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Find a graduation photographer near Chicago, IL

Find a graduation photographer near Chicago, IL

100+ near you

Find a graduation photographer near Chicago, IL

100+ near you

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Top 10 Graduation Photographers near Chicago, IL

Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a photographer during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The best way to set up an appointment or a consultation with a photographer near you during the COVID-19 pandemic is by conducting an online search. Start by scheduling a call with the photographer. If possible, it may be better to use a video call service so that the photographer can get an idea of the site location. Take this opportunity to discuss safety measures you can take during this time, as well as whether it’s safe to complete the project now or simply postpone it.

How can I find out if a photographer is considered an essential COVID-19 service provider?

Consult your city or state’s government websites, which typically have information on which services are deemed essential during the pandemic. 

For national information, visit CISA’s page on Identifying Critical Infrastructure During COVID-19. Here, you can find 16 different types of essential infrastructure sectors that can continue operating unimpeded during the pandemic. But some, not all, jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure.

Do photographers offer remote or virtual services?

Photography happens in person, but photographers may be able to offer other remote services safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, they may be able to offer editing and other post-processing services. 

If you see that a photographer is offering remote services in their profile, contact them and ask what those services include.

Can I use digital payments to pay for wedding and event photography services?

As digital forms of payment and money transfer are becoming more popular, wedding and event photographers are likely to use digital services. These include PayPal, Zelle, Google Pay, Venmo, Square Cash and more. As you search online for local wedding and event photographers, ask them if they accept digital payments and, if so, which ones you can use. And make sure to have a strategy in place for safe social distancing.

Does a photographer need to enter my home?

There are many situations in which a photographer does not need to enter your home. It’s not uncommon for people to prefer to have their pictures taken outdoors. If you're hiring a photographer, maintain safe distances, avoid being in the same room, sanitize all involved surfaces and conduct payment using digital platforms. You can discuss strategies as you complete your search for local photographers.

Do you tip a photographer for family photos?

Tipping a photographer for family portraits is not standard etiquette. A great way to recognize a family photographer who goes above and beyond is to write them a glowing review. You probably found your photographer by reading online reviews, so paying it forward by letting everyone know how much you appreciate their work is a great gift. Write your review after they have delivered the final edited photos on time and you’ve confirmed that you’re happy with the terrific portraits they took.

How much do photographers charge for family portraits?

Family portraits are a great way to mark the passage of time, create lifelong keepsakes and have gorgeous-looking photos for your annual holiday card. The national average cost for hiring family photographers ranges from $150 to $200. Pricing can range higher depending on where you live, length of the photo shoot, the number of edited photos you request, and the background and reputation of your family photographer. Before hiring, make sure you understand their fees up front. Ask how many finished images are included in the quoted price and whether you will receive all the photos taken (not just edited photos). Ask whether you’ll be able to download digital photos or if you’ll have to print them or purchase digital copies through the photographer. Here are some average examples of family photographer pricing:

  • $175 for a one-hour studio session in Kansas.
  • $200 for a one-hour studio or outdoor session in Georgia. Includes two outfit changes, access to an online gallery, and about 200 high-resolution, edited digital photo files on a DVD, with permission to print.
  • $400 for a one-hour outdoor session in Southern California. Includes 25-30 fully edited photos accessible online or via CD/DVD.
  • $425 or more for a one-hour outdoor or in-home session in Illinois. Includes more than 50 professionally edited images, online access and print release.

When should you take newborn photos?

Few styles of portrait photography are as tricky as newborn photos — the unpredictable infant is always in charge! The best way to ensure a successful photo shoot is to work with a local newborn photographer within the first two weeks of the baby’s life. Some photographers even work with hospitals to offer newborn sessions within a day of the baby’s birth. But newborn photographers usually recommend scheduling a shoot during the baby’s first two weeks of life, while the baby is still sleepy and relatively cooperative, especially for posed or studio shots. During this time, babies are easier to swaddle in blankets and dress in hats or headbands, and, because they often nap or nurse, can be staged with various props or be cuddled by their parents. For casual photos, most newborn photographers recommend shooting within the first six weeks of a baby’s life. Lifestyle portrait photography is more flexible and doesn’t require the baby to cooperate with multiple poses or props.

What should you wear for a family photo?

A family photographer captures your family in a series of professionally edited portraits. You can be goofy, you can be formal, you can be exactly how you want to be. To that end, you can wear what makes you feel comfortable and confident — feeling good translates to looking good in photos. However, top family photographers do have some style suggestions that will make your family photos more visually cohesive:

  • Ask the photographer for color suggestions if you’re doing an outdoor photo shoot. Location and time of day can affect which shades will fade in the sunlight and what will stand out in a good way.
  • Stay away from a mix of stripes or plaids on multiple people — the effect is too busy.
  • Steer clear of tiny patterns, which blend together too much.
  • Avoid wearing matching outfits.
  • Do wear outfits that are complementary in color.
  • Choose color over black-and-white outfits.
  • Do choose a theme, such as pastels, fall colors or summer colors.
  • Opt for tonally similar colors.  
  • Go easy on makeup for outdoor photo shoots.
Reviews for Chicago graduation photographers
Denise A.
Martika did a great job shooting my daughters graduation photos. She was very professional and accomodating. I plan to hire her again in the near future to shoot me and family. I highly recommend Martika!!
Martika Photography, LLCMartika Photography, LLC
Jessica W.
I am sad to have to write Lilly such a poor review. She was incredibly sweet and lovely to work with. However, the quality of many her photographs were strangely granulated and overexposed. We hired her to photograph my parents' cocktail party and requested a number of food photographs, which were never include in the final photo collection. She also photographed the event for over three hours and only shared 88 photos total. I contacted Lilly twice via Thumbtack and text message asking if the overexposed or granulated photos could be edited in Photoshop, and, unfortunately, she never responded. I imagine hiring Lilly for something straightforward like graduation photos would be fine if you're on a budget, but I would not recommend her for more important events.
Lilly Lilova PhotographyLilly Lilova Photography
Linda T.
Bill did a wedding photo shoot for us in Chicago and did an outstanding job! He was very responsive and flexible with scheduling the session. He also accepted all of our feedback and photo requests. Needless to say, the photos turned out absolutely amazing! We are so happy with all the pictures he took. This is by far the best experience we've had with a photographer-- Bill was professional, patient, flexible, and easy going. Would highly recommend him for any kind of photoshoot (special events, graduations, weddings, engagement, etc). Bill provides high quality work at a very reasonable price and will make sure to capture your memories in the most beautiful way! Strongly recommend!!!
W. Biederman PhotographyW. Biederman Photography
Nikki S.
We hired Eric to take photos at a large party to celebrate our MBA graduation, and we couldn't have been more pleased with his excellent work! He mingled throughout the party without being obtrusive, staged great shots where appropriate, indulged the requests of our quests, and captured some amazing candid shots throughout the night--all of which were quickly made available to us via Dropbox. I'd definitely hire him again!
eClarke PhotographyeClarke Photography
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