In years past, I always checked price first when looking for a family photographer. Cheap? Great! Free? Even better. I wanted beautiful photos, but I was on a budget.
But to get the photos of your dreams, I think there's something you should look at even before you look at a photographer's pricing.
Look at her portfolio!
Seriously, it's really that simple. If you are going to the trouble to drag your whole family out to a location in carefully coordinated outfits, make sure the person clicking the shutter already does work you like.
The best indicator of what your photos will look like is the photographer's most recent work.
You wouldn't ask Picasso to paint a Monet for you.
Because this is what would happen.
You'd envision this.
But you'd get this.
Yeah, hiring Picasso when what you really want is Monet, will never end well -- even if Picasso paints you a picture for FREE.
In the same way, all photographers aren't created equal. Each has her own shooting style. And her own editing style. Some are more skilled than others. All these elements influence the kind of images she is creating today.
But you don't really have to sort through all that. All you really need to do is look at her portfolio and ask, "Do I love her work?" When you can answer, "Yes!" hire that photographer to take your family photo.
Every professional photographer has a portfolio. Even hobbyist photographers like me have one. You can view my portfolio here. I've been polishing it up for Click Away.
Bragging alert! Remember my entry in the Make a Splash photo challenge?
I won! Happy Dance! My photo placed in the top 10, number 5 to be exact! There were over 130 entries. You can see all the winners and read the judge's comments on my photo over at I Heart Faces.
Finally, if all this talk of photography and pretty pictures has you thinking of dusting off your own camera, I have great news for you. Manual 'n More (my favorite photography class) is open for registration. Head over and take a look. If you're interested don't wait too long. The class tends to fill up quickly.