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How to Choose a Family Photographer

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

Family posed under large tree in blue and white outfits.
Choose a photographer you who knows how to pose and choose good locations.

How to choose a family picture photographer? With so many talented photographers in Denver, it is vital to know what to look for when you choose someone to capture your priceless family memories. You may be wondering why you should even hire a professional photographer in this digital age when everyone has cameras on their phones. However, there are a number of reasons why hiring a professional may significantly improve the quality and result of your family photographs.

What exactly does a Family Portrait Photographer do?

Photographers who specialize in creating beautiful family images are trained to capture candid moments, instruct your family in posing, pay attention to important details and operate their camera and lighting all at the same time. They should also have the creative vision to produce amazing images that highlight the unique dynamics and ties that exist within a family. These photographers recognize the significance of capturing genuine emotions and relationships, resulting in everlasting and treasured memories.

What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Professional Family Portrait Photographer?

Professional photographers have an extensive understanding of camera equipment, lighting methods, and composition. They understand how to use these technologies to produce aesthetically beautiful, well-balanced images.

Professional photographers have a distinct creative vision that enables them to produce intriguing and artistically beautiful photographs. They understand how to employ various perspectives, positions, and backdrops to bring out the best in each member of the family.

Mom and daughter hugging in photo
Choose a photographer who knows how to light and how to work with kids.


Professional photographers have worked with families of all sizes and ages for many years. They understand how to make everyone feel at ease in front of the camera, which results in natural and authentic reactions.

Professional photographers pay meticulous attention to every aspect, from clothing and jewelry to backgrounds that make the photos work. They make certain that each feature in the shot complements one another, resulting in a unified and aesthetically appealing image.

Quality and professionalism

To get excellent results, professional photographers employ high-quality equipment and editing software. They have access to expert printing laboratories, so your family photographs will be of the best quality and survive for decades.

How to Best Choose a Family Portrait Photographer

It might seem a little daunting to find the best family photographer, but with a little research and careful thought, you can find the perfect fit for your family. Here are some tips to help you in your search:

Begin by looking for local photographers who specialize in family photography

To obtain a feel for their style and reputation, look at their portfolio, website, social media and internet reviews.

Meet and Interview

Arrange meetings with a few photographers to discuss your vision, expectations and hopes for the session. Inquire about their experience, cost and anything else you are curious about that will help you make the best informed decision. Decide if their vision and personality mesh with yours.

View Whole Sessions

Ask to view whole sessions from the photographers you're thinking about hiring. This will provide you with a better understanding of their consistency and ability to capture honest and true moments.

Consider Style and Personality

Select a photographer whose style corresponds to your goal for the photographs. Furthermore, make sure you and your family are at ease with the photographer's demeanor, since this will contribute to a more calm and fun session.

Research Contract and Price

Before making a final choice, carefully research the contract terms and price information. Make sure that you understand the products, payment plan, and any other costs that may apply.

How Should We Prepare for Our Family Photo Session?

Family of four posed on beach
This Mom prepared ahead of time with me so that we could photograph in two locations and at two different times.She coordinated their outfits for both locations too.

Plan Ahead for a Successful Family Photo Shoot

Before the session, discuss your expectations and preferences with the photographer. Choose a location, outfits, and any items or accessories you want to include. Schedule the session when everyone is well-rested and in a good mood, particularly if there are young children involved. It's important you and your photographer are on the same page and in close communication throughout the planning process.

Be Yourself

During the session, encourage your family members to relax and be themselves. The finest images are those that capture genuine emotions and relationships.

Posing and Candid Moments

A well-rounded set of family photos include a mix of staged images and candid moments. Trust the photographer's posing advice, but also allow for unplanned moments to occur spontaneously.

Patience is essential

Family photo sessions may be difficult at times, particularly when small children are present. Stay calm and optimistic, and let the photographer handle any nervousness or shyness.

Have Fun!

Remember to enjoy yourself! Family photo sessions provide a chance to create fun and lasting memories while also celebrating the love and relationships between members of your family.

What Should You Wear to a Family Portrait Session?

Choosing appropriate clothes for a family photo session will improve the overall look and feel of the images. Here are some pointers to get you started:

  • Color Coordination: Choose a color palette that compliments one another without being too matchy-matchy. Consider using a variety of colors and textures to provide visual appeal.

  • Avoid Logos and Busy Patterns: Instead, choose clothes with classic, timeless designs or plain colors. Large logos and complex patterns may be distracting in pictures.

  • Dress for the Area and Season: When selecting your clothing, keep the area and season in mind. Dress for the weather and choose clothing and colors that complement the surroundings.

  • Comfort is Essential: Make certain that everyone is dressed comfortably. Clothing that is overly tight, scratchy, or confining, particularly for small children, should be avoided.

