Family Photographer serving Surrey, London

Top tips on how to choose your family photographer in Surrey

by Jo on January 17, 2018

Investing in family photography is an important decision and, quite frankly, can be quite challenging with so many different photographers out there.

I really hope this post provides you lots of thought provoking content that helps you on your search for the right photographer for you!

Before I get going I want to be clear on something… I’m a photographer and I won’t lie, this blog post will, in part, be promoting the benefits of capturing those precious family memories because I believe it’s really important but… I’m not here to just sell you my services as I am definitely not right for every family.


1. Think about why you have chosen to have your family photography now?

There are lots of different reasons people use family photographers perhaps you;

  • are one of the many mummies that are constantly taking pictures on your phone and have a wonderful gallery of all the kids and Dad but you are never in them!
  • have your first child arriving or a new addition.
  • simply love the quality and beauty a professional photographer offers and are slightly addicted!
  • want to be able to look back and remember those precious smiles, the little hands, the special connections or simply to capture a moment in time.
  • want to be able to enjoy your memories every day and have them hanging on the wall in a show stopping gallery that compliments your beautiful home.
  • love sharing images of your pride and joys!

Whatever your reason, knowing why you are having them done will help you choose the right photographer but will also help your chosen photographer best serve you!

2. Which style of photography do you love the most?

Now this one can be a little confusing… this isn’t just about studio or outdoors. If you have already started your search, you may have already come across a variety of photography style terms…

Family photographer

But what do these all mean? What’s the difference? Here is a quick guide to some of the most popular styles of family photography…

Portrait photography

Family photographer
Portrait style photography

In its very simplest terms, is it photography of a person that captures their character and personality and usually

focuses on the face. Portrait photography can be done both in a studio or outdoor on location.

Lifestyle photography

Family photographer
Lifestyle photography

Capturing ‘real-life moments’ is at the heart of lifestyle photography. Lifestyle sessions can be done at home or outdoors. Family Lifestyle sessions will capture natural, candid (people not aware they are being photographed) images whilst doing real-life activities that you all do as a family. Lifestyle photography will enable to you to look back and remember specific activities that you all do as a family.

A lifestyle photographer will find out what you all like doing together as a family providing direction and capturing you all in the most flattering light.

There will be no posing or cheesy smiles in sight!


Jo Robbens Photography
Documentary style photography

If you are looking for imagery that captures authentic everyday moments and daily routines, then documentary photography is for you. Documentary photographers will photograph your family in the most raw and natural way. They won’t direct anything, move anything out of the shot, they take a fly on the wall story-telling approach.

To find out more about documentary photography check out a friend of mine’s, Adrianne Ko’s, blog all about documentary style photography here.


This is obviously just a quick summary and there is more to each of these styles but I’ve tried to provide an overview to help guide you towards your preferred style. Each photographer will have their very own style and it is likely that they will do a combination of a couple of these styles.

3. Studio vs Location

Deciding on whether you’d prefer a studio shoot or location shoot will depend on the style of photography you are looking for.

Claire Walder Photography
Photo credit: Claire Walder Photography

Studio photography would suit portrait based photography, both posed and unposed, there are a lot of very talented photographers out there and if you are looking for beautiful portrait imagery with gorgeous studio lighting then this is for you.





Family photographer
Location photography

Location photography; if you are looking for a combination of portrait, lifestyle or documentary imagery either at home or in a location that means a lot to you as a family then you’ll be looking for a location photographer.

 4. Think about what you are going to do with the images

Family photographer

An heirloom family frame, prints to update your family frames, digitals for sharing on social, a yearly album capturing their child hood memories? There are so many different options and products available to suit your family. The important thing is to have an idea what you are going to do with your precious family memories.

It is also ok if you don’t know yet, photographers will be happy to provide suggestions don’t be afraid to ask.

I’m very passionate about printing (big or small) your family memories. There is something very special about being able to touch, feel and look at precious family memories, and an added bonus is that a great quality printed photograph will stand the test of time and not be dependent on the latest technology… ok so who has a CD of photographs and your laptop no longer has a CD drive??

Whatever products you choose to go with make sure that you’ll be able to enjoy them and often.

 5. Make sure you understand all the costs

Photographers charge in a variety of ways, some with a session fee that includes, digitals or prints and products, others the session fee won’t include any prints or products.

Don’t be afraid to ask for their full price lists BEFORE you book and take the time to review properly. Make sure you understand the total investment amount before you go for your shoot! It will save both you and your photographer lots of heartache, because when you see your images you ARE going to love them and it would be awful if you can’t afford any of them.

Top tips for choosing your family photographer…

  • Be clear on why you are getting your family photography done now.
  • Make sure you find a photographer that shoots in the style you love.
  • Think about what you are going to do with your beautiful family imagery.
  • Make sure you know all the cost involved before you sign a contract or book a session!

My style of photography is a combination of portrait and lifestyle. I love capturing those special moments, emotions and connections that are only there for a fleeting moment. I only work on location and my aim is to capture you all naturally and beautifully.

If you’d like to find out more about my Bespoke Family Photography Experiences check out what’s in store here.

Join my mailing list to keep up to date with fun family time ideas, exclusive offers and much more!

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I’m not just a family photographer though. I’m unashamedly passionate. I’m thrilled that you’re here and honestly can’t wait to work with you to create something extra special.

Family photographer