Friday Photo Tips for Moms
Review + When & How to Hire a Professional
What to wear to your session. Take Away: Choose a color scheme and coordinate
Composition: Take Away: Know what you’re focusing on, put the focus in the thirds, and pay attention to distracting lines in the background.
Focus. Take away: Know what it is you are trying to take a photo of. What is the moment/memory/detail you are trying to document? What part of the face should you focus on?
How to Document your Child’s first day of school? Take away: Be creative, get the best angle and light, add an interview captured through video.
We also did a great Q&A post. You can re-read it here.
All these tips on how to take your own great photos may seem counter productive to my advertising efforts. If you can take your own great photos, then why would you need to hire me, right? Wrong. And wrong again.
My goals with these live how-to videos are to teach and inspire you. I want you to be able to recognize a crisp, well composed image that truly captures the life of the moment. I want to inspire and motivate you to have incredible moments with your family, and have them documented so that they are never forgotten and so that your children have something to illustrate their stories with. Of course you cannot hire a professional for every family date. That’s why I teach you how to use your own camera to the best of your ability.
Side note, you can get amazing local family date night ideas from North East Ohio Family Fun.
When to Hire a Professional
In my opinion as a mother, we should document more than the big events in our family’s life. How many professional sessions per year depends on your own budget. Here’s a list of questions to ask yourself. If you answered yes to a lot of them, then you should hire a photographer.
- Do you want candid photos of this specific day or event?
- It is really hard to capture your own candid photos. Especially if you want to be in them. I’m a professional photographer and I can’t even take my own candid photo that well.
- Are you hosting this event?
- If you are hosting the event that you want documented, then you will be too busy to take any photos.
- If the event is important enough to have a friend photograph it, would you be upset if they accidentally ruined all the photos?
- Friends with cameras are great, if the stakes are low. If you would be upset to have all the photos lost then do not hire an unprofessional friend to photograph the event. Professional Photographers take extra precaution to prevent ruining photos.
- Do you want to gift photos to family members for a birthday or Christmas?
- Gift prints are a wonderful thing. They are cherished and will most likely end up in a frame on the wall for years. You want that to be a great image.
- Do you want to create a photo book?
- Do you want to put pictures on your Christmas card?
- I know people who keep the pictures from the Christmas card on their refrigerator all year long.
- Is there a special announcement you would like to make?
- Did you just find out you’re pregnant? Wouldn’t it be fan to plan a special session, maybe even with photo and video, where you announce the pregnancy?
- Did your child just hit a milestone?
I could keep going with these questions, but I’ll stop while I’m ahead.
If you answered yes, contact me, I’d be happy to be the professional photographer to help you with your photography needs!
How to Hire a Professional
This is a daunting task. Oh wait, someone just posted some photos from that girl who is learning how to use her camera. She only charges $20? Sign me up! No. Guys I promise I am not a judgmental person. And I was that girl when I first got my camera. I can tell you I did not know what I was doing back then. View this girl the same way you would “A friend with a nice camera”. If you are hiring a photographer to document moments that will be priceless and cherished for the rest of your life then invest in one who can not only protect your images but also deliver incredible quality. Here are some questions you should consider:
- What type of equipment does the photographer use?
- This will play into the quality of the photo and prints. A friend with a camera might take photos that look great on a screen but once you enlarge it past an 8×10 the quality usually diminishes. Can they take sunset photos? Can they photograph action shots? This is important if you have a toddler because then every shot is an action shot. Can I get an amen?
- Does the photographer know how to manipulate light? dO they know how to use and do they have alternate lighting techniques? Or are they a “natural light” photographer?
- We can’t predict the lighting at every event/session. Maybe it is an overcast sunset. Maybe the lighting in the event rom is orange. Maybe its a romantic, low lit event. Will your photographer’s camera even be able to focus?. A good photographer will be prepared for any lighting situation.
- Have you viewed their recent work? Is the session or event similar to what you would like to book them for? Do they show their skill level and their equipments capability through a variety of venues and amounts of lighting?
- Look for high quality photographs.
- Zoom into their pictures. Is the focus crisp? Is the color and edit suitable to your preference? How is their composition? Did they pay attention to what was in the foreground and background?
- Do they offer prints through they’re studio?
- This is a great service! But be aware of photographers who require you to spend at least a certain amount at your order session.
- We just started including in-person reveal session for our lifestyle sessions (at no extra charge) where we reveal the images from your session and go over print products you may be interested in. But there is no pressure to order anything.
- Are they insured?
- Many venues require your photographer to be insured.
- Side note: we are!
- Are they patient and good with kids? Are they fun?
- You absolutely should not be made to feel bad if your child has a lot of energy! Make sure the photographer is patient with kids. Read their reviews, especially reviews that moms wrote. How did their session go?
- Does the photographer put the kid on a prop and expect them to sit still in the studio full of cool and totally distracting props? Or does the photographer come up with fun games to engage your child, bring out their true personality, and create an incredible memory for your whole family?
- What if your kid was having a bad day? Is the photographer will to go the extra mile, to spend the extra time to make sure you got what you hired her to get?
- Do they ask you questions? Do they include session planning consultations?
- It can be hard to know what you want your session to look like or even what you want to use the photos for. We send out questionnaires and have as in depth as you want phone calls to plan your session.
- Do they offer anything unique?
- What sets this photographer apart from the crowd? What is it that makes them more valuable? Why should they be able to charge more than this other photographer?
- Answer: look for experience, their creativity, their use of light, what they see through the lens of their camera, what do they offer?
- We offer many things that make us unique.
- Photo + Video + Written Story Sessions
- 100% Custom and Unique personalized story books.
- Custom designs for invitations, birthday cards, Christmas cards, etc.
- Are they professional?
- You should know exactly what you are getting and how much it cost. You should know their policies and get an invoice and have the option to sign a model release, If they put the images online, do they have the ability to make the gallery password protected?
- Lastly, what kind of experience does the photographer deliver?
- Start to finish, does the photographer make you feel important and try to meet all your photography needs?