Angie's List: What to look for in a family photographer

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Angie's Lists' Angie Hicks has tips to help you get that perfect picture.

"With the advances in cameras these days everyone thinks they can be a photographer, but when it comes to a family photograph sometimes you do want to invest in a professional photographer. It's not just the camera that matters, it's the lighting, how they arrange the family. Being able to get that special moment, especially with small children, can be a bit of a challenge."

Gone are the days of the static shot. Today the trend is catching the family in candid shots.  A simple way to check a photographer's style is to look at their portfolio on their website.  Talk to the photographer prior to the session about the kind of look you want and the results you want to achieve.

"A lot of people come to me and say I saw on your blog, these smiling pictures or laughing pictures," says photographer Jessica Johnston. "They're just playing or not necessarily looking at the camera. And that's exactly what they want. They don't want the awkward posing smile say cheese kind of things anymore.

Hicks also recommends saving up.

"Having family photos done can run anywhere from a couple of hundred to a thousand dollars. The key here is understanding how they price and what they are getting. How much is a sitting fee, how much is it per sheet of photo that you have done with them?"

Before you sign a contract, make sure you understand all the details, including who will have the rights to the high-resolution images, copyrights, and if the photographer uses your photos for their marketing purposes.

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