How to select a photographer for Family Portraits

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I’m so excited to kick off this week of planning for family portraits with Laura from Laura Winslow Photography! She’s on my list of people I’d love to meet up with the next time I go to Arizona. I love her style, and excited for what she has to say about selecting a photographer just right for you.

Hello lovelies! I’m so happy to have been asked by the sweet Kristen to guest post and share some tips and thoughts on how to select the most amazing photographer for YOU! Photography is an investment and you want to be absolutely happy with your resulting images. They should be a true reflection of you as a family–who you are and what you enjoy. These precious moments will become part of your family’s history and you want them to be such that when you look back at them years from now, you are instantly transported into that little space in time. A successful portrait session and the perfect photographer fit will cause you to remember how your daughter smiled, the mischievous nature of your son, the smallness of their features and the love among everyone when you look at them. How do you make this fabulosity happen, though? Read on for some easy tips!

1. When to Book Ideally, one should think about booking a photographer well in advance. Most photographers do not book holiday sessions after Thanksgiving, and many are booked before fall even begins! I send out a newsletter in June or July letting my clients and subscribers know that I am now booking holiday sessions, and as a result, I am often almost booked fully for the rest of the year by the end of August with just a few spots remaining. If you are reading this, you probably haven’t booked your session yet–no fear! Many photographers don’t release their session dates until September, and mini session dates are also a very popular choice that many new clients take advantage of. It is important to note, though, that you probably shouldn’t wait until November or December to start thinking about booking your session. The perfect time is right now, so let’s get on this! 🙂

2. Ways to Find a Photographer Search for a photographer by asking friends who they have used and loved (this can be as easy as posting it on Facebook!). Once you have names, you can then click through their photos or the photographs on the photographer’s website to see if they are in tune with your style. Do they instantly “speak” to you? If not, move right on along, peeps!

Google is also a popular and easy way to research photographers in your area. Use search terms that will get you instantly what you want–“Phoenix Modern Photographer”, “Urban Photography in Los Angeles”, “Vintage Anthropologie Photo Sessions in New York”–don’t be shy about what you love. Chances are, you’ll find it. Don’t just look at what the “web” Google results have yielded, either. Be sure to take advantage of the “Image” tab from your search, and you’ll be greeted with photographs that will provide you with instant eye candy and yet another tool to narrow down those photographers that you wish to contact.

3. Is their Style Right for You? Spend some time checking out their website, blogs and Facebook pages. Do you love their style? More importantly, can you see yourself in it?I truly believe that there is a photographer for everyone, and conversely, every photographer is not for every client. Photographers have so very many different styles, so it is a good idea to have a general idea of what you would like from your session. Are you seeking real-life images that show spontaneity and action, or are you looking for that traditional posed family portrait? Do you tend to love a more classic and simple style or clothing and photography, or do you love the color and edginess or urban sessions? Look at details like clothing and the types of locations or backgrounds that are part of the photographer’s portfolio. Think these things over and you’ll be able to better choose the perfect photographer for you. There are so many styles of beautiful photography–lifestyle photography, in-studio sessions and on-location images, and within all of these you can find a number of different looks as well. It might sound overwhelming, but if you go with what you love to look at, it is actually rather easy!

4. Other Factors to Consider After you have decided that you love the photographers style, be sure also to take note of the following:

~The investment (is it within your budget?). Note: Many photographer’s simply post their session fees and typical range of what their clients should expect to spend, preferring to have potential clients contact them for a full price list.

~Location of the photographer (if you live in a large metropolitan area, are you sure that they are near you? If not, are you willing to travel to them or to the area they serve?)

~Type of photography that the photographer specializes in–some only do weddings, or newborns, or seniors–some do it all. Be sure what you are looking for is what the photographer is experienced in.


5. How to Contact A Photographer Are their website and blog professional looking and easy to navigate? Chances are, a photographer can easily be reached a number of ways–for example, I have “contact” forms that potential clients can use to email me on my main website, my blog and also on my photography Facebook page. This allows me to be easily accessible no matter how someone finds me. I will add a note, however, that it is (for me, at least) often difficult to keep track of messages that come in through my Facebook fan page. Try emailing through the “contact” forms instead–your photographer will thank you and will probably be much faster to respond. Take that next awesome step and email or call the photographer and let the fun begin! Happy Holiday Sessions, everyone!

Thanks so much for having me + have a fabulous week!



Laura is a Phoenix photographer with a modern, fresh and colorful style. Her work has been published in Professional Photographer Magazine, Babystyle Magazine, on and numerous other national publications and blogs. Laura photographs senior, maternity, newborn, children and family clients + she is excited for each of you to find the perfect photographer!

Laura Winslow Photography | Cherished Art for the Modern Family

Website | Blog | Facebook

Thank you, Laura! This is such fabulous information that I know will be helplful for many out there….don’t wait til Thanksgiving to start thinking about your holiday portrait session–now is the time!

Come back tomorrow to learn  how to best plan your clothing for family portraits.

If you love photography and want to learn more about your camera, enter the giveaway this week to win Say NO to Auto or Get Focused by clicking on the image below (or here).


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