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This FAQ is split up into two different sections: For people looking to hire a family photographer, and for photographers.

Looking To Hire A Photographer

What do you think are the main benefits of hiring a documentary family photographer?

In short, it means you will have amazing images of what makes your family your family. Instead of running through a series of poses, or sitting in front of a white screen with awkward grins, your images will be totally unique – because you and your family are unique. Documentary family photography captures you as you really are: Your personalities, the way you all interact with each other, your family rituals, your child’s first day at school – or simply any day in your life. Real images; real moments; real stories.

We recently asked some of our members about this, too; read their thoughts on why documentary family photography is so important.

Are all the family photographers on this site 100% documentary/reportage-style? Will they still take some portraits or ‘posed’ photos of my family if I want them to?

What we’re doing here on This is Reportage: Family is featuring those natural, real moments – but of course, the vast majority of our photographers still love to take some portraits, group shots or posed images of your family, if you want them to, of course. We’re just choosing not to show or feature those kinds of images, as we’re all about celebrating the real moments.

What is a Reportage Family Award?

Reportage Family Awards (or ‘Family Awards’ for short) are given to the very best single images – the very best of the best; moments captured with artistry and flair. These have been chosen by our panel of five world-class judges, who change for each round.

What are Family Story Awards?

Family Story Awards (or just ‘Story Awards’ for short) are given to the very best series of 15 – 20 images of a single family, as chosen by our panel of five world-class judges, who change for each round. If a photographer has this award, this means they’ve shown a world-class level of consistency, creativity and storytelling.

Stories are everywhere, and can be captured over any timeframe: For instance, a Family Story Award may be 15 – 20 images from a one-hour photoshoot, or it could be from a full ‘day in the life session’, or it could even be shot over many years, telling the story of birth to first day at school; the possibilities are endless.

Can you explain the judging process?

Sure can, and it’s very important we do so. Full details are over here.

How can I find a photographer for my family session?

Simply view ‘our photographers’; enter the area where you want your family session to take place, and we’ll show you lots of excellent moment-capturers for you to choose from. Photographers are ranked by the number of Awards won in recent collections, with those on the same award count – or yet to receive an award – shown in a random order for each search, thus ensuring the fairest visibility system.

Can I enquire about a photographer’s availability directly through this site?

You can indeed; simply click ‘contact’ on a photographer’s profile to send them a message. Alternatively, each photographer has a direct link through to their website; you can contact them there, if you’d prefer. If you can mention that you found them on This Is Reportage: Family, that would be great – everyone likes to know where they were found, and it’s good for us too 🙂

Image by Anna Hardy

For Photographers

Can we join as a Studio/Partnership/Duo, or must we join individually?

It is totally up to you whether you would like to join as a Studio/Duo/Partnership or individually. If you join individually, then you will each get your own profile, and will each be able to submit 10 Reportage Family Award entries and 3 Family Story Award entries per Collection; so a total of 20 Reportage Family Award entries and 6 Family Story Award entries per Collection if you are a two-person Studio. This option means paying for an account for each member of your Studio.

Alternatively, you can join as a Studio/duo, and thus have one account. This means a maximum of 10 Reportage Family Award entries and 3 Family Story Award entries per Collection, but is obviously cheaper, as you only have to pay for one account.

What sizes should the images be to look the best?

Images at 1600px on the longest side will look perfect throughout the site. We do support larger (see below), but just know that if you upload at 1600px (longest side), they will look great, so no need to upload anything at a higher resolution than that.

Landscape images: Minimum 1600 px wide / Maximum 4000 px wide
Portrait images: Minimum 1067 px height / Maximum 4000 px height

N.B. The maximum length of the longest side of any image is 4000px, and the maximum image size is 4mb.

What aspect ratio do images need to be?

Images can be any aspect ratio you wish.

How do I enter images into the Reportage Family Awards and Family Story Awards?

***An in-depth guide on how to enter the awards is over here.***

Short version: To enter images/stories into the awards, first upload them. Then click ‘Your profile’, then ‘Portfolio’ and view your galleries. Click the submit icon (top-right of an image/story) to submit it into the upcoming competition. You can submit 10 individual images, and 3 stories, per competition. If you change your mind, click the submit icon again to de-select. It is only when the deadline of a competition is reached that we will use the 10 images and/or 3 stories that are currently selected, so feel free to change your mind as much as you like until that deadline. You need to be logged in to do this, and only you can see which images(s)/stories you have submitted; this information is not made known to anyone else (including anybody viewing your galleries).

