You know how it is, the kids are almost in high school and the last family photograph you had together was that cheesy Christmas portrait 5 years ago. It’s time to update those family photographs before the kids are full grown adults! But how do you know what to look for when choosing a Sydney photographer to photograph your family?
Well, don’t worry because I’m about to share the top 13 things you should consider when choosing a Sydney photographer to capture your family portraits.
#1 Photography Style
Photography is like cooking, decorating or fashion. There are many varieties of photography styles and you’re not going to like them all. So, search the internet for photographers and find a style that you love. Is your style a glorious outdoor family photo with the sun setting behind or is it a styled studio shoot?
There are no right or wrong styles, but it must be a style that speaks to you and makes you happy.
Once you’ve chosen the style you love, now it comes down to choosing a photographer.
#2 Choosing a Sydney Photographer
The internet is FULL of photographers and each will have their own unique style. Don’t choose a photographer and expect them to shoot differently to their regular style of photography. Once you’ve chosen the style of shoot, you need to find a Sydney photographer whose photography style matches your vision.
#3 Personality – You Sydney Photographer Should Be Your Friend
Okay, you’ve found a photographer and you love their work, so pick up the phone and call them! This person will be sharing an afternoon with you, capturing your family laughing, cuddling, and even having a kiss. So, you need to make sure you have a connection with the photographer too!
You may feel comfortable with an extrovert who tells jokes and talks non-stop while others may feel relaxed around a photographer who’s a bit more low-key. There’s no right or wrong but there is the right personality to suit you.
So, get to know your Sydney photographer before the big shoot.
#4 Professionalism VS Hobbyist
It’s never been easier to call yourself a ‘photographer’. Anyone with an interest in photography can buy a DSLR, whack it on auto and suddenly claim to “take great photos”.
However, there is a huge difference. A professional photographer is experienced so they know how to work in changing weather and lighting conditions. They understand lighting and lens choice, angles and cropping and importantly, how to pose you so you look and feel comfortable.
A professional photographer also has professional equipment. There is a huge difference between amateur camera gear and professional equipment.
A professional photographer may be a member of a professional organisation or have spent years studying their craft. It’s a bit like buying a pair of hairdressing scissors, watching a YouTube tutorial, and then calling yourself a hairdresser! Would you let that person cut your hair?
No way! So, why choose an amateur for your family photography?
Do your research and check your photographer’s credentials.
#5 Is Your Photographer Insured?
This is a big one! There are so many reasons a Sydney photography business has insurance. It covers the photographer, the photographer’s equipment, it covers their clients, and it covers public and private property. No professional photographer would be without insurance.
It would be madness to retain a photographer who isn’t insured. So, don’t do it!
Don’t assume because a photographer has a nice website, they’re a professional. Websites are easy and cheap to build too!
Always make a point of asking if your Sydney photographer has insurance.
#6 Don’t Be Sold On Cheap Price
Everyone has a budget and that’s totally fine. However, the general rule is, cheap and quality or cheap and professional, just don’t go together. They can’t!
As mentioned above, a professional photographer has expensive equipment. And let’s not forget the insurance. These things are expensive! So, a good photographer is not going to be cheap. And by cheap, I mean those you find on Facebook offering $150 sessions for a family session and all the digital files. Honestly, that’s a whole lot of work, a whole lot of time and would cost a professional photographer money. You will never find a professional offering that!
If it’s too good to be true, it is. And the photos won’t be any good either.
Don’t waste your money on cheap photos that you could probably take just as well on an iPhone. You’re better off investing your hard-earned income in photographs you will LOVE.
#7 Is There A Contract?
There better be! How else will you know before the session just what you’re getting. All professional photographers have a contract. This ensures there are no nasty surprises, and you know exactly what to expect during and after the session.
Always read the contract before you sign! And if you don’t understand anything, always ask questions. Your photographer wants to make you happy!
#8 What’s Included?
If you’ve never had family photographs before, you won’t know what to expect. And there are so many Sydney photographers, each one offering their own style of service, editing, photography and products.
For example, what kind of editing do they offer? Some photographers will do glamour or fine art photography which has an entirely different style of editing. These sessions generally include retouching and skin smoothing so the finished image looks more like a magazine cover.
This style of editing is not typical of an outdoor shoot which is far more natural and documentary in style.
What products do they offer? Because what is the point of having photographs taken if you’re not planning on displaying them? There are so many gorgeous products available so find out what your photographer offers. Do you want prints or albums, canvases, or keepsake boxes? The options for displaying your family photos are endless so find a photographer who offers products you love.
How long will your photoshoot take? How many photos will you receive and what’s the turn-around time for delivery of your products?
All these questions should be answered before you choose your family photographer, so there’s no unpleasant surprises afterwards.
#9 Preparing For Your Photo Shoot
This is another big one! Many families have never had professional photos taken so have no idea about what happens before, during and after their family photography session.
Choose a Sydney photographer who can help you prepare for the session. This often involves you completing a questionnaire, so the photographer has a little inside information about your family. For example, what hobbies you have, what the kids like and dislike, your job and do you love animals? All these things are icebreakers and help you relax, and your photographer connect with you during the session.
#10 Styling Advice For Your Family Photo Shoot
A professional photographer knows exactly what colours work together and those that don’t. So, your photographer should have some excellent styling tips when it comes to choosing outfits that complement each other and photograph well. Some may even recommend a particular clothing store or brand where you can find a perfect photo-shoot ready outfit. If you’re stuck for inspiration, a quick search on Pinterest offers hundreds of beautifully styled family photos.
#11 During the Shoot – Tips On Keeping Kids Happy
When it comes to photographing kids, it can get tricky! However, a professional photographer is accustomed to working with children, so they’ll have plenty of tricks ready to calm and entertain even the wildest of kids. A professional photographer will send you some useful tips on the best way to prepare your kids for their photo session and what to bring so the photo session is a fun adventure for the little ones.
#12 Be Prepared to Travel
If your photographer has an amazing location for family photos but it’s a bit further than you anticipated, just go for it! Family photography is not an every-day occurrence, and you want your photos to be amazing! So be a bit adventurous! Pack a picnic, grab a bottle of wine, and make a wonderful afternoon out of it. Explore different areas, have fun, and capture some gorgeous family photos.
You won’t regret driving that little bit further if your photos are amazing.
#13 It’s All In the Details
It’s the little things that are the big things! For example, have a look through the photographer’s portfolio and try to find the flaws. Is there a rubbish bin in the background that should’ve been avoided? Or at the very least, edited out in post-processing? Are people wearing sunglasses on the heads and do they have weird shapes, like a mobile phone or keys, in their pockets? Are the girls wearing hair-ties on their wrist? All these small details are the difference between an amateur eye and a professional. Which would you prefer? A snapshot or a professional portrait?
Book a Professional Sydney Photographer
So, there it is! My top 13 things to consider when choosing a Sydney photographer for your family portraits. And if I sound like the perfect photographer to capture your family photos, you can get in touch here.