Where to get a family portrait done in Manhattan?
January 7, 2010 1:04 PM   Subscribe

My family will be in Manhattan in a few weeks for my mother's 60th birthday. One of the ways we would love to celebrate the occasion is with a family portrait. Unfortunately this is not something I have ever done before, so I don't know how to judge which photographer -- and what price -- is right for us. I'm looking for general advice for hiring a photographer, and personal recommendations of photographers you know in Manhattan.

I am looking to spend $500 *total* (sitting fee + print charges + (ideally) electronic versions of some of the best shots). Half that would be great, but I know that we are talking New York City.

I am looking for studio photos that do not look like they came from a strip mall photo place. On the other hand, I am not looking for a fancy "they don't make this kind of film any more" experience (as a friend recently did with a portrait)

Above all, I'm looking for some resource that will help me cut through the hundreds of Google search results for all of the people who do portraits in New York.

Thanks for your help!
posted by Maastrictian to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I am looking to spend $500 *total* (sitting fee + print charges + (ideally) electronic versions of some of the best shots).

I think that's pretty unrealistic.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:06 PM on January 7, 2010


If I were you, I'd post this to MeFi Jobs.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 1:06 PM on January 7, 2010


And, yes, your price expectations are wack, hence the MeFi Jobs.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 1:06 PM on January 7, 2010


Response by poster: So my initial searching turned up a photographer with a $350 sitting fee, which lead me to believe that $500 was not crazy. If it is crazy, then what should I expect to spend?
posted by Maastrictian at 1:12 PM on January 7, 2010


In Atlanta, we paid $800 for sitting fee + 5 prints. Digitals would have cost us $500 MORE. YMMV.
posted by frwagon at 1:15 PM on January 7, 2010


For your entire package, I'd say double that.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:16 PM on January 7, 2010


I'm an amateur photographer and if I saw a listing for this posted on Craigslist, I'd jump at it for $250. Of course I'm not a professional with a reputation, so I would suggest you pay me half when I arrive and half when I deliver the photos.

There are probably hundreds of photographers in NYC who could approach it the same way.
posted by kdern at 1:31 PM on January 7, 2010


A friend did a similar thing as kdern is suggesting. It wasn't in NY, but another major city. The photographers who responded -- who were mostly photography students -- had digital portfolios they could show. She picked one, and got a great result.
posted by BlahLaLa at 1:57 PM on January 7, 2010


Definitely post on Craigslist. You can usually also find listings for students or new professionals trying to build a portfolio who will typically give you a discounted price if they can use your photo in their portfolio. For example, this one - free sitting w/ digital file to take elsewhere to be reproduced (i.e. online for super-cheap).
posted by melissasaurus at 2:03 PM on January 7, 2010


Here are two professional photographers I can personally vouch for, though I don't know about your budget, but it doesnt hurt to ask:

Jason Homa
Mark Kornbluth
posted by shothotbot at 2:28 PM on January 7, 2010


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