  • Consider Your Accessories Carefully: These may lend a personal touch to your family photographs. Choose accessories that complement the attire and represent the style of your family.

Family of seven posed in front of ocean.
This is one of my favorite family photos to illustrated very well-coordinated outfits. The mix of patterns and solids with a great color scheme made for great images!

Grooming and Appearance

Schedule haircuts, styling, and grooming a few days ahead of time to guarantee a fresh and polished appearance. Avoid making big changes just before the session. Make sure everyone gets a good night's sleep before the session, and have refreshments on hand to keep everyone hydrated, energetic and happy. Bring any objects or accessories you wish to include in your images. Bring extra clothing, wipes, and food for small children.

The Advantages of Professional Editing

Professional editing is critical to improving the final quality of your family photographs. Here are some advantages of hiring a professional editor:

Color Correction

Professional editors may alter colors, contrast, and exposure to ensure that the images have a uniform and pleasant appearance. Minor flaws, wrinkles, and distractions can be corrected to give a polished and flawless look. Professional editors may use creative upgrades such as black and white conversions, selective color alterations, and artistic filters to give your photographs a one-of-a-kind look. Editing guarantees that all of the shots from your session have the same style and appearance, resulting in a coherent collection of photographs. Professional editing ensures that your family photographs are print-ready, enabling you to proudly display them in your home or share them with loved ones.

Displaying and Preserving Family Portraits

It's important to properly display your gorgeous family pictures once you have them. Here are some pointers to get you started:

Display Your Photos Prominently in Your Home with High-quality Wall Art

You can choose beautiful pieces such as a canvas, metal, acrylic, framed print, or even a framed canvas or metal. Your photographer can also help you decide if you want a cluster of images instead of just one large image. Be sure of what you decide on as this will probably be the focal piece of art in your living room.

Make Digital Backups of Your Photo Files

To guarantee the long-term preservation of your images, save all the high resolution files.

To safeguard against loss or damage, keep them in two places: on external hard drives, cloud storage, or both.

Avoid Direct Sunlight

Avoid exhibiting your pictures in direct sunlight since this might cause fading and damage over time. Choose wall locations not in direct sunlight or frame with UV-protective glass.

Professional Printing

If you want to have your family pictures enlarged and printed, work with your photographer who will have access to professional photo labs. They employ high-grade archival inks and papers to guarantee picture quality, durability and longevity

Questions and Answers

Q: How long does an average family picture session last?

A: Depending on the size of the family and the selected settings, family photo sessions normally range between 1-2 hours.

Q: Can our dogs be included in the family portraits?

A: Without a doubt! Pets are treasured family members and can be incorporated in the photos. Simply notify your photographer ahead of time so that they can prepare properly.

Q: What should we do if the weather is rainy or too windy on the day of the planned session?

A: In the event of inclement weather, contact your photographer to reschedule the session for a more acceptable day. They will collaborate with you to find the best solution for everyone.

Q: Can we suggest poses or ideas for our family portraits?

A: You are welcome and usually encouraged to discuss certain positions or suggestions with your photographer. They should be willing to incorporate your concept into the session in order to generate photographs that are meaningful to you and. your family.

Q: When can I expect to get the final edited portraits?

A: The time it takes to get the final edited photographs depends on the photographer and their workload. During your first appointment, it is advisable to enquire about the projected timetable. I usually have images ready for viewing within 7-10 days. Once images and products are chosen, those images are then edited further and available within 3-10 days.

Q: Can we get more prints or albums after the shoot?

A: Most photographers provide extra print and album choices after the session. They can supply you with pricing and purchase information for additional prints or albums.

Q: Can we use our family photos as Christmas cards or announcements?

A: Without a doubt! Simply make sure you have permission from the photographer to use the photographs.

Q: Do we get digital portrait files?

A: Most professional photographers provide digital files in their packages. However, specifics may differ, thus it's important to discuss this with your selected photographer.

Q: What if my child is resistant throughout the session?

A: It's often common for children to be uncooperative during photo shoots, especially younger ones. Professional photographers are experienced in dealing with children and will use a variety of tactics to get and hold their attention. I have never had to reschedule a session for this reason.

Q: Can we change our clothes throughout the session?

A: You may change your clothes throughout the session if agreed upon with the photographer. Some photographers may charge more for two looks as this involves more time and planning for a place to change. Discuss this with your photographer ahead of time so that the session may be planned accordingly.

Parting Words

Hiring a professional family photographer is an investment that will offer you treasured memories for a lifetime. Their creative vision, experience, talent, and attention to detail guarantee that you will have gorgeous photographs that capture the soul of your family. By following the advice in this article, you will be able to locate the proper photographer, prepare for the session, and exhibit and preserve your family photographs for future generations.

If you would like to chat with me about planning a family photo session, you can contact me here to start that process. I'd love to help you and your family plan for and execute the best family photography session possible!

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