When it comes to the professionals you hire, do you play the field or just stick with one? There are many perks to developing a long-term relationship with your photographer.

1- They get you.

Speaking from the perspective as a photographer and mother, I think the number 1 benefit is that I get to know you, your style, your likes, and dislikes. Your kids and your partner get to know me and are comfortable with me. You’ll never have awkward moments in your photos, and each interaction builds more trust and more creativity.  This especially pays off if you have a shy kiddo or two.   Why take time to build a rapport with a new stranger every year not knowing what to expect when instead they can look forward to seeing their old friend? That excitement shines through in your images too.

I have worked with one family whose daughter was so shy the first time we met.  She would barely make eye-contact with me, had a little quivering lower lip and would not leave mom’s side no matter how I tried to connect with her.  She is now 4 and lights up when I enter their house.  She has invited me to her birthday party and gives me big ‘ol bear hugs before I leave.  And as you can imagine, the resulting photos show her level of comfort and happiness during the session because she is comfortable and happy with her friend Kim.

2- Products.

Photographers typically have a strong product lineup and you can get the same frames this year to add on to last year’s wall gallery. They know how many holiday cards you send out, the size and color of the albums you are collecting, and who is on your gift list. You’ll never have an unpleasant surprise and you’ll always get what you need.

I always save print orders as well,  and the importance of this one tiny step became so apparent earlier this spring.  I had a frantic mom call and email me asking if I still had all her photos from a session I did several years ago with her newborn daughter.  She had backed up the digital files (as I always instruct mom’s to do) but they had a break-in AND a fire.  Their computer and her newborn photo album were gone.  GONE.  It is so devastating that all of this happened, but the most important thing to her was getting the album and photos back.  Those tangible memories.

 3- Reliability.

We all love knowing what to expect and appreciate those we can count on and trust. When you stick with a family photographer you love from the beginning, you will know the whole process; from shoot to final delivery.  You will be able to relax and enjoy taking part in the process.

I have the pleasure of photographing quite a few families every year, and some of them have a favorite photo that we took during our very first session.  They love to take an updated photo of that very same pose so see how much their kids have changed.  When I walk into their homes I already have a majority of the checklist ready in my head because I know what their preferences are and what they love.  There is always a creative process, though, so I also love surprising families with new poses, angles, and creative ideas.