Family photographer cost guide

Family photography is a kind of art that people perform on a daily basis. Everyone who has a smartphone with a good camera can actually say that they’re doing family photo sessions every day. Yet, the difference between such amateur session and cooperation with a professional photographer is in the quality of photos you get in the end. Professional family photographers can capture the smallest moments of joy and happiness of a family, they spot pure emotions and can help you remember them forever.

Here you will learn about:

Family photographers offer photo sessions in the family format. They usually work with groups of people to present a family to its fullest in the pictures. In the family photography business, the cost differs among packages and services included there. On average, family photo sessions cost between $175 and $350, where most people spend about $325 per session. Besides the session, additional services can be included, for instance, additional prints, photo albums, photo galleries, etc. As a result, the final cost of a photo session with additional services lies around $670.

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Cost-related questions

How do family photographers charge?

Family photographers operate on a package basis. This means that there are particular services included in a package, such as edited images, time for the shooting, online gallery, etc. This is a flat rate that is generally non-negotiable. However, the package price can go up if additional services, such as photo album or an extended number of edited shots, are ordered.

What is the average cost of the family photo packages?

Package deals vary significantly among family photographers. Below you can find an average national cost of different packages with a short description of services included. Yet, this is not a fixed price, so be ready that it can vary depending on a photographer of your choice.

Basic $175-$260
  • 0.5-1 hour session
  • online gallery with all raw images
  • 8-15 edited photos
  • travel expenses
  • online photo print store
Standard $280-$430
  • 1-1.5 hour session
  • online gallery with all raw images
  • 40-50 edited photos
  • travel expenses
  • online photo print store
Extended $480-$595
  • 1-2 hour session
  • online gallery with all raw images
  • 80-100 edited photos
  • travel expenses
  • online photo print store
  • 4x7-16x25 print

How does the number of family members change the price?

In the photography industry, a family is seen as a group of people of five or fewer members. Photo shoots for standard families begin at $300, while for six and more people at $400.

What additional services can be included?

Apart from services listed above, family photographers may also offer USB card with all your images from the session ($80-$150), a mini-book ($150-$230), videography service (prices up to negotiation at all times), additional session time ($75-$130 for half an hour), photo album ($445-$630), people over the photographer’s limit ($15-$30/person).

Is there any difference between studio and outdoor family sessions?

Generally, photographers don’t differentiate between the studio and outdoor sessions until the latter is within the city limits. Should you be interested in a field session, the additional cost might be $150-$320. Home-based family photo sessions are charged on the general basis.

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Factors to consider when hiring a family photographer

Personal relation

Not all people are able to perform their job at their best, especially if small kids are involved in a session. Look through the photographer’s portfolio to see their specialization and ensure that it matches your preferences. Evaluate also how soon you get answers to your questions and whether you can book an interview for closer interaction.


Carefully read and compare different packages of one photographer, and then compare with offers of other experts. As different family photographers can include different services in the packages of the same type, keep in mind to carefully compare not only the price but also services offered at that price.


The farther you live from a photographer, the higher are the chances that you will have to cover travel expenses additionally.

Number of people

Working with more than 3-4 people is a challenge because a photographer needs to ensure that every single member of the family looks perfect and pay attention to the smallest details. Not all photographers have the experience working with big groups of people. If you have a big family, don’t be embarrassed to ask about photographer’s experience in this respect.

Special requests

You might want to take your exotic creature for the session, or maybe you want to cover some flaws in your appearance; sometimes families want to stick to some theme during the session and so need photographer’s assistance with light and posing ideas. Choose a photographer who can satisfy all your particular needs and requests to get the shots you see in your head.

Reviews and references

Of course, reviews and references should be accounted for when you’re looking for a photographer, but don’t choose an expert based on references only. Family photography is an art influenced by personal touches. This means that if you read some negative review about the session it doesn’t mean that the photographer is bad, it might mean that the client and the photographer couldn’t find common ground. Rely on the portfolio and hunch toward a particular candidate.

Frequently asked questions

How to dress for a session?

Dressing tips are always given by the chosen photographer depending on your session’s location and the chosen session theme. Here are the general guidelines that work at all times:

  • Color scheme. Choose no more than three main colors for the appeal for all session members. To diversify the images, add neutrals, such as gray, khaki, champagne, or beige. Don’t go for black and white because they will look like either black spots or white spots on the final images (especially if the session is held outside in the sun).
  • Accessories. Accessories and layered outfits help to make a photo deeper and more interesting to look at.
  • Start with female outfits. Unless the female part of the family is satisfied with their outfits, there will be no good photo session. Their outfits should be the foundation of the whole scenario.

Except for the colors and matching outfits ensure that your clothes are clean and ironed right before the session.

Can I take my pet for the photo session?

Most family photographers don’t mind working with pets because they are accepted as family members. However, it’s essential to notify a photographer about the pet as some people might be afraid of large dogs or exotic pets or have specific allergies.

How long will I wait for the photos?

Standard waiting time in the industry is a month starting from the shooting date. During the rush hour (summer months) photographers may extend the waiting time, while in the low season you can get the photos even in two weeks.

Do photographers offer makeup and stylist services?

Family photographers, unlike wedding photographers, don’t usually provide stylist, makeup, and hairstyle service as a part of the package. But most photographers do know reliable and reputable MUAH artists and can give you references should you be interested.

Bottom line

Family photographers work with family members to catch big smiles and unforgettable moments of common joy. They usually work on a package (flat rate) basis. Most American families spend between $175 and $350 per session without additional services.

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