View Full Version : I want to have my kids professionally photographed....
08-01-2006, 10:50 AM
I don't want to do the Target, Sears, JCP...etc thing. I usually do that once a year to get a decent shot of the two of them together. I want some natural, unposed pics. Maybe outdoors shots, etc. What should I look for in a photographer?
08-01-2006, 11:58 AM
I have my own photography business specializing in candid children's portraiture, so I'm a bit biased :p but this is what I would look for in a photographer.
Word of mouth is the best way to go in my opinion. Do you have friends who have had portraits done that you really admire? The photographer's work should speak for itself :)
Also, do a google search of photographers in your area. Look at their galleries on their websites and find a few whose style you like.
There are many photographers who are "on location" and will come to your home or an agreed upon site (beach, park, etc).
Once you find a few you like, get in contact with them either by phone or email and discuss what you are looking for.
Some good questions to ask:
1. How long does a typical session last? I usually spend 1-2 hours with my clients depending on the ages of the kids. Newborn sessions are usually 1-3 hours. I always allow for breaks!
2. Do you allow clothing changes? (if this is something you want)
3. How will you view your proofs and order? (online proofs and ordering, ordering appointment, etc.)
4. Do they offer holiday cards? If you get that perfect shot, use it for your cards - it doesn't necessarily have to be a holiday "themed" photo. Classic B&W work great!
5. Do they shoot film or digital? Do you have a choice of color, BW, sepia? If you want a color proof converted to BW, is this possible?
6. Do they offer photo collages? These are very popular right now.
7. What is the timeframe from booking your appointment to viewing the proofs, to receiving your prints?
8. If it is not posted on their website, make sure you find out their print prices and sitting fee before you book. You don't want any unwanted suprises when ordering!
Make sure that you and the photographer you choose share the same vision for the session! This type of a session is an investment and you want it to live up to your expectations!
That's all I can think of for now, but let me know if you have any more questions...
08-01-2006, 12:24 PM
Because I'm sure you'll want to scrap them, I'd look for some one that will give you a CD or DVD of high resolution photos with the rights to copy and reproduce them.
That was one of the most important things when I was looking for a wedding photographer. I wanted to be able to scrap them and get them reprinted whenever from where ever.
08-01-2006, 03:36 PM
Maybe it doesn't apply to you, but do you have any friends who love photography? My sister did some photos awhile back (when she was single and didn't have a cute subject of her own) and I know another friend who had a friend (single guy who isn't into the photography biz) take some pixs. Even though there are lots of people not in the 'biz' you never know what you may end up with.
08-02-2006, 05:53 AM
Thanks. Going to have to start looking locally and see what I can find. I've been wanting to do this for a long time just never pursued it.
08-02-2006, 06:32 AM
Cindi what you've posted is most definitely something I should keep in mind. I have a two year old and I also want to start taking natural portraits. One thing though, could you give us an example of a good photo collage? When I 'hear' collage I'm thinking scrapping, lol. I just want to get a feel for what a customer may ask, lol. And may I ask what you charge for a sitting fee, or one that is the most reasonable, this is a question from a Photographer/Mommy stand point.
08-02-2006, 12:33 PM
Hi Sarah! The 10x20 collages/storyboards are very popular right now. Here are a few examples:
You can find inexpensive frames for this size at Kohl's, and they are often on sale 50% off.
I bought actions from http://www.ittybittyactions.com/ that make them very easy to create.
As far as what to charge for a sitting fee, it really depends on the going rate for the area where you live. My sitting fee is $100 which includes a pre-session consultation, travel to and from the location of the shoot (I charge an additional travel fee for shoots farther than 25 miles away), 1-3 hours of time (depending on the kids), 30-40 proofs in an online gallery and a slideshow of all the proofs set to music (the slideshow expires after 2 weeks and is then available for purchase on a DVD). My sitting fee is very average for the area where I live and the type of photography I do.
As far as being "reasonable", you have to look at your target market. There are many people who think $100 is outrageous and prefer to go to one of the chains, which is totally fine :) For my target market though, $100 is pretty much the going rate and my clients don't think twice about it.
There are great threads about starting a photography business on the 2peas photography board http://www.twopeasinabucket.com/mb.asp?cmd=list&forum_id=21
And at the Just Starting Out message board at I Love Photography http://ilp.tlcwe.com/forums/index.php
Do a search at both places and you'll find a ton of information!
Most people start out with portfolio building sessions where they do not charge a sitting fee and give discounted prints to get more experience. Let me know if you have any more questions!
08-02-2006, 03:00 PM
Wow! Thanx for the information! I'll definitely bookmark each of these and check them often. There is a few photographers around here, I'm thinking about calling and getting prices and see what they do with my daughter and see what is average around here! Thanx again!
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