Sounds simple enough, right? But it’s actually a little more complicated than meets the eye!
There are so many types of photographers out there today. You have photographers who offer Wedding Photography, Nature & Wildlife, Senior, Branding & Commercial, Sports… I could go on and on.
And then there’s Family Photography. And to be honest sometimes Family Photography has a reputation of being bottom-of-the-barrel, anyone with a camera and a few minutes of time will do just fine. I mean, you all just stand together and “say cheese”, right?
Wrong. So, so wrong.
I’m not saying there can’t be any cross-over, or that a high-quality wedding photographer isn’t capable of giving you beautiful family portraits as well, but I want to share why it’s in your best interest–to make the most of your precious investment(!!!!)–to hire a dedicated Family Photographer, (not just your family friend photographer who shot your sister’s wedding 2 years ago).
Passion is the first and most important reason on the list, because it fuels EVERYTHING else. Photography is a creative industry. It is Art. Artists do their best work while being inspired creatively. Passion fuels the artistry. You want to hire a photographer who is excited to be with you. Who is inspired by motherhood. Who views your time together and family in an emotional, beautiful, artistic sense. You want a photographer who is captivated by the beauty of family life, who can relate to motherhood and its constant ebbing and flowing, ups and downs, big moments and small ones.
You do not want a photographer who is simply with you in order to fill in a few scheduling and income gaps and would ultimately rather be elsewhere.
And I have to add here, don’t shoot the messenger, but there are no photographers who can really “do it all”. They may take on all kinds of work for financial reasons, but I’ve yet to meet one who is really emotionally present and connected with every kind of work, especially for long periods of time. Find a photographer who gets butterflies-in-the-stomach-happy to photograph your family and little ones!
Family photographers are used to working with families. All kinds of families. Quiet families, large families, wild, shy, busy, families with babies and families with teens. Family Photographers are quite used to the dynamics of children, and skilled at working though (and often helping to avoid) periods of meltdowns, snack breaks, and over-stimulation.
It is important to hire a photographer who is patient, understanding, and can help mitigate a lot of the common pitfalls of working with children, and set your family up for success!
Even with my very kid-filled personal background and experience + being a mom of two, the majority of my strategies working with families and babies have come from my experience over the years working with families and babies. Practice. On the flip side for example, a photographer who is maybe even a parent themself may not be well practiced at working with a diversity of kids and families if their work is primarily weddings and engagements, etc.
3. Purposeful Posing and Continuing Education
There are a lot of aspects that go into this one.
Photographing a women’s body in all different life stages, some when she doesn’t feel comfortable in her own skin.
Photographing a newborn baby so that they are safe, comfortable, and posed in correct lighting.
Helping families to feel comfortable, connected, and natural in front of the camera.
Capturing those fleeting moments that only last a quick glimpse (and those toddlers who love to run the opposite direction, haha).
There is a reason I leave nearly every session sweaty. It is often intense physically working with young children, I’m constantly squatting to their level, engaging and playing, and encouraging you to do the same. Newborns sessions I work up a sweat to quietly move 90mph to capture every sweet detail while they sleep. While this may be exhausting to a photographer who is not particularly excited to be photographing a family, I seriously love it! I love to ooh and ahh over your sweet, funny, and beautiful children, creating special moments so that you can enjoy your family while I click away.
A dedicated Family Photographer is also going to be filling their spare time with education geared toward families. Always thinking and planning how to make each session just *chef’s kiss* more beautiful and emotive than the last.
A huge part of the Emilie Phillipson Photography experience is that I help you along the way: from planning to finished artwork. I ask each client questions about their favorite part of motherhood, and what would a perfect day be like in their family so that I can get to know each family and help plan their perfect dream session. Each client has access to my client closet, filled with flattering and beautifully feminine options in a variety of sizes, and I even have outfits for newborns and toddlers, too. When your session is complete, I help you order your photos in PRINT so that you can see those beautiful faces of your loved ones day in and day out.
A photographer, even a luxury service photographer, who doesn’t work with families regularly won’t be able to offer most of the perks that a dedicated photographer does!
Whew, well that was a lot! I hope I’ve convinced you that it is worth it to make the most of your time and money investment and hire a family photographer who is dedicated to giving you the best experience possible! And, it’s never too early, but it can be too late, to book and schedule your family session with me, so if that has been on your to-do list, go ahead and send me and inquiry here now 🙂