The new year has begun and lots of parents are considering hiring a family photographer in San Diego for this year's family photos. Looking through google results, websites, and portfolios can feel like a daunting task! Today, I thought I would share 5 questions to ask yourself before hiring a family photographer in San Diego.
1) What's My Budget?
The first place to start when inquiring about any type of service is what's my budget. We all know the disappointment of setting our sites on a desired product, only to find out we can't afford it. Before browsing through websites, determine what works for your budget. This will automatically help you weed out photographers who don't fit within your limits. A few other things to consider are each family photographer's pricing structure. Many photographers require a small deposit at the time of booking, and either the remainder of the session fee by the time of the session, or the option to purchase images after. These scenarios allow you to pay for your session and images incrementally, which can really help when it comes to budgeting for family photos.
2) What Type of Photography Am I Looking For?
This is another very important question to ask! I've used several photographers for my own family, and prior to becoming a photographer myself, I failed to ask myself this question, which led to some disappointing sessions and even more disappointing photos. Are you looking for posed newborn photos where your baby is swaddled tightly with her head propped up in her hands? That is a beautiful stye of photography with work that never ceases to amaze me. If a potential client comes to me looking for that though, I wouldn't be able to offer it. However, if they're looking for lifestyle newborn photos then I might be a great match for them! Do you want lots of photos where everyone is smiling and looking at the camera, or photos that capture more emotion and interaction. While I always give my clients a few smiling-at-the-camera-photos, the majority of my galleries include images that capture the emotion and connection between family members.
3) What Type of Session Experience Am I Looking For?
Many people just want a short quick session that yields 5-10 images for their family gallery. If so, you might consider finding a family photographer in San Diego that offers seasonal mini-sessions. (You can sign up to hear about mine here!) Maybe you want the full 45-60 minute session that's more relaxed and laid back. These are less rushed and allow for a large gallery with lots of variety. Another thing to consider is what kind of sales experience you want. Some photographers offer in-person sales after the family session, where you view your gallery together and choose your images. Other photographers are all-inclusive and deliver digital prints in an online category. Still others, myself included, offer gallery packages to purchase after viewing your images. These are all great things to consider when choosing a family photographer in San Diego.
4) What Style Am I Looking For In My Photos?
This question is one of the most important ones to ask, in my opinion. If you look through my family portfolio you'll notice my images are full of snuggles, laughter, and affection. If you're looking for more posed, studio images then I'm probably not a good match for you. It's important to get to know a little bit about the photographer you choose because their style is going to be reflected in the images they capture of your family. Are you a sandals and jeans sort of family? An Anthropologie gal? Someone who loves heels and business casual? Your style represents who you are and is what you want captured in your family photos. Make sure the photographer you choose is fine with the wardrobe you want to have at your session. Some photographers offer a client closet or want their clients to only wear clothes from their client closet. These are important questions to ask yourself and the photographer you want to hire.
5) Do I Like This Photographer's Portfolio as a Whole?
Finally, look through the photographer's portfolio on their website and make sure you like the majority of the images you see. You're not going to like them all, but you should like at least 75% of them. Again, if there's a certain style of photography you are wanting and you don't see it in the photographer's work, that's a product they are not going to be able to deliver to you and it's time to find someone else.