Hiring a family photographer

Angie's List offers advice to get the perfect portrait


A family photo is a great way to capture memories which you'll treasure for a lifetime.  Gone are the days of the static shot. Today the trend is catching the family in candid shots.

"With the advances in cameras these days everything thinks they can be a photographer, but when it comes to a family photograph sometimes you do want to invest in a professional photographer. It's not just the camera that matters, it's the lighting, how they arrange the family. Being able to get that special moment, especially with small children, can be a bit of a challenge," said Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List.

Angie's List asked it's highly rated photographers about how to capture the perfect picture.

Angie's List Perfect Picture Tips:

  • Share your vision: Talk to the photographer prior to the session about the kind of look you want and the results you want to achieve. Do you want an indoor or outdoor photo shoot? Posed photos or candid? Will the photographer come to your home so the family is more relaxed in their environment?
  • Timing is key: Schedule the session around the best times for the kids. If you have kids, schedule the session when the the little ones are happy, well-rested and relaxed. If you are including the family pet in on the photos, take your dog for a good walk before the session and bring treats.


Angie's List Tips: Hiring a Photographer

  • Review their work:  Each photographer has their own style. Look at the photographer's website to give you some insight on whether the style fits your needs. If you want photos of your newborn, do they have experience with newborn photography?
  • Communication is key: You should feel comfortable telling the photographer exactly what you want the end product to be and a good photographer is about making your children feel comfortable.
  • How much is that? A photo session and pictures can cost anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars. Some photographers do offer discounts or incentives.
  • Check references. When you've narrowed your choices to one or two photographers, ask for references. Actually call them. Previous customers are your only source for knowing how the professional actually performs on the job.
  • Put details in contract. When you're ready to book a particular photographer, make sure the contract stipulates how long he or she will be present, whether there'll be a second shooter or assistant, how many pictures you'll receive and in what form and arrangement, and will you have rights to the images?