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Honolulu Family Portrait Photography Portfolio

How to Choose the Right Honolulu Family Portrait Photographer

A family portrait captures something fleeting and short-lived and turns it into a family heirloom; something that not only you, but hopefully your children’s children will enjoy and appreciate for many years. Whether it’s the arrival of a new baby, a special anniversary or a significant birthday, choosing the right photographer to capture your family memories is an important decision, but with so many photographers out there, how do know who is the right one for you? This step-by-step guide will help walk you through some of the points you should consider before booking a family portrait.


A family portrait session is an investment; it’s about creating something that will grow in value over the years. Therefore, it’s important that you and your photographer are a good match in terms of your expectations and what they have to offer.

Every photographer will have their own style; this could be high-key where portraits are taken against a white backdrop; low-key or classical where the lighting is more subtle and the mood of the photographs is more thoughtful; or location portraiture, taken either at the client’s home or outdoors, whether that be a park, woodland or the beach.

Take a good look at the style of portraiture that each photographer offers and decide if it matches your expectations. Do you favour a formal or informal approach? Are you more comfortable in a studio or at home? Are you a fan of black and white, or do you prefer colour? Maybe you’d like a mixture of both.

What do you want to finish up with after your session? Some framed prints? A canvas? Or maybe a coffee table-book which contains all your favourite images? If you think about this beforehand, you can explain to your photographer what you would like, and they can then tailor the shoot accordingly. This will be the lasting memento of your portrait session; something that you display proudly on your walls or in a book and that will make you smile every time you see it. Once your children have flown the nest, this will be your tangible reminder of a special time in your lives. Here are some points to consider.

The end product will very much depend on the d├ęcor of your house – is it traditional or contemporary? Professional photographers have access to a wide range of unusual and beautiful products, all designed to enhance your photos and really bring them to life. These can range from prints in a variety of different frame styles, to canvas wraps, acrylic pictures and coffee-table books. It’s also worth remembering that styles of photography and presentation change; do you want something that’s very trendy and up to date, or would you prefer a more timeless look?

The size of display should be appropriate to the size of the wall; for instance, if you have a large house with lots of wall space, you could make a bold statement with a large piece of wall art; however, a framed 10″ x 8″ of a family group will disappear against a big wall, and the faces of each person won’t be visible when viewed from a distance.

A small wall space, on the other hand, might be overwhelmed by a huge framed print or canvas, especially if there isn’t enough space for you to stand back and view the picture from the right distance. In this instance a collection of smaller pictures arranged in a group could look very attractive.

You will find that the quality of products offered by professional photographers is far removed from anything you can buy on the high street. Everything from the frames, mounts and glass to the type of photographic paper used will have been produced professionally. All these form part of what you are investing in – a great product that will stand the test of time.

It’s worth remembering that your choice isn’t limited to just frames and canvases. Nowadays, there are many other options on offer, from coffee-table books (perfect for a collection of baby photos or a gift to grandparents) to calendars, and even greeting cards for Christmas, birthdays and other occasions.

When it comes to family portraits, most professional photographers will have a session fee plus a range of differently priced products from which you can choose.

Many studios have fairly low session fees; as you are coming to them, there are no expenses involved in travelling to your house, the session takes place in one location only, and is of a limited duration, since yours will not be the only one that day. Generally, you will find your investment for an on-location portrait session will reflect the additional time and cost involved in the photographer coming to you; this is a more tailor-made approach, and they may even pay you several visits:-
– For an initial pre-meeting where they get to know you and find out your likes and dislikes.
– For the session itself; this could be held in more than one location, and often lasts longer than a studio session.
– A private viewing afterwards.
– Delivery of your products.
– Don’t forget that you’re not just paying for them to show up on the day and take some pictures. Neither are you just paying for the paper that your images are printed on or the wood and glass that go to make up the frames.

Here’s what you’re really investing in:-
– Training over a period of years – not just in the technical aspects of photography, but in knowing how to use light properly, the aspects of composition, and posing
– Experience – gained over a long period of time and many hours of shooting and learning
– Time spent getting to know you
– Time spent uploading your images after the session
– The application of post-production skills to each image to enhance it
– The design of print/album layouts
– The presentation of your images in a series of beautiful products and their delivery to you
– Artistic vision
– Talent

All these things contribute to the production of the highest quality of work that both you and your photographer can be proud of. When you go to a top-class restaurant, you’re not paying solely for the ingredients of the fabulous meal you’re eating; it’s everything that’s contributed to giving you that great experience – the skill of the farmer who has grown or reared the food; the chef’s expertise; the ambience of the restaurant; the knowledge of the waiting staff; and last but not least, the costs that go towards the running of that restaurant as a successful business. That’s what makes the difference between the price of a takeaway and your restaurant meal, a print at a high-street lab and the services of an experienced photographer who can guide you through the whole process and ensure that you end up with the portraits you deserve.

And don’t forget that unlike the meal, the results of your portrait session will not disappear; they will last for a very long time, and will be enjoyed not just by you and your children, but hopefully for generations to come; in other words, the return on your original investment is guaranteed to grow – which is more than can be said for most other things these days!