Finding the perfect family photographer can be an art in itself.
There are many things you should consider before finding the perfect family photographer. These include: portfolio range, prices, deals, service levels, experiences, referrals and much more. As I said, it is much more complex than it appears as first. Really, there are so many things that a person should consider before finding their ideal family photographer in London. As mentioned above, you need to consider multiple factors for organising professional family photos. Let’s start with the basics and see how we move forwards. First and foremost, when people search for a children’s portrait photographer in London, they use the internet to help them find what they are looking for.
Yes – you guessed correctly. It’s good old Google. But beware, even Google can disappoint, and more factors need to be evaluated as a result. Keyword results can be easily skewed especially with the pay per click ads in this day and age. It takes a lot more to find the prefect family photographer, than just clicking on the first results that appear on Google Search. Let me explain in the section below.
The classic internet search
So, think of yourself. Imagine that you are looking to find a family photographer in North London or in other parts of London as well. Or in London in general, not really caring for the part or specific district. Whatever keyword you type in, you will always look at the first couple of results that come up. Don’t lie to yourself. We’ve all been lazy to click through three or five pages of result pages. From my personal experience, I used to only look at the top five results and that was it for me. But I was wrong!
If you are looking only at the first page, then stop. This might not necessarily guarantee you the best family photographer. You have to overcome the urge of not taking extra ten or fifteen minutes to properly look through the website content of each photographer result you find. Trust me, the research is well worth it. You know, sometimes the best family photo studio in London is a small one that barely has a website or any advertising. They sell quality and delivery of a service rather than focus on getting up on first ranks against larger studios. Take my advice and take the extra time and give the smaller boutique studios a chance. They are much more worth than the larger once.
Why a boutique studio is better than a larger one
The answer to this question should be fairly obvious, but in case you are struggling to find answer -let me elaborate. Have you ever hired a family photographer from a large studio? Those of you who have know exactly what I am talking about. There are a couple of nuances that you can run into. Actually, there are a lot. After I have had my photography session with a professional photographer from a large studio, I vowed to go only to smaller studio. The boutique one.The experience was appalling. Let me explain.
Here are the main problems that you can run into when you choose the larger photography studio or the more popular one over a smaller boutique studio.
Insane Waiting Times
This doesn’t apply only to the waiting time in the studio, as it will most likely be crowded. It also applies to getting an actual appointment. The professional large photography studios book so many people, taking on as many clients as possible, they fill up fast. Sometimes, it takes months before getting an appointment.
What about the telephone and email responses
Notwithstanding the fact that the booking times are extensive, what about the response rates? If you send a request for information via email – yea… good luck getting an answer. You’ll maybe get one a week later and that will delay your appointment even further. Plus, consider the attitude of the response. It’s as if you called a bank. They get so many calls a day, they don’t even take special care of you and treat you how a customer should be treated. It is a circus I tell you. A bloody circus. Forget the nice responses and friendly emails. You just won’t get that with a large studio. No way.
The crowd of people
Do you know that feeling of waiting for a doctor’s appointment in the waiting room? I hate that! Well, that exactly what you are signing yourself up for. I hate this feeling of having to wait, especially since you booked a time slot specifically for you. I am not trying to say that I feel entitled to special treatment. But, don’t you agree that you should be greeted at least by the family photography in London and once you are there, his or her attention should be 100% on you.
That’s just my personal opinion, but maybe I have too high experience. But, just think of the fact, that you are paying for time where you could be having a fun time taking pictures. Instead, you are sitting in a full waiting room, with nervous people yapping on their phones. Horrible. That’s why, if you book smaller studio’s – you’ll know that you’ll be the only one. Plus, you will get treated like royalty. Remember, you paid for it.
Last but not least – everyone’s favourite topic
We all know which topic this is. It is the topic of prices of course! Don’t expect to find amazing family photoshoot deals in a larger studio- even though they might try to advertise it that way. The larger family photo studio will always over charge you for everything. You name it. On the amount of frames, on the amount of time spent, over-time, decorations, themes, prints, etc. Seriously, the list goes on.
