There’s something so special about seeing group photographs and portraits of your relatives from decades and even centuries past. Good family portraits are heirloom objects that get passed on from generation to generation to tell the story of those who came before you and influenced your story.
Although today, everyone’s a photographer thanks to our iPhones and smartphones (yes we do love them too!), there’ll always be something special about professional family photos that’s hard to recreate on your own.
To preserve your family like it is today for future generations, you should book a family photo shoot with an experienced professional photographer.
But what should you consider when looking for a family photographer? Well, since we know more than a little about this subject we thought we’d share four things you should think about when looking for the perfect photographer for you.
Do you enjoy simple and elegant studio portraits? Unposed documentary-style shots outdoors? Whatever your style is, you should try to find someone who’s really great at it. Then you can work together to create beautiful memories you’ll be proud to share with family and friends for years to come.
Not quite sure what your preferred photography style is? Here are some of the most common portrait styles out there to help you figure what to look for in your family photographer:
Documentary photography style
This style is candid and captures your family’s unique charm in a very realistic way. Photos are usually taken in your home or another place that’s meaningful to your family. They capture moments from your real life in a very organic way. There’s no posing and only very minimal direction from your photographer.
What’s great about this style is that as long as your photographer is someone you’re all comfortable around, the end product should be a very realistic depiction of your family in their natural habitat. However, not everybody is a fan of the lack of more posed pictures where everyone is helped to look their best.
And the challenge is afterwards you may be struggling to find that one picture you really want for your wall.
This style fuses the documentary style with more traditional studio photography. It combines the very effortless feel of documentary photography with a little more direction from the photographer, similar to studio photography. Lifestyle sessions usually take place either in your home or on location.
People who are fans of this style love how the resulting shots feel candid and natural, yet there’s enough direction photographer so that everyone looks their best.
However, similar to documentary photography, this style is pretty weather-dependent even if you’re shooting inside, as great natural light can be hard to come by – especially here in Scotland! Additionally, group shots are much harder to construct well outside of a studio setting.
Classic studio portraits
Classic family portraits taken in a studio mean you don’t need to worry about tidying up the house. We think that getting your picture taken in a proper studio also makes the whole experience into more of an event. Just put on your favourite outfits and make your way to the local studio – just like the great-great-grandparents did back in the day!
This is the most traditional on the list of style options for family portraits. Don’t be fooled, though: classic studio portraits don’t need to be stuffy or overly posed.
In fact, most people like a more relaxed photography style these days. So if this is your preferred style, choose someone whose photos look effortless and natural rather than stiffly posed. Unless you’re going for that regal Victorian feel, of course!
Classic studio photography is our preferred style here at Blue Sky Photography. Our studio sessions are full of laughter and cups of tea because we want you to relax and enjoy the experience.
We believe that this way, your family’s natural beauty gets to shine through! The resulting photographs have a clean, minimal, aesthetic that looks timeless.
We believe in creating one of a kind portraits that look as good today as they will in fifty years. There are no awkward poses or gimmicks, just great, timeless photography! You can read more about family photography at Blue Sky Photography here.
Every family is beautiful in their own unique way and you’ll want to find a photographer who’s able to reflect this. That’s why you should look to hire a photographer who has lots of experience working with families like yours. So have a think about who you want to include in your photo session.
If you’re looking to get everyone, including the great-grandparents and the second cousins, all into one epic shot, choose someone experienced in photographing big groups. Orchestrating the whole clan so that everyone looks their best is harder than you’d think!
If you want to get new family pictures taken because you have a new addition to the family, look for a photographer with experience in baby photography. This makes sure everyone has a safe and enjoyable time getting their photos taken.
More than anything, though, you should focus on finding someone who can make everyone in your family feel comfortable so that their personality gets to shine through in the pictures.
A lot of us feel a little uncomfortable in front of the camera, so working with an experienced photographer who knows how to set a relaxed vibe during your photo shoot is a great asset. Someone who manages to get a warm smile out of the kids and even grumpy old uncle Bob is worth their weight in gold!
The kids won’t be small for a very long time and the grandparents won’t be with us forever.
That’s why professional family photography is something that is worth spending some money on. Once you’ve got a bit of a shortlist of photographers in your area that you like, ask them about some different pricing options. This can help you figure out common ballpark figures for professional family photography where you live.
Really great family portrait photography isn’t cheap, but we believe that pictures like these are true family heirlooms and well worth a bit of an investment.
Remember that you get what you pay for, and if a price seems too good to be true, chances are that that’s exactly the case. Little hidden extra costs like additional prints, review sessions and so on can add up quickly, so make sure you understand what is and isn’t included in your package before booking.
It’s worth to keep in mind that most professional photographers, including us, are happy to chat about your budget and how we can make it work together.
High-quality family portraits are an investment, so you deserve to be treated as the valuable client that you are. When you’re considering hiring a specific photographer, pay attention to the way they communicate with you. If they’re not getting back to you within a reasonable time frame or if they’re not answering your questions fully, don’t feel bad about walking away!
A truly professional photographer understands the value of great customer service and should do everything they can to make sure you and your family have a great experience. Make sure to read reviews left for a photographer you’re considering to figure out how other people have found the experience of working with them.
If so, we’d love to hear from you. Our light and airy photography studio is based in the leafy Morningside neighbourhood of Edinburgh, where we’ve provided great photography experiences for families like yours for years.
We’re super passionate about creating a family friendly and inviting atmosphere and being very open about everything from your ideas and budget to helping you make the most of your photography experience (however camera-shy you are).
If you’d like to learn more about family photography sessions at Blue Sky Photography, get in touch with us.
We can’t wait to hear from you!