If you’re thinking about having family portraits taken this year then read this first – a complete guide to what you should expect and what you should be paying.
Family portraiture has come a long way with modern digital equipment. I’m not just talking about digital cameras, but also the amazing range of wireless lighting and streaming technologies that make it possible to setup a high tech studio at any location in a matter of minutes.
The technology is pretty cool
At a typical “at home” photo shoot with dygiphy you will see your photos stream wirelessly and instantly to an iPad or laptop.
As a photographer, this makes my job much simpler because my clients are better able to understand why I am directing in a certain way, and what it will achieve.
Kids love it too. They love the gadget factor of seeing their photos magically appear, and it helps them stay engaged and feel part of the process.
Lighting is state of the art too. At dygiphy we use multiple modified strobe lights that wirelessly connect to and are controlled from the camera. This enables the creation of complex, flattering, lighting setups that can adapt to changing conditions both indoors and outdoors.
Great lighting makes engaging photos, and also helps capture the beauty of your home or location. This example was taken in the clients home using natural light that has been complimented with carefully balanced portable studio lighting.
I don’t like having my photo taken
Does this sound like you? You’re not alone – it’s the first thing everyone say to me when booking a shoot.
The feedback I get from families after a dygiphy portrait sitting is that they enjoyed the experience, learnt lots, and loved the results.
Most people would also like to do it again, and many do within the next 2 years, especially with young children.
You’ll get more than a family portrait
Families have diverse requirements for photography in 2018. Social media, work and mobile devices in addition to traditional frames and albums all need different types of photography.
There is no reason why all these requirements can’t be met in a single family sitting.
Here’s a sample of dygiphy shots taken from a photo shoot last weekend that illustrate the point. We supplied 250 photos – all taken in a single 2 hour sitting.
The family portrait, natural light
Your family portrait can also capture the spaces in which you live, and feature beautiful natural light.
Studio Style Portrait
Thanks to modern equipment, dygiphy can set up a studio in any location in about 15 minutes. The following shot is taken in the same space as that above. It is no longer necessary to choose between studio or location, at dygiphy we routinely do both in the same 2 hours family portrait sitting.
Social Media Portraits
These days, the meet and greet that used to happen in person now also happens online. Social media portraits, especially LinkedIn are crucially important for making the right impression.
How to choose a photographer
Many people have had a bad experience with family photography. The most common issue is high pressure selling combined with a lack of pricing transparency.
It’s best to get a word of mouth referral from someone who has used the photographer before and was happy with the experience, the price, and the end product.
Here are a few things to look out for:
- Make sure you like their work. You don’t need a fine arts degree to be able to critique a photo. Look for photos that you love, and then ask if they were taken by the actual photographer you will get.
- Pricing transparency. Ask for end product pricing up front, and don’t accept “there are too many options to provide prices” as an answer. A good photographer will provide prices for commonly ordered products and sizes.
- Do they provide digital negatives? Surprisingly few photographers will provide full resolution digital photos with no copyright restrictions. At dygiphy, digital negative packages are the most common order, and we provide fixed pricing for these.
- Can they work on location? You may get better photos in the comfort and privacy of your own space. There is no need to use a studio these days as the same quality result can be obtained on location. The costs are also significantly higher for a fixed studio.
How much will it cost
The most commonly purchased photography package at dygiphy costs $1175, for a digital negative package and no copyright restrictions. Many people these days want to print their own products, and share, copy and use their photos in a variety of ways.
However in a recent benchmark of our competitors, we observed that:
- large, multi location, photography companies can be 3 to 4 times this price, are less likely to offer digital negatives, and it is not always certain which photographer you will get on the day.
- fixed studio photographers generally cost twice as much as dygiphy prices.
- most photographers offer the same print products from the same manufacturer as dygiphy, however prices are wildly different.
- the quality of the actual photography from a creative and technical perspective can be very inconsistent.
The reason our prices at dygiphy are so reasonable is because we offer commercial and web design services as well, and as a result have much less downtime. This means you don’t have to pay higher prices to cover for the times that we aren’t busy.