Tag Archives: Paramus

I was so behind trying to catch up on blogging children and family photoshoots from my clients that I completely forgot to blog this fall photoshoot of my own two kids!  Now (at the end of February) seems like a great time to do it, so here it is:)

I have to come out and say it – I find photographing my own kids stressful.  I am very easy going with other children and I make family sessions lots of fun – you can see what a family session is like with me here.  But I think because I may have high expectations of my own kids (after all, they’ve been in front of a camera since the day they were born!) or because for them I am not an exciting and fun stranger but ‘old and boring mom’, I don’t particularly enjoy doing a ‘proper’ photoshoot of my girls.  Because of the amount of stress (AND bribery) involved, I only do ‘proper’ photoshoots of my girls only three times a year – for their birthdays, in the summer at the beach and in the fall.   But I do have to say that I do love the OUTCOME of these photoshoots and after the stress of what’s involved in them wears off, I am thrilled to have images that capture my children.

This was the case with our fall photo shoot – the girls were being kids and did not really follow any of my artistic direction.  But they were being their silly selves and I did capture images that to this day put a smile on my face:)  Hope they will make you smile as well:)

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It is that time of the year – the time when the leaves are turning colors, and people are thinking about holiday cards and updated family pictures – and many of them are searching for professionals to photograph their children and families.   With so many photographers in Ridgewood and other towns in Bergen County how do you find the right photographer for you?

While I am a Ridgewood family photographer myself,  (or maybe because of it!) I truly believe that capturing family images is very important and even though I take a ton of images of my girls, every year I hire another professional to photograph us as a family.  I think it is important for parents be in pictures with their kids – I do follow my own advice.

Below is a list I use to chose a professional photographer, I hope you find it useful in your search for a family photographer in Bergen County:

1. Style: Traditional vs. Lifestyle

Do you like traditional, posed, formal family portraits or are you looking for something more fun and candid?   Look through a photographer’s portfolio and blog to see images from recent sessions – are most of them traditional and posed?  Or do they seem lifestyle-like and natural?  What speaks more to you and what would you like for your family session?   This should be one of the main indicators of whether or not a photographer is right for you – if you love his style and images on the website, chances are you will be happy with your images if you choose to hire him or her.

2. On-location vs. Studio

What do you envision for your session?  Do you want studio portraits or do you prefer to have your session done at a specific location – e.g. your home, favorite park, etc.?   Talk to your prospective photographer to find out where he/she conducts his sessions – and think whether that is what you have in mind for your session.

3. Technical Proficiency

I believe that whomever you choose to capture your precious family memories should know what they are doing, know how to use their camera and photo editing software.   A LOT goes into taking and editing a picture and while you don’t not need to be concerned with everything that goes into producing a beautiful image, you should be able to tell a technically proficient image from one that is not.  Do the colors look correct and life-like?  Are images oversaturated and over contrasted or do they look washed out?  Are images sharp and the key elements appear in focus?  Is editing of images in the portfolio consistent?  Ask yourself these questions as you are looking through portfolios of family photographers.

4. Customer Service

For me customer service is very important in everything I do – for example, I go out of my way to go to a hair salon where I get treated like royalty vs. the one that is much closer to my home.  For this reason I think that customer service is very important when it comes to selecting your photographer because you will be working with this person for some time – from getting info about a session, to getting ready for the session, working together at your session and getting your images.  So how responsive is the photographer you are thinking about hiring?  Does he/she get back to you within a reasonable amount of time (say one business day) when you emailed your inquiry?  If he does not get back to you right away when you are inquiring about a session, most likely he won’t do that if you have questions regarding outfits, images, etc….

So if customer service is important to you, this should definitely be a consideration.

