Maternity, Newborn, &
Family photography

Serving Columbia, SC & the surrounding areas

Hey, I’m Nicole!

Columbia, SC Newborn, Maternity, & Family Photographer

I’m a sentimental mom of two with a heart for helping moms like you have a stress-free photography experience. I’m here to help you feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera and capture beautiful photos to tell the story of this season of life.

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Photographer for Your Family Photos

tips for choosing a family photographer

Since I’m the photographer in the family, most of the time I’m the one taking the pictures, which means that there are few photos from the day-to-day with me actually in them! Now that we’re parents, it’s especially important to me that we have updated family photos taken every year so that we can look back and see how we have changed over the years!

Last October, we had our first professional family photos taken, and we will be doing them again this month! It’s really hard for me as a photographer to relinquish that responsibility to someone else, which is why I am super particular about who we work with! I want to make sure that we will all have a great experience (since it’s hard to be on the other side of the camera, even if you’re a photographer!) and receive a whole gallery of images that we love!

Of course, there are so many photographers out there, so it can seem like an incredibly daunting task to choose one! When I am looking for a photographer for our family, here are five questions that I consider!

1. Do I like the style of their work?

One of the first things I look for is someone whose style of work reflects the type of images that I love! My personal photography style is to create bright and natural looking images, which I also want for our family photos! There are so many talented photographers out there who do absolutely beautiful work, but not all of them have a style that jives with what I’m looking for… and that’s okay! It just means they’re not the right fit for us.

When I’m considering a photographer, I will check out their blog, as well as their Instagram, to see examples of recent family sessions and consider whether they represent the type of work I’d like to see for our family’s photos!

2. Do they specialize in family photography?

When I was choosing our photographer, I wanted to make sure we worked with someone who had a good bit of recent experience photographing families, and also someone who had the energy and personality that I knew our son would respond to!

As the mom of a toddler (and also a former elementary school teacher), I am especially aware that kids are notoriously unpredictable! I know from personal experience that shooting a photo session with a couple is a whole lot different than shooting a family session, especially one with little kids! Even with the best preparation, young children just don’t place the same value on a photo session that we do. This is totally normal (and completely developmentally appropriate!), but it can create a stressful situation for everyone if the photographer isn’t as accustomed to connecting with little ones and adapting to whatever they throw their way!

3. What kind of location am I looking for?

In addition to the photographer’s style of the work, another consideration for us is where we want to have our photos taken! Photographers typically shoot either on-location or in a studio. I love having our family photos taken on-location — it’s a wonderful way for us to incorporate a place that’s special and important to us!

4. Do I feel a connection with them?

When I am searching for a photographer, I look for someone who I feel a connection with and who I know will make our whole family feel comfortable in front of the camera! As I get to know them through their “about me” section on their website, reading their blog, and following them on Instagram and Facebook, I think about which photographers I feel a vibe with — I like to ask myself if it’s someone I think I’d enjoy meeting  with to chat over a cup of coffee! If the answer is “yes,” then that helps me feel confident that I’ll be more relaxed and comfortable during our session!

5. Will they help me prepare for our session?

Even though I’m a photographer that is accustomed to helping my clients prepare for their sessions, I’m also a busy mom, and I do not want planning for our photo session to be a source of stress! When I look for a photographer, I want someone who I trust to take care of the details, like suggesting locations we will love and giving us wardrobe guidance. I also want someone who I trust to take beautiful photos that we will love without me having to send them a Pinterest board of ideas and inspiration!

One of my favorite things about the photographer we will be working with is that she not only creates beautiful, consistent work (so I have a pretty good idea of how our final images will look), but she also sent us a style guide to give us some tips and tricks for looking our best for our session! Even though I send my own clients a style guide, hers was different and gave me some great new tips for coordinating our crew! Instead of feeling stressed and frustrated, I feel confident that we’re all going to look amazing for our session and have so much FUN!


I hope these tips will help you the next time you’re looking to hire a photographer for your family’s photos! Be sure to check out How to Prepare Children for a Successful Family Photo Session, too!

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