What kind of images can I upload? Do they all have to be documentary?

Yes, they do. You, as a photographer, may still do portraits, posed group shots or set up shots with your family clients – and that’s totally fine, of course – but what we are showcasing on This is Reportage: Family is the documentary aspect of your work. So, yes, only images taken naturally, un-posed and without any direction, are allowed on the site (see further below for more specifics on what types of images are allowed and not).

What does ‘family’ mean, exactly? For instance, does everyone have to be related, or could it also mean a group of friends…?

The term ‘family’ is used for a multitude of different relationships when it comes to family photography – so people don’t have to be related, no. Family can mean a group of friends, a related family, an un-related family, a mixture of relations and friends, and so on.

Is Birth Photography allowed?

Of course, yes, as birth photography is still very ‘documentary’ and very much ‘family’ 🙂

Can I enter images of my own family?

Yes! We are celebrating the best of documentary family photography, so it doesn’t matter if the images are from clients or your own families – it is the amazing photography we are featuring. So, yes, for sure, it’s totally fine to enter images/Stories of your own family.

Are photos from weddings fine to show/submit?

No, images from weddings are not allowed. This is because we have our sister-site, This is Reportage, for documentary wedding photography; we don’t want repeats of images on this site that may already be over there (and which may have already been awarded there, too).

There are hundreds of different family situations, which are all fine and eligible (births, family photoshoots, birthday parties, family reunions, ‘days in the life’ and much more) – it is only images from weddings which we specifically do not allow.

Do I have to be a 100% documentary/reportage family photographer to join?

Absolutely not. As I say above, we’re just featuring the documentary aspect of your work; it’s totally fine if you do some portraits, posed group shots etc; just please don’t upload them to this website, as we’re all about the real, natural moments. So, as long as you can capture family moments at an incredibly high level, then we’d love to have you with us.

Can you be a bit more specific about what is allowed or not?

Sure, this is from our terms and conditions, which you’ll need to accept if you want to become a member:

As we are all about documentary family photography, any image(s) you upload must have been taken naturally, without any posing or guidance from you. By uploading images, you are specifically agreeing that:

  • You did not pose the scene, or control the action in any way.
  • You did not ask people to repeat something in order to obtain the image, or ask them to be still/motionless etc.
  • You took the image. This means no images from second shooters are allowed, even within Stories. The exception to this is if you have joined as a duo/Studio – in this case, you are both ‘primary shooters’ anyway.
  • It is a single-exposure (double exposures, whether in-camera, or post, are not allowed)
  • There are no watermarks on your images

Please note that images from weddings are not allowed. This is because we have our sister-site, This is Reportage, for documentary wedding photography; we don’t want repeats of images on this site that may already be over there (and which may have already been awarded there, too).

There are hundreds of different family situations, which are all fine and eligible (births, family photoshoots, birthday parties, family reunions, ‘days in the life’ and much more) – it is only images from weddings which we specifically do not allow.

Images submitted to our contests can be taken from any time – they do not have to have been taken within the current year; they can be from any year.

What about people looking at the camera?

From time to time, someone may glance at the camera – and children, by their very nature, are inquisitive and can often wonder what that big camera lens is that’s pointing at them…! Moments like this are natural, and so fine.

What is not allowed, though, are images where someone is obviously and purposefully looking into the camera (often because they have been requested to do so by the photographer), or groups of people all looking or smiling at the camera – as these are far more likely to be ‘portraits’ rather than true documentary captures.

A good thing to think about is that our five judges for each round will all be considering whether each image has truly been captured naturally, or if they have been posed/set up – and as images with obviously camera-aware subjects (i.e. people looking directly into the camera) definitely appear more staged, they are far less likely to win. Therefore, if you feel an image may look posed – or appears to be more of a ‘portrait’, rather than a documentary capture –  it’s better to submit something else.

How many images can I enter per contest?