And I find this quite the unfair deal. They spend as little amount of time as possible, while trying to squeeze every single penny out of your wallet. Doesn’t sound like a place where I’d want my family photographer to take my pictures. Just remember, that low-quality non-customised service is so over-priced, it’s better to pay for a smaller studio. Give the money to someone who actually cares about you and took time to get you that perfect shot.
Now that you’ve heard a list of only a few things that can go wrong in your experience with a larger photography studio, will you go there? I think you should hear both sides, the negative and the positive a smaller studio can bring you.
Here are the main benefits and advantages of booking a photography session with a smaller or a boutique photography studio. Remember, these might be located on the next couple of search pages – sometimes even on page ten or twelve.
So, in my opinion, the number thing I love is the immediate response once you call or send an email. Not only will you get an immediate response, but the tone of that email differs ever so much. You can differentiate between the level of excitement and the friendliness. Sometimes, you can just tell these things from an email or simply in the first phew words in a phone conversation. By the time you are done talking to your new potential family photographer in London, you are looking forward to meeting him or her in person. I think this is the best way to start your family photography experience. Start with a positive and end with a positive.
Availability and flexibility
Generally speaking, the family photographer from a smaller or boutique photography studio will be more flexible to meet your demands.
Simply, because they put you on top of their list and want you to feel comfortable as well with a time slot. I find it in my experience, that these photographers are much more willing to wait for you and offer you more flexibility. In terms of working hours and setting up weekend appointments. It’s very hard to do this in larger studios.
Plus, you won’t get penalised if you come ten or fifteen minutes late as you would with a larger studio. We all know London is super congested and sometimes even the tube fails. So, there won’t be any need giving excuses to your photographer why you came late to your session. All will be forgiven and the photographer will be very happy to see you. That being said, you must also not take advantage of this approach, and you should respect the photographer’s working schedule. He or she might need some time to relocate to their next clients.
Locations and locations
Speaking of relocating, this is what I love about smaller studios.
You yourself can consult with the family photographer about ideas on where your next shoot can be.
The larger studios generally don’t offer this type of service – meeting the clients on site. On the whole, they prefer to lure the clients on their fake sets and elevate the photoshoot with some thematic add ons. I am sorry – but this trend is becoming a bit out of style.
Plus, why not use London’s beautiful scenery as a backdrop. There are so many ideas that come to my mind. My favourite though is of course – Hyde Park. It is probably the favourite park of all Londoners. So, use this opportunity to book a small photography studio and tell the family photographer to meet you at any location you wish. It is so much fun and you get to customize your own backdrop yourself. How cool is that – right?
Customisation is probably the best feature that springs to mind when thinking about a smaller photography studio. Not only will you have unique photos, that no one will have – you can tell the photographer freely what you want. I think this a really admirable feature and the most undersold. Think of the fact that you can customize your photo shoot and turn it in any direction you want. You won’t have this freedom at larger studios as they will only have a handful of themes. You know – the lower amount to choose from, the fast the decision times… quite evil really if you think about it.
Family portrait photography prices
The last bit that you should know about are the prices of course. Family photoshoot London prices in a smaller studio are much more favourable – even though it doesn’t seem that way first. Perhaps you might think that it is more expensive, but generally the photographer includes everything in the price in terms of time and delivery. In a larger studio, extra time gets added to your final bill which I think is really unfair.
Moreover, what is really advantageous that you might get a repeat client discount. Meaning, that once you make a family photography session, you are likely to get discounts on future family celebrations like christenings, birthdays, etc. These smaller photography studios offer lots of price packages which you can freely choose from. For example, I know a photographer that has a mother and daughter photoshoot package – which is simply brilliant for the upcoming mother’s day, don’t you find? Oh the choices are endless.
Have I convinced you yet?
So, tell me honestly? Have I convinced you that family photographers from smaller studios are better than ones from the larger studios? I really hope that you found this post insightful and that it opened your eyes into the world of portrait photography. If you are still unsure how to look for a boutique family photographer in London, not to worry. I have the ultimate recommendation for you. Please visit Studio Milla. You will not regret taking a bit of time to investigate her amazing work.