Whether it is the hospital pictures or the first birthday pictures, you want to get them right! So how do you go about choosing a photographer?
Many people use word of mouth, friend referrals, and social media to choose the right person for them. New photographers may offer deals for their services but there is always a risk in hiring someone with less experience. One thing to look for is something needed for most individuals hired to do a job… references. Seek references from others regarding the photographer’s work. Next is planning. The photographer should have an idea of what the client is looking for in terms of location, setting, time of day, backgrounds, and number of people in the photo. Of course, end-product expectations should be discussed as well! For example, are you looking for something posed? Or do you want it to look spontaneous? Will it involve movement such as jumping or running?
Third, review their work! Most good photographers will want to show off their achievements just as we all do. Check out those websites or portfolios.
Finally, when possible choose a photographer whose personality matches your child. Will your son or daughter only listen to someone stern? Or do they respond better to silliness or goofiness? Male or female? Our young daughter seemed drawn to males. She adored the male photographer with all of the facial hair. And we got amazing pictures. Who knew? Well, we did. Think about your child’s interactions with others and how they tend to respond to different types of people. Do they withdraw from loud speakers? Is your child shy around younger people but adore older adults? Do they tend to prefer men or women? For example, I know one child who feared small blonde women at a certain age for no apparent reason. If her parents had chosen a small blonde photographer it would have been a challenge for the child, parents, AND the photographer to get photos on that occasion.
Choosing a newborn photographer can be a bit more challenging. There are some different, very specific things to look for. Does the photographer have a link to their site, or to a portfolio of examples specifically of newborn or baby photos to peruse? Do they have expertise in handling newborns? Knowing how to calm a baby is essential, as well as awareness of positions that can be uncomfortable or even harmful to a baby.
Whether you are looking for a photographer for a new baby, young child, first birthday, teen, or family portrait, do your homework and don’t be afraid to ask questions. And have fun!