Most of you will be doing the dreaded family pictures here soon, because face it- Christmas cards are right around the corner. I just wanted to throw out a few helpful things I've found as a consumer and photographer.
1. Do your research. So many people do photography now so you now have your pick of the litter. When I look for a photographer for my little family I like to know cost, how many edited pics I will get, and how long the session runs. Google is a great resource and I always suggest seeing as many photos from the photog as possible so you have an idea what yours will be like.
2. Ask your photographer how you will receive your images. Some photographers only do digital images, some require you to order prints with them, and some will give you a disc of images. I've noticed a growing trend of "dropboxing" digital images to customers. That can be great if you know how to use them, but a lot of my clients still prefer disc over dropbox. Also find out if you will receive a Print Release for your private printing. Most photo printing places will require you have a photographer's release before they will give you prints.
3. Editing is important. Did your kid fall off a chair and require stitches the day before your family pics? Photoshop to the rescue right? This is a great tool and it can alleviate the need to reschedule your session- but find out if it will come with an additional cost. A lot of photogs will retouch a couple photos, but often they will charge a fee for extensive editing.
|Photoshop can save you from having to reschedule!|
4. Find out how long it will take to get your photos back. My experience is 1-2 weeks for normal sessions with the exception of large groups or weddings. It takes time. Be patient. I easily take 500 photos at a session and then narrow it down a couple times before editing the finals. Throw in a few sessions a week and it takes time.
5. We love suggestions, especially if you have a certain photo in mind. I always recommend to my clients to make a list of shots they would like or to use pinterest for ideas.
|This client wanted a picture of her newborn with her grandmother. It's now a cherished picture!|
Now it's time for what you can do to make your session easier when it comes.
1. Newborn sessions are bitter and sweet all at once. They can take 1 hour or 4. Be prepared with plenty of milk and diapers. That sweet baby will probably pee on the photography props and spit up all over that cute new swaddle. Oh well. Relax and let the photographer do the work. I've found newborn sessions are best the first couple weeks of life when that baby is sleeping all day long. The older a baby gets, the longer he or she is awake. If you are going to do your own newborn photos, think twice. My husband suggested we take our own with Ava, since I take other peoples. I honestly didn't enjoy doing it at all. It's hard to be the mom and the photog. These photos are worth the investment. I promise.
2. Whiten your teeth. Yep, I said it. The first time I got married- I had a great photographer and that was the first thing she said she suggests to all her couples. I was already an avid whitener, but my (former) husband-to-be wasn't. May I suggest whitestrips???? Cheap, easy, and quick. Also freshly colored hair can be a must. Don't rely on your photographer for all the fixes!
3. If you have kids who tend to get messy, don't put their outfits on until the last minute. You won't regret this. Also, try and get any shots with the kids you need first. Kids get tired quickly. I've had photos where everyone looks perfect and the littlest babe is upset and screaming. Bring treats that aren't messy and can be used to distract the kids.
4. Let your kid be a kid. If the pose isn't perfect, let it go. When you look back, that may be the picture you like the most. Sheena and I have both experienced this many many times!