10 individual images for our Reportage Family Awards, and 3 stories for our Family Story Awards, per contest. These entries are included in your subscription fee. We have six contests per year, so this means a total of 60 Reportage Family Award entries, and 18 Family Story Award entries, per year – all included in your membership fee.

Can I pay extra to enter more images/Stories to the contests?

No – we think its vitally important that every photographer is on the same level playing field, and can thus only enter the same number of images/Stories. This means that photographers with deeper pockets do not have any advantage, as they can not pay to enter more images/Stories, and thus everyone can enter the same amount. We think this is the fairest system.

So there are two different types of Awards?

Yes; we want to showcase and celebrate both individually excellent captures (our Reportage Family Awards), but also the power of great storytelling, consistency and creativity with our Family Story Awards (a series of 15 – 20 images).

What is a Reportage Family Award?

Reportage Family Awards (or ‘Family Awards’ for short) are given to the very best single images – the very best of the best; moments captured with artistry and flair. These have been chosen by our panel of five world-class judges, who change for each round.

What are Family Story Awards?

Family Story Awards (or just ‘Story Awards’ for short) are given to the very best series of 15 – 20 images, as chosen by our panel of five world-class judges, who change for each round. If a photographer has this award, this means they’ve shown a world-class level of consistency, creativity and storytelling.

Stories are everywhere, and can be captured over any timeframe: For instance, a Family Story Award may be 15 – 20 images from a one-hour photoshoot, or it could be from a full ‘day in the life session’, or it could even be shot over many years, telling the story of birth to first day at school; the possibilities are endless.

How many images should a Story contain?

At least 15; maximum 20 – all of the same family.

What timeframe constitutes a Story?

Stories can be captured over any timeframe – from five minutes, to five years, or even longer. For example, you can tell a Family Story from a ten-minute game of cards during a short family photoshoot, and you can also go to the other extreme and tell a Family Story from birth to the first day at school, or even longer. As long as each Story is only about that one particular family, then the Story can have been captured over any timeframe.

Does a Story need to be about just one family?

Yes, your Story should be the story of that particular family i.e. you can’t use the Stories to show a ‘best of’ selection of family images from lots of different families. As mentioned above, the Story can have been captured over any timeframe, but it must be that particular family’s story.

What image formats do you accept?

JPG, GIF or PNG formats

What’s the max filesize I can upload per image?

The maximum image size is 4mb.

Can images be entered that have been taken from any year?

Yes, images submitted to our contest can be taken from any time.

Do you have any badges/logos I could use on my own website to say I’m a member?

We sure do: Feel free to use any of the logos/badges over here – they’re all PNG files so you can overlay them easily on to your website/images (just right-click them to save).

There are black borders on my banner pic, what’s up?

The site’s been designed for images in the 3:2 format, so photos wouldn’t be cropped; therefore, if you upload a banner pic that has been cropped by yourself a bit, then it’ll add black borders. So we definitely suggest using a standard, un-cropped 3:2 image for your banner pic. For the images you upload into galleries/enter the awards, these can be any kind of crops you want, and they will be displayed without any black borders – it is only for your banner pic that the borders will appear if your image isn’t 3:2.

Can you explain the judging process?

Sure can, and it’s very important we do so. Full details are over here.

Why is my profile not showing in search results?

To be found in search results, you have to upload at least a profile photo *and* a banner photo. Once you have uploaded those two things, you will be shown in search results.

Who are the judges?

We will have different judges for each collection (so that it’s not just the same people’s opinions/tastes giving the awards). We announce on our family photography blog around a week or so before deadline who the current judges are.

What are the judges looking for when curating the Awards?

We have different judges for every collection, and each judge has their own criteria for what makes an award-winning image/Story – one of the best things about photography is it is art, and is therefore incredibly subjective.

How frequently will you be having contests?

Every two months; so six times a year. This is for both our Reportage Family Awards, and our Family Story Awards.

What’s included in my subscription, and how much does it cost?

We want to provide as much value for money as possible with our memberships, so you can see the full details of what’s included, as well as the cost, over here.

How many galleries can I upload to my profile?

You can upload as many galleries to your profile as you want.

How many images per gallery can I have?

Galleries can have as many images in them as you want.

