10 Questions to Ask Before You Book Chicago Family Photos

When booking  Chicago family photos A good photographer will have the information readily available whether it is on their website, social media, or information that they share with you on a phone call or consultation. In this blog we will discuss the more important questions to ask your family photographer before booking a session for great photos and experience!

1. What’s your photography style, can I see a portfolio?

Before working with any photographers take a look at their portfolio and style. Some photographers have a bright and airy style, some are more dark and moody, others are true to life and colorful. If you like a particular styles or color tones then choose photographers that specializes in creating those types of photos.

If you have no styling preferences, then all you have to do is ensure that the portfolio has consistency in editing (you see the same styling across all photos) and that they have taken pictures of families before.

2. What’s included in the photo package or in the creative fee?

It’s important to ask what is included because every photographers’ packages and processes will be different. Some charge a creative fee and then let you choose you favorite photos individually, others have all inclusive package options where the session and a set number of photos are pre-set. Regardless of what they offer, you should have a good understanding of the options that are available ahead of time before making the choice to book.

3. What’s the process like? 

Every family photographers process and business will be a little different. You just have to be fully prepared and know what to expect step by step. Ask about your responsibilities and expectations are and know exactly what the photographer will take care of for you.  

Chicago family photos created on a sunny summer day

4. How long is the family photo session?

Family sessions will vary by photographer and number of participants and family members (we have a whole blog on this topic here). Typical family sessions will be about and hour, extended and newborn sessions may be longer. Be sure to ask the specifics of the photographer you want to book with.

5. Where to take the Chicago family photos?

Unless the photographer has a studio, you will want to ask the family photographer for some ideas where to take the family photos. Each photographer will have their favorite go-to spots, as well as some favorite hidden gems you may not know about – we live in a gorgeous city after all!

If there is a special place you have in mind, request it! The photographer will tell you if it will be a good spot aesthetically, the best time to go there (for optimum lighting), and find out for you if any special permits are needed.

6. How do they help you plan or prepare?

If you’re the type of person who needs a little guidance in preparing for family photos (especially if you take them once a year), it’s good to ask additional questions for preparation. Photographers each have their own unique ways of helping you get ready and prep. Most photographers will share a special guides or have a pre-session call or consultation. Specifically ask about their recommendations for clothing. Clothing is important is a session! Be sure to ask you photographers for some pointers for the best results.

Candid Chicago family photos in a Wicker Park studio

7. Will they help you with posing or prompts?

Most of the time the answer should be yes. Almost all photographers will guide you from start to finish and help you feel at ease in front of the camera, as well as get some great expressions from your kiddos. Something to keep in mind is that there a few types of family sessions: candid (unposed and in the moment), posed, or a mix of both. Communicate your preferences to the your photographer and be sure that they can help you with getting the photos you are looking for.

8. How soon will the photos be ready?

Most family photographers will have digital photos ready for review within a week or two after the session date. If you order products those will take an additional couple of weeks to be delivered. Always ask for specific timelines, especially if the photos are planned around busy holiday seasons.

9. What is the rescheduling policy?

Weather can change, kiddos can get sick, life happens. Ask the photographer about a back up plan and their process for rescheduling just in case that it is needed.

Chicago family photos in custom linen box

10. Do they offer any artwork or products?

This is not something every photographers offers for photos however it’s very valuable option even if you are just looking for digitals photographs. Photographers that specialize in products and artwork partner with laboratories and framers that create stunning custom art, that will not only look beautiful but also last for generations.


In conclusion, by asking the right questions before you book, you can ensure that your photo experience is smooth, enjoyable, and tailored to your family’s unique style and preferences. If you are looking for someone to help you Chicago family photos – I’d love to talk! Just click here to get in contact with me. My family spots fill up fast so don’t wait too long! If you’re just looking for some photography inspiration check out my instagram page here!

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Me (4)

Hi, I'm Mariya! I'm a Chicago branding and family portrait photographer. Thanks for stopping by, I hope you've grabbed a good cup of tea or coffee as you browse through the blog :)