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Find a kid photographer near you

100+ near you

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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

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.

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.

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.

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 San Francisco kid photographers
Thumbtack Customer
I cannot say enough good things about Michael. We have done family photos with a professional a few times and this was by far the very best experience we have had. Michael was fun, imaginative, good with our kids, etc. Most importantly, the photos were stunning. Truly thoughtful and beautiful work - would highly recommend Michael for any type of photos!
Michael Keel PhotographyMichael Keel Photography
Allyson L.
Eric did a wonderful job photographing our family, which included two very energetic kids. He adapted quickly to their playful style and we got some amazing shots of them in action as well as beautiful posed family portraits. He also got us the photos the next day -- such a treat!
North Point Photography (Thumbtack Top Pro)North Point Photography (Thumbtack Top Pro)
Thumbtack Customer
Cindy is great - super responsive and can tailor her service to our needs. She is great with kids - very patient and decisive with the shots. We loved the photos she took for Biel. Will definitely use her again for other occasions.
Cindy Hegger PhotographyCindy Hegger Photography
Nicole S.
Amanda is incredibly talented at her craft. She was responsive and courteous from the start. She was willing to take time from her family’s thanksgiving weekend to drive to SF to photograph my family. She arrived on time and ready to shoot. She was creative given the rain, and the kids all felt comfortable with her photographing her. The results are priceless. She is upfront on her turnaround time. Once we saw the final result, we can see the work that went into it. We will have and cherish these photos forever. If you are looking for a professional, kind and expert photographer, look no further. We cannot wait to work with Amanda again in the future !
Shutter Pine PhotographyShutter Pine Photography
Allyson L.
What a delight it was to work with Kimberly. She gently guided us through the session (plus provided tips on wardrobe ahead of time). We had a lot of fun playing as a family--it was relaxed and did not feel like a photo shoot. We now have a portfolio filled with candids capturing our kids' personalities as well as some great more formal family shots. We would definitely recommend Kimberly!
K. Sienkiewicz PhotographyK. Sienkiewicz Photography
Thumbtack Customer
Richard did an amazing job! He arrived on time, was prepared and brought some impressive gear. We were actually able to proof our photos on his macbook during the session thanks to his special wireless camera to mac set up. That helped us out a lot as we were getting started. He was able to get our kids to have fun and relax. We were very happy with Richard's work and plan to work with him again!
Bianca S.
William is such a joy to work with. This is the second time that we have hired him for family photos. And he is just great with kids. Patient, willing to take lots of shots, quick when he needs to be. He has a good eye and does a nice job of being relaxed, following our interests, and making recommendations for where to go to get the best shots. He is willing and able to do both posed shots and candid shots. He is an all-around great pick.
William J Simpson PhotographyWilliam J Simpson Photography
Thumbtack Customer
We live in Dallas, but have family in The Bay! I did my research online and selected Michael. He was very responsive to my emails as well as my thoughts and ideas! He was easy going, very laid back, and most importantly his style was our style. He allowed us to use our ideas and put it into his vision. He was very patient with our kids (3) and (6), which I definitely give him kuddos and a hi-five for that!! :) It was a fun session, and we look forward to you shooting out photos in the very near future!!
Michael Keel PhotographyMichael Keel Photography
Thumbtack Customer
I had hired Sumit for picture day at my daughter's school and he did an amazing job! He came an hour before the scheduled time to set up everything for the photoshoot and he started just on time. He was so patient and calm with the students and was very interactive with them. The students had so much fun in this photoshoot! I had couple poses in mind for the students that I wanted him to do and he went beyond my expectations! He is amazing! He took class and school photos as well. He was done just in the time frame he gave me. He came with the flyers to give out to students for purchase information via online and he also had some great package options to choose from. The pictures are up online and ready for purchase now and they came out so good! All the kids look so cute!! I am very pleased with the service I received and I would definitely hire Sumit again for future photoshoots! He is outstanding! Thanks so much! Nazia.
sreel Photographysreel Photography
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