Portrait Photography

Find a portrait photographer near Chicago, IL

Find a portrait photographer near Chicago, IL

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Top 10 Portrait Photographers near Chicago, IL

Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

Where is the best place to take baby pictures?

Baby pictures are among the most popular types of portrait photography, and most newborn photographers are well versed in the best places to take baby pictures in their local areas. Some newborn photographers will come to the hospital to shoot the baby within a day or two of birth, while others have set up their studios to accommodate the needs of infants. Some parents prefer to have the newborn photographer come to their home or travel to a favorite park or other outdoor location. Like any portrait photography, the best place to take baby pictures is the place you like best and that will yield the types of photos you want of your baby, whether that’s posed and carefully lit studio portraits or spontaneous, casual photos at home. Work with a local newborn photographer to find a safe, calm location with great lighting and some privacy for your family.

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.

How much does a baby photography cost?

Portrait photography provides parents with lasting images of the first whirlwind months of a newborn’s life. The cost varies based on several factors, including the length and location of the session, the number of photos provided, and the amount of editing and retouching the photographer does. The national average cost for baby photos is $150-$200. Some baby photographers charge by the number of photos provided, typically ranging from an average of $299 for 20 high-resolution edited photos, to an average of $399 for 35 photos, to $499 for all of the images taken in a single session. Props and location affect the cost, too; an elaborate studio shoot with props and professional lighting may increase the cost to $600-$700 for 20-50 photos. Adding a second location or asking the photographer to travel can add $70-$250 to the cost of the session. Photographers may also charge extra fees for providing additional photos and DVDs, scheduling weekend sessions, and shooting siblings. Expect to pay at least a $50 deposit when you book a portrait photography session.

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.

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.

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 portrait photographers
Lora d.
Kimia was very professional & photos were beautiful. We had senior portraits taken and she connected well with my daughter.
Kimia EmamiKimia Emami
Melissa B.
Mike Sansone provided easy portraiture that captured the personality of our firm and the subject. I highly recommend Mike Sansone Photography for your next portrait session.
Mike Sansone PhotographyMike Sansone Photography
Rockeya W.
I’ve truly enjoyed working with DivMo photography. He was extremely punctual and he also provided a quick turnaround of photos after our photo shoot. Raheja was very responsive to my questions and I would highly recommend him for family portraits. Great experience and work quality☺️
DivMo PhotographyDivMo Photography
Akasha P.
David is a an enthusiast professional who really knows his craft! He made the photoshoot comfortable and fun, which led to some really great family portraits. He was also quick to respond to questions and edited our photos within a couple of days. I was very impressed by David and absolutely recommend using him for your photography needs!
HC VisualsHC Visuals
Xavier I.
Miguel was friendly, professional and responsive from the start. Being from out of town, I had many questions regarding weather, location and attire and he answered them all. He arrived on time and was very receptive and accommodating to my strong personality family of 5. We wanted not only family portraits but also graduation photos and linkedin profile pictures. He made us all comfortable and as a result our photos were amazing. I strongly recommend him!
Thumbtack Customer
I couldn't have asked for a better photographer! Kimia is very professional yet she feels like a very good friend! She will always update you through email/text and I always get a reply from her right away! She took my pictures in downtown Chicago and she picked out beautiful locations to take the photos. I had so much fun with her and I would 100% recommend everyone to hire Kimia!! Not only does she focus on detail, she is also very knowledgable about photography and she knows how to get the perfect natural lighting/angle in every picture. She made me feel comfortable and it was easy to express myself! All the pictures turned out amazing and I have never been more satisfied in the results! Her pricing is also very reasonable compared to other photographers in the area who charge almost double! She is perfect for portraits, weddings, family photoshoots, senior portraits, headshots, etc...! Her work is absolutely amazing and I will definitely be working with her again in the future! Thank you Kimia for a wonderful experience!
Kimia EmamiKimia Emami
Roksana D.
We needed a photographer to capture the moments of my gender reveal and also take some family portraits as well. Geraldine did an amazing job with our kids and suggesting where to pose! She also suggested several locations that would work for us and that location we chose turned out amazing. She is very personable and great at what she does. You can tell she has a passion for photography and it’s not just a “job” to her, it’s art. Thanks again Geraldine, hope to work with you again in the future!
Geraldine.o photographyGeraldine.o photography
Thumbtack Customer
My three daughters and I just had a portrait shoot with Laura this past weekend. She chose an incredible outdoor location, and used only natural sunlight. Laura was creative, patient, and had a lot of fun with my daughters posing them, and bringing out their natural beauty and personalities. Although I haven't seen the proofs of the entire shoot, the sneak peek of some of the highlights further reveal Laura's natural talent and eye for photography!
Laura Manzano PhotographyLaura Manzano Photography
Thumbtack Customer
We had a great experience with Nicole. We met downtown Chicago for an hour session for family portraits. We included both indoor and outdoor photos and the entire experience went smoothly and quickly. We started right on time with Nicole having some times to scope out the surroundings and have setting ideas. We have young children so this saved lots of valuable time. We got some great city shots as well. Overall, the experience was exactly what we were looking for. Be prepared to pay up front, I'm not sure if all photographers expect payment first. But Nicole is wonderful to work with, already recommended to some friends!
The Still Life PhotographyThe Still Life Photography
Thumbtack Customer
Harry, of Snappybytes, did a wonderful job for our wedding reception photos. He was very professional and he dressed very professional as well. Harry was early, he was humble, and he was focused. He blended in well with our crowd and stayed in the background. Harry was so hardworking! He didn't sit down at all. I really appreciate Harry's flexibility, advice, and direction. Hiring Harry is one of the best investments I ever made because the photos are outstanding. He did a great job with portraits, candid shots, and he captured the scenery very well. I would hire him again because he's talented and his services are a great deal for the price. I highly recommend him for your event and I hope he's available for my next event!
Isabelle J.
I searched for a photographer who take my family portraits for our first visit to Chicago. I looked into most of the photographers who worked in Chicago and their portfolios and reviews. I liked Zheng's photos the most. He was very responsive. He answered all my specific questions and was very permissive with my requests. I sent him the composition and examples about what I expected from his work. We set a date and one mire date for make-up. The night before the shoot, he contacted me to change the time as his car was broken. We changed the time from 6 pm to 4 pm. I had to rearrange my schedule because of that, as a result, it didn't affect the shoot a lot. (It was a little bit hotter than we expected though) He was on time. He knew good spots to take good photos. We spent about 40 minutes as my 5 years old son got tired to do more. We had a little bit of miscommunication about the waiting time until I got the images from him. I thought he would share all the images he took first, and then I chose some images I liked and he would retouch them for the final images. But he retouched most of the images which took more time and I hurried him... Eventually, I received final images and I liked mist of them. I also asked him to erase a obstacle which I didn't like to be in the phone, he did that for me. I really appreciate his responsibility, patience and professional skills. I really wanted to share many images but ultimately decided to share one for protection of my family privacy. I definitely recommend him to my friends for photos in Chicago!
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