What size minimum (in pixel width) should my selfie/profile pic be?

As long as you keep to the filesize limit (4000 px wide max; 4 MB max) we’ll resize your profile image – just keep in mind it will be cropped to 1:1 and will be framed in a circle.

Do I have to upload new images/stories per contest?

Totally up to you. One of the great things about the way we’ve designed our gallery system, is that, once images/Stories have been uploaded, you simply click on each image/story that you want to be eligible for each competition. So, for instance, you may decide that, for the next contest, you want to submit a few images that you entered last competition; you simply click those images, no need to re-upload them. Of course, you may want to enter some new images/Stories; you can do that, too, by uploading them and selecting them.

Do I get notified when my listing is approved, and how long does it take?

When your account is approved you’ll receive an email; you’ll then be able to login to your account, create your profile, galleries, and enter the awards. Your account will usually be assessed within 12 hours, but please give us up to 48 hours before contacting us.

Help, I haven’t received an email to say I’ve registered/been approved…

There’s a possibility that the emails may have gone into your spam/junk account, so please do check there before contacting us.

What happens if I’m not approved?

We’ll send you an email explaining why and we’ll refund you your subscription straight away.

What payment system do you use?

We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can use Paypal if you prefer.

Can photographers based in any country join?

Yes indeed!

How does the directory sort/rank photographers?

Photographers are ranked by the number of Awards won in recent collections, with those on the same number of awards – or those who have yet to receive an award – displayed in a random order with each search. This works when viewing all members, searching by country, or by region. This ensures the fairest system for photographer visibility.

Is it an annual subscription?

Yes, but not one of those auto-renewing things; we hate those! You’ll simply get a couple of reminders near the time your membership is due to expire, with the option of renewing for another year, if you’d like to. If not, your account is simply deactivated. There will never be a payment going out without you knowing about it!

Why are you called This is Reportage: Family?

Because we are the sister-site of This is Reportage. This is Reportage is all about documentary wedding photography, and was created first (back in November 2017); we then created this site, This is Reportage: Family, in mid-2020, to celebrate the best of family photography.

I’m a member of This is Reportage (your wedding photography sister-site); do I get a discount on membership to This is Reportage: Family?

You do indeed! This is Reportage members currently receive a 25% discount on This is Reportage: Family membership; just visit the members area on This is Reportage (you’ll need to be logged in to your account) to see how to get this exclusive discount.

A discount will also be available for all your future annual renewals, so as long as you are a current This is Reportage member, your renewals will always be discounted (you will need to enter a manual code each year to get this discount).

The savings on membership renewals are even better if you are a current member of both This is Reportage (our wedding photography sister-site), and This is Reportage: Family, as you will currently receive a 25% discount on both membership renewals. With the current cost of membership being £100/year on both sites, this means you would only pay £75/year for each site if you were renewing right now – meaning a total of £150/year to have memberships on both (usual cost £200/year).

I’m a member of This is Reportage: Family; do I get a discount on membership to This is Reportage (your wedding photography sister-site)?

Yes, for sure! This is Reportage: Family members currently get an exclusive 25% discount on This is Reportage membership (our wedding photography sister-site); just visit your members area to see how (you’ll need to be logged in first).

A discount will also be available for all your future annual renewals, so as long as you are a current This is Reportage: Family member, your renewals will always be discounted (you will need to enter a manual code each year to get this discount).

The savings on membership renewals are even better if you are a current member of both This is Reportage: Family, and This is Reportage (our wedding photography sister-site), as you will currently receive a 25% discount on both membership renewals. With the current cost of membership being £100/year on both sites, this means you would only pay £75/year for each site if you were renewing right now – meaning a total of £150/year to have memberships on both (usual cost £200/year).

Is there a discount if I’m a member of both sites?

Indeed; if you are a current member of both This is Reportage: Family, and This is Reportage (our wedding photography sister-site), you currently receive a 25% discount on both membership renewals. With the current cost of membership being £100/year on both sites, this means you would only pay £75/year for each site if you were renewing right now – meaning a total of £150/year to have memberships on both (usual cost £200).

family photography

Family photography

family-photography

family photography

family photography

family photography

Want to join This is Reportage: Family?

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