5. Customer Feedback

I read reviews on everything before I make a purchase – hotels, books, shoes, restaurants and you can bet that I definitely read reviews when consider hiring a photographer to do our family pictures.  A lot of photographers have reviews posted on their websites – so definitely check those out.  But I think what is even more important are reviews that are posted on external sites, such as Facebook, Google and Yelp.  When reading reviews also keep in mind how many reviews there are. I personally would lean towards hiring a photographer with 15 4 and a half stars reviews than one with 1 five stars reviews.

6. Product Offering

It is great that you are looking for a family photographer in Ridgewood or surrounding areas to capture your family memories but what are you planning to do with your pictures?  Do you want to get digital images from your session?  Are you interested in purchasing an album with images from your photo shoot?  Do you want to display wall art products, such as gallery wrapped canvases or framed prints, in your home?  If you have a specific product in mind, make sure that a photographer you are thinking about hiring actually offers that product!

7. Personality

This may not be important for everybody, but I prefer to deal with people I like – be it my dry-cleaner, dentist, a cashier at Whole Foods or a photographer.  So see if you ‘connect’ with your photographer – check out their blog or Facebook page to see what their personality is like.  Do you like similar things?   Do you have a similar sense of humor?  Chances are if you have something in common and like the photographer’s personality, you will have a great experience working with him/ her.

8. Connecting to the Images

And this is one of the most important things – do you LOVE images that this photographer produces and are they memorable?  Do they ‘speak’ to you, do they make you laugh or get teary-eyed and would you like to have similar images of YOUR family.

9. Specialty

While there are a lot of photographers that can photograph anything – from a wedding, to a maternity, newborn all the way to grown up kids and family sessions – other photographers have a specialty.  Some are GREAT at maternity and newborn, others like seniors and grown up kids, and others – like yours truly –  love and are known for their family photography.

This is my personal opinion but I would recommend you go with a photographer who specializes in what you are interested in.  So if you want to photograph just your baby, go with a baby photographer.  If you are interested in family images, go with a photographer who specializes in family photography.   And in the Ridgewood area that’s Live Love Laugh Photos.

QUESTIONS

And here is a list of questions that you may want to ask your ‘candidates’ – answers to them will help you get an idea of what to expect:

  1. How many images will you see from a session?
  2. How long does a session take?
  3. How many people does a session fee cover
  4. Is there a minimum purchase required for a session
  5. How much do people generally invest in their photography products
  6. Are products that you are interested in available for sale
  7. What is the turn-around time of the images – this is especially important if you want to get digital prints for holiday cards or holiday cards through your photographer

Hope you find this guide useful!   And if you are looking for a photographer in the Ridgewood area who specializes in family photography and is known for original, un-posed fun family images, definitely give Live Love Laugh Photos a try:)

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Here is a session spotlight of a one of my newborn clients.   This is my four session with this handsome little guy (you can see his prior sessions here, here and here and I love love love seeing how much he grows and changes every time I see him.    Seeing him is like travelling in a time-machine: it does not seem to me like a lot of time has passed but at every session he is different – changing from a newborn to a chubby baby, to an adorable toddler and most recently to a cute little boy!

This session, held at the family’s new home in Old Tappan, was very special – their extended family, including grandparents and a niece was there for a visit.  So in addition to capturing little K. and his parents in beautiful lifestyle family images, I got to photograph the whole family, capture a special bond that K. and his sweet little cousin share as well as get a few images that I just LOVE with his grandparents.  It is not very often that grandparents are in the pictures but those images are so special.  I have images of me and my grandfather when I a child and I love looking at them!

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Here is a sneak peek of a family session I had in a park in Wyckoff a couple of days ago.  This session was super special to me because this Mom has been following my photography ever since her son was born!  So it was wonderful for me to finally meet and photograph them.  Their little guy D. was as sweet as could be and had a blast running after bubbles.  I cannot wait to edit and share more images from this session so check back soon!

EDITED TO ADD: you can see more images from this session here.

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And here is a sneak peek from another great family Signature session I had in Paramus this weekend.  This session was a breeze and this little guy made me burst out laughing on so many occasions:)  Cannot wait to edit and share the rest of the images!

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