Choosing the right photographer is the most vital decision you will make when it comes to capturing you and your families most precious memories. It’s not the props, the outfits, or even the location that makes the difference between a good photo and a great photo. The secret to a really amazing photo, that you will be able to cherish forever, is the photographer. When you look for a photographer you should do some important research first before making your final decision. Here are some things you should look for when choosing your photographer, and four money saving tips to adjusting your budget in order to afford the photographer you really want!
Have you ever seen a photo that you absolutely adored, and wanted to recreate that image with your own family? The best photographers will be able to look at an example and understand the lighting, the proper f-stop, backgrounds and equipment necessary to help you achieve the final image you are looking for. Be sure to ask your photographer questions to help you learn more about what they are capable of. Ask to see your potential photographers past work on their website or portfolio to help you decide if they will be a good match for you. Not every person that claims to be a photographer will have those types of answers for you, but the best ones will. These are the types of photographers who have invested thousands of dollars into their business. They have the proper lighting, cameras, backdrops, props and skills needed to provide you with the service you are looking for. Not only does your photographer spend a certain amount of time shooting your portraits, but they also spend a significantly longer time editing and fine tuning your images to perfection. This also means they won’t be the cheapest. If you are on a budget the first place to try to find deals would be on anything other than the photographer. I’m going to give you some money saving tips in order for you to get the perfect family photo to hang above your fireplace.
For my last family photo session I wanted to do a fancy, dressy look that showed a lot of strength and resilience. I have had a difficult year. I went through a painful divorce, a huge move, and started a business to support my family. Money is tight, but I really wanted this photo to remind me of the strength I had during this difficult time. I found Adrianne, an incredible photographer that had all the skills I was looking for, and I asked her if she could help me make this photo possible. She was beyond excited to make my dream a reality. But with a tight budget, I had to come up with outfits for myself and my five children. So, I went to a flea market and searched for evening gowns for myself and daughter. These gowns are worn once then donated, and I found so many options. I ended up getting two gowns, and outfits for my four boys for under $40! Even I could fit that amount into my budget. Check out your local thrift stores I’m sure you won't be disappointed.
Ask your photographer what they have
Often, amazing photographers, like Adrianne (Zendejas Photography), have props in their studio! She had hats and ties and all sorts of props already available that we could use. It was such a relief to me that she could lend us these little extras in our photo shoot to make it that much easier for me. Be sure to see what your potential photographer already has available, and work with her ideas. It adds zero to the budget, and that little extra something that enhances the final image.
Something about shoes
Who needs shoes? If you don’t have them, wear matching socks or go barefoot. It’s cute, and looks precious. Often, feet won’t even be shown in the final image anyway. Why not skip this expense and use the funds toward the photographer. Trust me, if I had to come up with coordinating shoes I would have spent hundreds of dollars that I didn’t have. Wearing matching socks was a perfect solution.
In the studio or on location
Find a photographer that can accommodate the look you are going for. For my portrait, I wanted a studio session. Adrianne has an incredible studio in South Lee's Summit with dozens of gorgeous backdrops. She found the most incredible gray backdrop that was exactly what I wanted, but she also does on location sessions as well. Choose a location that doesn’t have any added costs. Local parks, at your home, or even in the photographers studio. You don’t have to pay for any special venue to achieve a great image. Your photographer likely has favorite places they like to frequent, and can give you ideas on how to make the most out of your session.
I can’t recommend Adrianne enough! She made all of my children feel comfortable and even got my brooding teenage daughter to smile, and if any of you reading this has one of those then you are well aware that is no small feat. Sure, having cute props, planning out matching outfits and selecting a perfect location are all important things that need to be thought out, but if you don’t have the right photographer you will most certainly end up disappointed.
Below you can see how fabulous our portraits came out. I had a vision and Adrianne helped make it come to life.