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How to choose the right family photographer

How to choose the right family photographer

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How to choose the right family photographer

Finding the perfect family photographer can be a daunting task. But, by researching your options and understanding what to look for in a photographer, you can make sure you get the results you need without breaking your budget. Not all family photographers are a good match be sure to read this article to find the best family photographers for your taste. 

Learn more about our family photographer services

2023 Guide to our top 10 outdoor family portrait locations in Orange County

Candid family portrait in park with small children


When searching for a family photographer, there are numerous things to consider. Continue reading to learn more. 

Session Fees and Packages

Get an overall idea of a photographer's family session fees and packages in your area

The easiest way to find out how much photographers charge in your area is to begin your search with Family photographers near me in a search engine bar like Google or Bing. This will generate the local photographers and their websites in your area. Once you have found a “family photographer near me” begin looking through the websites for prices and products. 

Understanding the photographers' prices can be broken down into knowing if they charge a session fee and the types of packages they offer. Additionally, some photographers offer a la carte prices. 

Is a Session fee included in photography packages?

Typically a session fee is not included in photo packages. A session fee is what the photographer charges to come out and take the photos. This is standard practice amongst family portrait photographers. The session fee is in addition to the packages you purchase. An example of a package might include 15 digital files and 3 8x10 prints.

Some photographers only sell digital files, while others won't sell digitals at all. Asking the photographer if they do custom packages could save you money. 

portrait of young boy taken in park

Research potential photographers’ portfolios and services

Start your search by looking at various photographers’ portfolios and reading reviews of their services. Look for portfolio photos that exhibit their style, and read the comments to get an idea of how other customers felt about their experience.

Make sure that the photographer can offer packages that suit your needs, as well as poses and locations that you are looking for. Pay attention to key elements such as lighting, composition, and quality of photos to make sure they can provide what you need.

Additionally, make sure to ask what the photographer's turn-around time is like. You don't want to have to wait a few weeks or even months before you receive the final product.

Lastly, consider the cost and whether or not any additional fees are included in their services. Many photographers offer digital photos as well as printed ones, so make sure you know what's included in each package before making your final decision.

young girl and boy playing in park
boy and girl sitting on park bench
Professional family portrait in park during the fall.

Your family portrait style

Discuss the style you desire with a potential family pictures photographer 

If you like the family portfolio but you are looking for a different style, be sure to discuss if the photographer offers these types of photos. Popular styles include natural, formal, candid, posed, soft and airy, and bright and vibrant.

Consider what photography styles are timeless vs. current trends

It’s important to ask yourself these questions before hiring a family photographer so that you know their style incorporates the features you desire. Look through their portfolio so that you can judge for yourself whether the photographer’s artistry will match your expectations for how the special occasion should be captured.

  • Do they capture candid moments or do they focus more on posed shots?
  • Do they take indoor or outdoor photos only?
  • Are you looking for a timeless look or one that is more trend-driven?
  • Do your photos have bright colors and natural lighting or are they more vintage-inspired with muted tones and dramatic touches?

After you have narrowed down the list of photographers, be sure to look through their portfolios and decide if their style is a good fit for you and your family. 

What other services does the photographer offer

Does the family portrait photographer offer complimentary planning?

If you are a busy parent (who isn't) and coordinating outfits stress you out or seem overwhelming it will be important to seek advice from the photographer. If they can't offer any sound advice on what to wear this could be a red flag. On the other hand, if you have the outfit planning down this shouldn't be a deal breaker. One benefit of hiring a photographer who can offer great wardrobe advice is they will be able to guide you through what looks great in portraits and what can be distracting or unflattering. Below is a list of other complimentary services a photographer might offer.

  • Wardrobe advice
  • Outfit planning tools
  • Location guide and planning 
  • Best time of day to take photos
  • Tide forecast (beach sessions)
  • Custom wall art designs  
  • Planning meeting
Young girl wearing yellow dress picking flowers
Father daughter candid portrait in park

What products are offered

Do the products the family photographers you have selected, offer the products you want?

Does the photographer fit within your budget, including the session fee, digital files, and prints? Knowing what you want to walk away with from the family session will help determine if the products offered are right for you. Looking for ideas on wall art? See how you can design your own photo collage wall.  

Do you want:

  • Wall art
  • Framed prints
  • Digital files
  • Photo albums


Knowing how to choose the right family photographer becomes less overwhelming when you know how to find one for your family.

Choosing a family photographer doesn't have to be complicated! Follow these simple tips on choosing the best candidate for your special memories.

  • Understand the session fee and packages the photographer offers
  • Scroll through a few different family photography portfolios on their website
  • Does your style aline with the photographer
  • Does the photographer offer the types of products you want
  • What other services do they offer to make your family session a success 
  • Can they offer wardrobe and location advice

When you find the right family photographer the next step is to reach out to them and schedule your photoshoot. Be sure to look at their reviews on Google and Yelp. Take this opportunity to ask questions that you have. 

Knowing what type of experience you want from family photographers will help with your decision. 

Once you have selected and narrowed down your choices for the family photographers the next step is to see if all your boxes are checked including if the photographer you hire works well with kids, infants, toddlers, and teenagers.

Magnerfamily 70


Some of our most frequently asked questions from our families?

Have more questions? Get in touch with us to start planning your family portrait today.

Meet Your Photographer

Call Me Chris

I won't bore you with too many details, but I will say that I consider myself to be the luckiest guy in the world and I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to merge my passion and career.

A couple of quick things about me personally. I was born and raised in Orange County. I currently live with my family near Huntington Beach where I love to surf or be in the ocean with my boys.

My passions include art, traveling, and of course photography.

Male photographer holding camera.

Meet Your Photographer

Male photographer holding camera.

Call Me Chris

I won't bore you with too many details, but I will say that I consider myself to be the luckiest guy in the world and I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to merge my passion and career.

A couple of quick things about me personally. I was born and raised in Orange County. I currently live with my family near Huntington Beach where I love to surf or be in the ocean with my boys.

My passions include art, traveling, and of course photography.

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