Photography & Giveaway!

I have a little photography obsession. I have slowed down since my son’s first initial years of life, but I still take a lot of pictures. I’ve tried to find the balance between enjoying the moment and capturing the memory.

I really do not think we can have enough photos. In the last couple of weeks I’ve heard of tragic news on the losses in two young families. Every single photo their family had will be treasured. For the older generations, like my grandparents (we are lucky to have 10 living, loving, special  grandparents (including great) in our lives) – I already treasure every single photo and moment we have got to share with them. We’ve been spoiled with love and memories, time together, which I honestly want to last forever. The rational side of me knows that the eldest ones at 87 to 93 years of age, won’t be around when I am 90. For those moments later, generations later, we will capture them with photographs.

I’ve used a lot of professional photographers (a few examples, Snow Angel Studios, SLR Photography, Danielle Renea Photography, Melissa Yvonne Photography, Express Yourself Photography, Jill Jago Photography, to name just a few with business pages…) and photo studios, on top of taking my own photos. Many more than once, some just a single shoot. I will always continue to seek out and find new talent, for years to come, to give them business and enjoy their various perspectives of the art. It sometimes depends on who we click with to get the best candid or real shots to whom we revisit, like any art, we all have our own perspective.

I missed out on maternity photos. Scheduled for the optimum shooting time of 36 weeks, my little boy surprisingly came early into the world during the week before. As I do not plan on having another, it is one thing I wish I had of done sooner.  We also get a photo with Santa each year as it is tradition! The last few years we’ve of course got our pictures through the fantastic Mom Cafe Santa, but as long as we believe (forever) we’ll be visiting Mr. Claus. (Click here to tell us you are attending our Open House for a FREE Santa picture from Mom Cafe this year!).

There is a lot of talent in our community and as you already know I love supporting local. How do we choose who to go with to capture memories to last a lifetime? What makes a good photographer? What is the average cost of a family session? We’ve rounded up some of the community best in conversations to share with you and the basic details about photographers in our community.

We found that most started with photography as a hobby and transitioned into a business. The local photographers we’ve rounded up from our community have been doing photography anywhere from 1 to 20 years. Most offer photography sessions of all sorts, maternity, family sessions, boudoir, but some restrict themselves to a specialty like newborn or weddings. Some have formal education and diplomas in course like Creative Photography, some are self taught, and some invest in their learning yearly with photography courses.

I will be honest. I am frugal. I know that time spent on photos from a good photographer – taking them and editing them – is quite significant. I also know that you get what you pay for in this world. A photographer starting out is likely to charge way less than an established highly in demand photographer. So what did our photographers share in terms of cost? Prices ranged from $80 to $600 a session. On average mini sessions (an hour or less of shooting time) capped out around $200 dollars, and full sessions hitting the maximum of $600. Many were inclusive in their cost – that you get everything with this fee (session, a specific number of digital files and/or prints) and others charged a basic session fee with options to purchase your photographs in different ways (digitally on a USB/disc, prints, canvasses, etc). This is an important question to inquire about when choosing your photographer – to know what you will be putting out in total. You know upfront you are generally going to love many images, so knowing how much it will cost you to get the ones you desire is important.

We found that most well established photographers had an indoor studio of some sort. Others just starting out shoot only on location, whether it be outdoors or within your home. Equipment is an investment and takes time. Photographers with full set ups have invested lots in their business, and that may be reflected in your session fee and evident with their talents.

We asked our photographers “What sets a good photographer apart from the rest? and “What qualities would you look for in a photographer to capture your family?” Patience, being fun, detail oriented, and having artistic flair were some of the top qualities. Others mentioned that for technical skill set, actually understanding photography and lighting, and what delivers a good photo – not simply owning a DSLR. Look for consistency in their work, and don’t be afraid to ask them questions. A good photographer will be happy to answer questions about their experience and training. Pick someone who is passionate about what they do.

If you put one thing on your family bucket list for 2015, we hope it is to get a family photo taken. Make sure YOU are included in it and not the one taking the family photo. A good photo does come with some cost, but you are investing in a memory to last beyond your lifetime for generations to come. If you absolutely can not budget for a session this year, you can try to win one (keep reading) or at the very least have a friend capture a shot or two, so that today is remembered tomorrow and beyond.

We are happy to be giving away photoshoots to TWO lucky families from Blazet Photography and Hourglass Imaging, a pair of our amazing local community photographers.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We thank the photographers mentioned above and A Thousand Words Images, Love the Moment PhotographyAsia Butterfly Photography, Shutterbug Shay PhotographyTara Graham Photo, Wrightshot Photography and Vanderland Photography, for answering our photography questions and supporting our events. For future reference, you can always find some local community photographers in our growing directory. A photo today is a priceless memory tomorrow.


Leave a comment
  • Thanks for this! We got our family together for a session when my last son was born! We’d love to get one again now that he’s older.

  • So excited for this contest. And thanks for the tips! I find myself so often behind the camera so I rely on these family shoots to capture our entire family, including me!

  • As always wonderful give away & great write up! I’d love to do photos this year with my parents & possibly my brother’s family as well.

  • About a month ago, but the photographer didn’t get one shot of all of us looking and smiling at the camera 🙁 Would love another shoot with a new photographer and hopefully we’ll get a nice shot!

  • I would love to win this today I my grandpas 90th birthday and haven’t had photos with him and the kids in years! Our 2 kids are his great grand children!

  • My family has never had professional photos taken before, so this would be an amazing opportunity it for us. *fingers crossed*

  • Our last photo session was this winter, but at Walmart! I’d much rather one of these lovely photographers for our next one!

  • we’ve never had an official family session! We would totally love one as our children are growing way too fast

  • We have never had a family photo session and 6 children and 1 income we just can’t afford it. We as a family would love this! Thanks so much for putting this out there for everyone to capture memories!

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