Choosing the Right Family Portrait Photographer

family photographer | Lauren B Photography

Considering a family portrait session? Read these tips for choosing the right photographer!

There's a photographer for everyone.

I firmly believe that!  Finding the right fit for your family can start a relationship that builds for years - whole childhoods even!  Whether you check in annually as the kids grow or just every few years, your images will be consistent and cohesive - and everyone will have a wonderful, comfortable time creating them!

love working with clients over and over as different photography needs arise!  Perhaps first it was a wedding, then baby (or puppy!), now business headshots, then senior portraits, and maybe even a wedding again (I haven't had a second-generation wedding yet, but how cool would that be?!).  In the meantime, I've photographed three sisters' weddings, and all 4 siblings' weddings in another family.  That's really the highest honor in the business: repeats and referrals. 🖤

So it's time to choose a photographer.  How do you know you've landed on the right one?  Here are  tips and things to consider along the way.

Whether you've never done a family portrait session before, or are a seasoned pro, keep these in mind when it's go time.

1. Love their image gallery.

It's easy.  Step 1: Look through the photographer's whole online gallery - or scroll way down their Instagram feed.  Step 2: Like what you see.

Can you picture your family in those images?  Do you like the mood, feel, scenery, props (or lack thereof), and posing (or lack thereof)?  What about the post-processing (i.e. how the final images look)? Are the colors realistic or highly stylized?  Which do you prefer? Will it stand the test of time?  If not, that's ok - as long as you like what you’re seeing.

I keep post processing natural, timeless, and true to life.  I’ll bump up brightness, warmth, and contrast; remove blemishes and boogers (truth!) and scratches, etc.; as well as soften under eyes and skin, and brighten teeth (just a tad).  All images are shot in color, but true black-and-white or a subtle brown-tone are also finishing options.  That’s about it! No fading, graying, liquifying, etc. - keeping it classic, comfortable, and realistic.

Check out these before and afters of Oliver! 😳What a tough kid!

family photographer | Lauren B Photography
family photographer | Lauren B Photography

2. Pivot

Ah, the memorable scene from Friends.  Do you know the one?! The ability to adapt and redirect is key!

At the start of a portrait session, I tell the adults that we’ll get into “the semblance of a pose” and then let it fall apart, then we’ll get into the semblance of another pose and let that fall apart, and so on.  If something’s not working, we try something else.  I’m happy to offer suggestions and am not tied to any one set up or mood.  Kids are kids, and - lucky for them! - they’re cute no matter what!  Any time we hit a wall, we PIVOT!

family photographer | Lauren B Photography

3. Find someone YOUR KIDS like to be around.

I think it’s super important to get down on a little one's level, build rapport, and give them agency - while also creating great images.  I’ve got tricks up my sleeve, questions to ask, noises to make, choices to present, and treats as bribery (if needed). 

It’s also totally cool if your little one isn’t feeling smiley.  I want to capture their true personality - including whatever mood they happen to be in that day moment.  Whatever photography rules there are, kids can successfully break anyway!  So let's just all have fun!

4. Now what?  

Consider what happens post-session.  Does the photographer offer the products you’re interested in?  Or are you on your own once you walk out the door?

Where and in what capacity do you imagine the images ending up?  Do you want smaller prints for grandparents and the office, an enlargement/wall portrait for your home, holiday cards, digital files for safe keeping, a little book for your coffee table?

If you have a specific goal or need, let me know and we can accommodate it during the session.  Digital negatives are included with every portrait session, but I certainly don’t want to hand off images and leaving you wondering, 'Now what?"  I’m happy to help you with prints and other finished products so you have something to cherish!

family photographer | Lauren B Photography

5. Maybe best of all…. you can just give it a go!

What better way to know for sure than by just jumping in?  Opt for a mini session as a lower point of entry and to give you and your family a super-quick trial run of sorts.  Bonus: getting some killer images, too!  "No guts, no glory," my mom's been known to say about decisions like this.

And guess what!!

I just happen to be running a Spring Mini Session Special for two days in April: April 6th and April 27th.  Go HERE to grab a spot - and get a free 8x10 color print!  Quick - sessions are first come first serve!  LMK if you have questions or any issues booking.

All the best to you and yours! 🖤lb

family photographer | Lauren B Photography
Laurie McVean