How do I choose? Is a documentary photographer right for you?
In today's photography world there are so many choices. Choices in photographers, choices in types of photography, different editing styles, the list goes on and on. So how do you choose the right one? Is a documentary photographer right for you, would you rather more of a lifestyle session or maybe a posed session is more your style? OR maybe like 90% of the world you don't even know there is a difference in all of this!
When you start looking for a photographer for your next family session the number one best place to start (after you have asked your friends, that neighborhood Facebook group and maybe looked through some Instagram hashtags) is by looking at a photographers portfolio. Scan through their website, pour through their latest images on FB and IG. Do their images speak to you? Do they make you feel something? Do you look at them and think, wow I want images like that? Does their editing style match your taste and your vision? Really look at their work and ask yourself if it is something you would hang on your wall! Do you just like their pretty pictures or do they make you feel something inside? Do they spark memories of your own, and spark emotions in you?
Real life family photographerDocumentary photography, telling the story of real life, candid, unposed moments. Real life family photographerDocumentary photography, telling the story of real life, candid, unposed moments.
Next thing to ask yourself do they fit in your budget? Remember that cheaper doesn’t always mean better and we all have a budget to work within. For some that might mean saving money for 6 months to have that dream session, asking the photographer if they accept a payment plan (many will!) or looking else where to find someone that fits. Your photographer understands that everyone has a budget, talk to them about what your budget really is or if you really want them, wait and see if they offer a sale!
Knowing these answers will help you narrow down your choices!
Other considerations is does their service match your needs? Are they a full service provider to help you through each step in the process from a preconsultation meeting to helping you put prints in your hands? Maybe you don't want that and just need someone provide you digital images and let you do the rest of the work.
Do they offer family films as well as a photography session? Is this something that you might be interested in?
Now let's talk about different types of sessions. Posed traditional sessions, Lifestyle session or Documentary sessions.
These can be in a studio or on a location. They are typically more stiff, everyone is placed in a certain position, told to look at the camera and smile. Clothes generally are coordinated, makeup artists hired, background is pretty.
These can also be either in studio or on location, although more typically they are done on location. While everyone is dressed in their coordinated Sunday's best, the session itself is much more relaxed. There is still a lot of direction usually given by the photographer, but mainly they are gentle cues to elicit warm funny reactions. These often take place in a gorgeous setting, sometimes with props, but not always.
This is all about real life, real moments and very little to no direction. Sessions like this can take place in your home or other places that contain memories for you and your family. They can be centered around a daily activity or just your everyday real life. No special bought coordinating outfits, no cheese, no stand there do this. These sessions are more about photographing the pieces of your life that matter the most at this point in time (and yes those important moments vary from season to season, that’s what keeps it fun!). Think about a few things happening in your life right now that you would be over the moon to have in photograph giving you the chance to remember once they no longer happen, that is what these sessions are all about!
Real life family photgraphyPhotographing candid, unposed, real life moments because lets be honest, real life is true! Documentary Photographer Real life family photgraphyPhotographing candid, unposed, real life moments because lets be honest, real life is true! Documentary Photographer Real life family photgraphyPhotographing candid, unposed, real life moments because lets be honest, real life is true! Documentary Photographer Real life family photgraphyPhotographing candid, unposed, real life moments because lets be honest, real life is true! Documentary Photographer
Does a documentary session sound like something right up your alley? Are you more interested in real life than dressing up in matching clothes and sitting on a couch in a field? Want to be able to look back at this time in life with your children when they are heading off to college? If this isn't the type of session you are looking for, no problem! I know lots of fabulous photographers in the area and I am more than happy to help you pick the right one!