I was reading over at HoneyBear Lane about her goal to "Say No To The Mom Uniform". She wants to find her style. We all need to do this, if we don't know what our style is. What does this have to do with photography? Glad you asked.
Every photographer has a style. Your style and your photographer's style need to match up. Neither one of you will be happy otherwise. If you are a traditional style and your photographer is casual style you aren't going to mesh. One of you is going to be out of your comfort zone and it will show in your pictures. Nothing should be forced. If you want perfectly posed, traditional photographs then your photographer needs to be a posed photographer. A casual-style photographer may do a few poses but they won't be comfortable with an entire session of poses. The same goes if you want casual photos and you choose a traditional photographer.
What if I don't know my style?
That's ok. We can figure it out, or better yet you can all by yourself. How is your house decorated? Is it traditional or do you lean more to the modern? When you see pictures that your friends have had done what do you like? Do you like the ones where everyone is posed? Do you like the ones where it looks like someone captured a moment in their life? Do you like indoor, studio photos? Do you like outdoor, nature, natural photos?
Are you getting an idea of what you like? Good!! By now you should be forming an idea of what you want your photographs to look like and what kind of photographer you want to take them. This is a key step in choosing your photographer. You should now be ready to start an educated search for your photographer.
How do I find a photographer?
Google. Ok it won't be that easy but it's a good starting spot. You can search for photographers in your area. Most will have some sort of website with a few pictures that they have done at least. You'll get an idea for their style. They should also have sort of contact information on the site that you can/could call, email, Facebook, or Twitter with them.
You could also look on bulletin boards in area businesses for brochures and business cards of photographers in your area. You might just find a gem there.
You could ask for recommendations on Twitter. We actually got a client that way. I have a saved search for people talking about photographers in my area. That way if someone is looking for one I can always toss myself in the mix.
Search Facebook everyone is on Facebook it seems and you might just be able to find the photographer of your dreams there.
Alright, I have a list of photographers I like now what do I do?
First things first do they fit in your budget? If their starting price is $500 and you only have $200 things aren't going to work. You either need to save more money up or move on to another photographer. If you aren't working with a time table you can save up the money or you can see if they do mini sessions cheaper. You'll be able to get a few images that way.
Speaking of money high price tags doesn't mean the best of the best. Look at their photographs, online and in person, you want your money's worth but you there is no need to pay more than what it's worth. I'm willing to bet that there is a photographer out there that matches your style and your budget.
Do they do the type of session you want done? If you want a family session and they only do weddings then it's time to move on again.
Now that you've got your list of photographers that match your style, your budget, and what you want done it's time to get in contact with them. YOU HAVE TO TALK TO THEM!!! It's the only way to be sure that you really do mesh. This is also the time to schedule a time to look at their portfolio. They've got one trust me. Find out the nitty-gritty of a session with them. Do you have to purchase a certain amount of prints from them? What are your options for products? Do the products they offer match up with what you want?
Hopefully now you have found the perfect photographer for you and your family!