoy my work and please let me know if you have any questions about photography, art, or anything at all.

When it comes to portrait photography, there are a lot of options. It's important to me that I help my clients create the session and have the products that are the best fit for their family!

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family, senior, headshot, and creative

portrait photographer for the Pittsburgh area including:

Cranberry, Fox Chapel, Mt Lebanon, Sewickley, Upper St Clair, and Wexford