Today more than ever families have endless options when choosing a photographer for family portraits. There are studio photographers, on-location photographers, traditional portrait photographers, lifestyle and documentary photographers. And within each genre, every artist has their own unique vision, style and approach to a session. Each photographer also has a personality that sets them apart. Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of choosing a family photographer? Don’t worry! I’m here to help you find a photographer to best fit your family.
There are many photographers who can capture beautiful images of your family. But, not all of them will be the best fit for YOUR family, including me. Answering some key questions can help you narrow down the choices and choose the best photographer for YOUR family.
This may sound obvious, but before choosing a family photographer, make sure you like the style of work they create. Spend some time browsing their website, blog and Instagram feed. If you prefer traditional family portraits with everyone posed perfectly and smiling at the camera, does the photographer show those type of images on her website? If not, chances are good that’s not her style.
Or, are you are drawn to more natural looking images that show emotion and connection? Some photographers, myself included, aim to capture families in real-to-life (lifestyle) and candid moments that reveal a glimpse of who they are. Lifestyle photography focuses on family connections and authentic reactions and expressions. During a lifestyle family session the photographer directs and provides prompts to help families relax and have fun. For example, in my family sessions, I often tell parents to hug and tickle their kids. These prompts elicit loving connections and laughter.
Or maybe you prefer a completely documentary approach to capture your everyday life as it unfolds with no direction from your photographer at all.
Knowing what you like will help you narrow down the choices.
My style is predominantly “lifestyle” with a some traditional and documentary mixed in occasionally.
Before choosing a family photographer, be sure to browse through their website portfolio, blog and social media feeds to get a sense of their style. If you love the images she shows, chances are you will love the images she captures for you during your session.
Knowing what type of setting you prefer for your family photos will also help narrow down your choice of photographer. Do you prefer a studio or in-home session? Or, do you want to head outdoors to a local park or other favorite destination, such as your family’s summer beach house for your family portraits?
Booking a family photo session is about more than just getting great photos. You’re also booking an experience, one that will hopefully be enjoyable for you and your family–even those who may be less than enthusiastic at first!
Want an expert to you guide through the entire process from pre-session planning, to help with coordinating clothing and accessories, and final selection of custom print products for your home? Do you want to speak and meet with your photographer before your session so that she can get to know a little about your family?
Or do you prefer minimal contact with your photographer? Do you want to book online and show up to your session and then download images to share on social media?
Neither answer is right or wrong, but knowing the what type of experience you want will guide your choice of photographers.
How do you want to display your images? Are you looking for a beautiful fine art portrait to hang on your wall, or frame as a gift for the grandparents? Maybe you’d like to create a wall collage of individual canvases, or maybe you prefer a beautiful professionally designed book or album to pass down to your children and future generations.
Do you also want digital images for a holiday card or to share on social media? Some photographers provide only digital images and leave the rest up to you. Others sell only printed products, while still others offer a combination of choices to best meet your family’s needs.
I love the ease and convenience of sharing digital photos with friends and family on social media. But I’m also a strong believer in the value of a printed photograph. I print most of my family photos. Every year I create a family photo book to document our year and it’s become a favorite pastime of ours to look through our memories together as a family. To me, nothing compares to holding a print or being able to flip through an album and relive my memories. I also know that digital images are only temporary and I want to make sure that my treasured memories are preserved for my son in the future.
With my own personal preferences in mind, I’ve created collections that offer a combination of print and digital images, so that families can have the best of both. I offer a range of boutique products through professional labs that are only available to photography businesses. This allows me to provide families with high quality products that they would not otherwise be able to obtain.
You may love a photographer’s work and the services she offers, but maybe her high energy, extroverted personality doesn’t feel like the best fit for your shy six-year old. Feeling comfortable and relaxed with your photographer will ensure you have an enjoyable experience and will translate to more authentic images. Set up a time to chat briefly on the phone or in person with a photographer before you book. This will give you a chance to get a sense of her personality.
The cost of family photography varies widely from one photographer to another. A lot of factors contribute to these differences, including the photographer’s reputation, skills, number of years of experience, photography gear (camera and lenses), the type of services provided, and the photographer’s costs of running her business, among other factors. Photographers who offer a full service experience with pre-session consultations, in-home ordering sessions, and custom print products, are typically priced higher compared to all-inclusive photographers who do not offer similar services.
If you’ve answered all those questions and are still looking for more information about a photographer, try checking local directories and listings. NAPCP (National Association of Professional Child Photographers) provides a directory of all of its members. Visit NAPCP Directory. Or check out Hulafrog’s most loved photographers. (Yours truly was voted Most Loved Photographer in the Clark-Westfield area for 2020 😉 thanks to my loyal families).
Do you love to laugh, play with and cuddle your kids and spouse? Do you prefer images that showcase your family’s connection and personality over traditional, perfectly posed photos? If so, then we might be a good match! Browse my Family Photography Portfolio to see more of my work.
I’m an introvert by nature but am pretty talkative during my sessions. I see beauty in the small gestures that unfold naturally between a parent and child or between siblings. I get excited by sunsets, pretty light and the innocence of childhood. I believe a mother comforting her crying baby is beautiful and worth documenting just as much as a happy and smiling baby.
I have a soft spot for shy kids, having been one myself and this helps me connect with children who are also a little shy.
I truly want to provide you with a wonderful experience and beautiful images that reflect your unique family.
Want to learn more about a family portrait & lifestyle session with me? Check out my FAQ page to see what a session with me is like, or drop me a note in the contact link below and we’ll schedule a time to chat.
Ready to book your family portrait session? Get in touch HERE!
Winner of the Westfield Area Most Loved Family Photographer award by Hulafrog two years in a row, Debbie Camba Photography is a New Jersey Family Photographer based in Scotch Plains. She specializes in capturing candid and meaningful moments that reflect the love and wonder of childhood and family life.
Debbie photographs families outdoors and in homes throughout Scotch Plains, Westfield, Mountainside, Cranford, Summit, Basking Ridge and the surrounding area, including Somerset County, Morris County and Middlesex County. She is available in other locations upon request.
Debbie was awarded Master Photographer Certifications by the National Association of Professional Child Photographers (NAPCP) for demonstrating excellence in the craft of child and family photography.