When it comes to Reno family photographers, you have a lot of choices. In any budget or style, there is a multitude of people willing to serve you. As a mom who very highly values family photography in my personal life, I know how overwhelming this process can be. I am grateful that you have found ME and you are interested in fine art portraiture for your family, but whether or not you select me to create portraits for you, I’d like to share 3 tips for finding an experienced Family Photographer that’s right for you and your family.
How do you find an experienced family photographer?
Tip 1: Professionalism & Experience
The first sign of a professional photographer is that they will require you to sign a contract – which protects YOU and them from a multitude of miscommunications and issues. Wouldn’t you hate to spend a small fortune getting your hair and makeup done after spending another small fortune on new outfits for your WHOLE family just for a photographer to flake on you?
Obviously, you’ll want a Reno Family Photographer who is friendly. But you also want to look for someone who is great with kids. But how do you tell? Check their portfolio. Does it show children laughing and smiling? Or all serious faces….or even crying? Do the children in the photos look nervous? If you don’t see a lot of smiles and happy faces in your photographer’s portfolio – it’s a sign that they are just not very good with kids. Sure, some kids are impossible LOL – but if the majority of a photographer’s portfolio looks like the older children are bored and the babies are sad….not a good sign.
You also want someone who can make the process of a family photography session FUN and not stressful. One way a photographer can help reduce stress is to provide you with preparatory materials (what to wear etc) to reduce the burden on your shoulders. That’s a sign of someone who has been doing this a LONG time and is aware of the stresses you face as a client.
Tip 2: Products & Keepsakes
What good are your family photos if they sit on a hard drive as digital files, or only make a brief appearance on social media? Part of a family photographer’s basic skills should include being able to professionally design an heirloom-quality photo album, wall art and other quality display items. I can tell you from my personal experience that printing my work to the size of a small child has helped me be constructively critical of my own work and has IMPROVED my skills in immeasurable ways. These are some things to consider while looking at a family photographer’s sample products:
- Do you notice any tearing/crackling in the binding or edges of their sample album pages? Your photo album is meant to be a lasting heirloom. If a photographer’s sample album is literally falling apart, that’s not a good sign.
- Are their albums designed in a timeless way? Do the images flow from well from one to the next?
- Does the photographer provide other products aside from an album? Can you get a professional canvas from them? How about a professional print or other wall display?
- Can you purchase gift options to treat the special people in your life? Think of your parents and how much they would adore a sweet photographic gift of their grandchild.
Tip 3: Style & Consistency
While searching for your Reno Family Photographer, you might be overwhelmed by the choices. If you rush while selecting your photographer, you could overlook an important aspect of their photography – their style, or more importantly, the consistency of their work.
A Reno Family Photographer’s style isn’t just about the technical aspects or the angles. It is about their unique perspective and creativity. It’s also the way in which they edit the images. And in fact, it is the WAY they create the images.
You’ll notice that ALL of my photos are bright…light and “airy.” I SERIOUSLY love using backlighting techniques. I don’t shoot in direct sun and I make sure the light on your faces is soft and natural. That’s MY style. You don’t see major variations in technical style within my portfolio because I have tried and true methods to produce consistency in my work.
Is your Reno Family Photographer’s style a fit for you? Is it timeless? Or are they using a trendy one-click filter that will look cheesy and cheap in a little while? Will they meticulously edit your photos? Or will they rush your pictures to you without hardly glancing at their final product? Do they CHANGE their style like the wind changes directions? How do you know you’ll get the style you think you will? Pro tip: ask them to send you an entire client gallery so you can see how consistent their work is in the course of one single family session.
A quality Reno Family Photographer will take a beautiful photo on the day of your session and edit it to make it stellar. They will provide a collection of incredible photos that flow well together and could all go on one wall and look AMAZING.
Professional family photographers should spend a considerable amount of time editing images. If they shoot your session on “auto mode” and give you the images straight out of the camera…that is not the work of a professional OR an artist.
These are just the top things to consider carefully when choosing your Reno Family Photographer. In summary – watch out for the following red flags:
- Doesn’t require a contract at booking & doesn’t have many portraits of kids smiling in their portfolio.
- Doesn’t offer printed products (albums. wall art etc).
- Doesn’t maintain a consistent style.
One more thing: although price is something most people have to consider for their varying budgets, you may not want to make it THE deciding factor.
One day, family photographs are going to be the ONLY keepsakes you have left after time moves on. They are also one of the major things families hand down to their children. The value of your portraits is immeasurable.
It’s another major red flag if a photographer’s prices seem too good to be true. Low prices are usually an indicator of inexperience in one or more areas of their work.
No one deserves the feeling of regret when viewing their family photos after spending so much time preparing for them. We hope these tips will help you avoid that situation as much as possible.
Fifth and Chestnut Photo Co. is an experienced professional Reno Family Photographer. We serve the greater Northern Nevada and Northern California areas. Contact us and find out how we can create incredible fine-art portraiture for your family!