5 Tips for Choosing the Right Photographer for your Family

Tips Photography Guide

2016 Photography Guide

We are blessed with a LOT of talented photographers in our area. From emerging talented moms learning at home to trained professionals, how does one choose? I heard someone use the analogy of buying generic versus brand name. If you can’t tell the difference, go with the generic, like Coke or cola. While that may hold some merit, I think there is a lot more to choosing the right photographer for your family than just the price tag. In the next weeks we will be sharing local Photography Guides for Maternity, Newborn, Children, Family and Seniors. We hope these tips offer some insight.



1. Personality

To capture personality in a portrait a photographer needs to make you and/or the subject (kids) feel comfortable. Check out their “about” section on their website. Do they “get” kids? Can you relate with them? You can usually get to know a lot about someone’s personality in a couple sentences. Another thing to keep in mind, experience usually equals professionalism. Try out a mini session before investing in a more expensive session.


2. Budget

The 2 most important questions to consider are “How often do you do professional pictures?” and “How often do you take/print your own pictures?” Budget the session and the cost to print photos, make sure you don’t run out of money to buy the prints! Ask if there is a print order minimum. If you aren’t comfortable with a price but LOVE the photographer can you start a photo budget? Do they offer payment plans? Make sure to like their facebook page for special offers and mini sessions.


3. Style

Check out their portfolio. Usually it lives in multiple places – website, blog, facebook, instagram. Choose between traditional/posed, in the moment, stylized and props and artsy (with type and color added). Do you like a traditional “looking at the camera” shot or a “captured unexpected surprise”? For pictures you are most happy with, find a photographer that works in the style you like everyday.


4. Location

Obviously living in Wisconsin limits the time for outdoor photos. Do you prefer outdoor pictures or studio (or both)? Unique outdoor locations off the beaten path can sometimes come with experience (and possibly a higher price). Is a nice professional studio what you are looking for or are you comfortable visiting someone’s home studio?


5. Rights to Photos

An often touchy subject for some photographers but in a digital world this may be very important to you. Can you get all the original files on a cd/dvd and if there is an additional cost? Is sharing on facebook or a website/blog important to you? Do you like to print your own Christmas cards? Do you print a lot of pictures for your extended family, this could get expensive if you don’t have the images to order yourself. One thing to remember is it is important to still get pictures printed! One advantages to ordering them through your photographer is you guarantee them in your hands (and you won’t get busy and not get to it). Photographers work through professional labs and the quality is much better than a 1-hour Walgreens or Walmart. We like mpix!




Lots to consider! If you can’t find the answer to some of your questions by researching their website make sure to ask in your initial email of interest. Good photographers book up quickly especially during summer, fall and weekends. Consider a weekday if it works with your schedule, these times are often more available. Photo sessions shouldn’t be a chore. It should be fun. Capture the moments.



Thanks to the following photographers for supporting Go Valley Kids! Make sure to check out their features all month long!

Michelle Pfeifer Photography  | Kelly Jean Photography  | Ali Leigh Photo  |  Pheifer Photography  | Swoonbeam Photography  |  Caitlin Claire Studio  | Melissa Ives Photography  | Jessica Strike Photography  | A Frame In Time Photography  |  Alexis Hyde Photography  | Daly Reminders Photography

Would you like to be featured in our photography guide? Email us at govalleykids@gmail.com.




Looking for a scenic backdrop? Check out 20+ Favorite Fall Destinations for Pictures

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Amanda Chavez
As the owner and publisher of Go Valley Kids I am passionate about connecting families with resources and businesses in our community. Born and raised in Appleton, Wisconsin, Amanda Chavez has a love for her community. As a busy mom of 2 little girls, she and her husband are always on the lookout for fun things to do and share with others. Go Valley Kids combines all of her passions –motherhood, design and community. Some of her other interests also peak through on GVK including baking, photography and sewing!


  1. I thought it was really interesting how the article lists personality before budget on what you should consider when choosing a family photographer. I had always thought budget would be the number one factor. My wife wants family pictures done later this summer, so I might take the article’s advice and look at personality before establishing a budget.

  2. I agree that you need a photographer that can make you and your family feel comfortable. It’s important that everyone feels good throughout the process so that they can be happy and look their best. In the end, a photographer who can help you be happy and comfortable will end up getting you more natural portraits that you are more likely to enjoy.


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