-What should I wear?
First and foremost, wear what you are comfortable in. If your clothes are stiff and you feel awkward, the images will reflect that. Bring 2-3 outfits, you might only use two, or just one. But bring different options; you’d be surprised how easily you’ll make up your mind once you’re at the location. Try for a variety: something casual, and something more formal. You can color code without being matchy-matchy. Try to stay away from excessive patterns, as they will be a distraction in your pictures. Solid colors work best, but is not required! (FOR WOMEN: If you have the perfect heels, bring some flip-flops as well in case there is walking involved!)
-Where should we go?
This question is the hardest to answer! While I can provide a list of popular spots for sessions, the decision is up to you! I suggest considering places you go often. Whether its to the park to play soccer, the river for some fishing, hiking, boating on the lake, or shopping in the city, choose your location based on the sentiment behind it. Something you enjoy doing together as a family, where you first met or where you spend your weekends. Another popular area, often overlooked is your own home! If you are still unsure of a location let me know. Tell me how you envision your session going, props you think would be fun, and the pictures you hope to get out of it. Together we can find the perfect location!
-Should I bring anything?
Absolutely! Bring anything and everything! Props make the most basic shot come alive! Pet’s are always welcome and encouraged! Babies first teddy/blanket, a dried rose from your first date, or something as simple as a scarf, hair accessories, or sunglasses. All of these items make it more personal. Maybe we’ll try everything, maybe we won’t use any of it. Doesn’t hurt to bring it! Don’t forget extra makeup, a brush, mirror and water! (FOR YOUNG KIDS: snacks, and water! It might get hot, they might get antsy and bored or just need some inspiration to stay focused!)
-What should I expect?
Walking and laughing! Bring your sense of humor, be ready to have fun and be yourself. I direct the session as to areas to stand/sit/lay down. I will have props ready if needed. But the session is about you! My poses are more of DOG PILE! and snuggle up! Expect to kiss, hug, walk and laugh! AND relax! you’ll appreciate the outcome if you relax now!
-When will I get the pictures?
How you get the pictures will depend on the agreed package ahead of time (DVD vs prints). It will take two weeks from the date of the session for the images to be edited, and available for purchase. Your session includes the option of an online gallery (so you can share the images with those who don’t live nearby), or by in-home consultation. An in-home consultation is the ideal choice because it allows me to come to your home with the images, size examples, display inspiration, checklists and a tape measure. Together we can figure out what sizes will work best for your home (by showing you what it will look like!), what collection will give you the most ‘bang-for-your-buck’, and which products you do, or don’t need. In-home consultation is a complimentary service that I recommend to anyone who doesn’t have a clear vision what they need prior to seeing the images! See more info inproduct faq.
The online gallery will be available for two weeks (14 days) after set up. I recommend going in on a purchase together with family or friends because the minimum order is $250. All items will be provided in one package, for you to separate (or keep!) later!
DVD’s will be shipped the day of purchase (except sunday and monday), while prints and products will take an additional 5-9 business days to receive in studio for pick up, or drop off. In-home consultations will be dropped off directly at your home, while online purchases are only available for pick up.
-How long will the session last?
That is entirely up to you! Sessions start at 30 minutes and go up to 3 hours, but the length is dependent on what you are looking for out of the shoot! Lots of variety and personality deserve longer sessions, but if you only need a few updates, a shorter session might work better for you. Try to schedule the session for 3 hours, so we can take our time and have some fun. Sometimes kids take time to open up, or babies get fussy and need a break. 3 hours allow ample time to take in these ‘speed bumps’ and work past them!
3 hours also allows excellent time for multiple sessions. Senior sessions in particular benefit from multiple outfits at multiple locations.NOTE:please take into consideration that a session will be 3 hours from start to finish, including travel time to another location. Also, the session includes 60 miles roundtrip free, each additional mile is .50 cents per. Scheduling your locations near each other to account for these can avoid additional costs!
-What time of day is the best for portraits?
Textbook answer is early morning or late evening. Natural light is my main focus, which means I don’t lug around fancy studio equipment and only use a flash for bounce to give the softest lighting to your photos. Mid day lighting is harsh: think squinty eyes and dark shadows. Not aesthetically pleasing (or fun for the model!). However I am willing to work around your schedule, and many times early morning and evenings aren’t workable. Therefore shooting inside, or in urban areas with lots of shadows can help work around that lighting.
-How do I schedule a newborn or maternity session?
Generally maternity sessions occur around 32-34 weeks, late enough to show your size, but early enough that you can still move around without *too* much trouble! Newborn sessions are not specified dates. Simply reserve the month around your due date. As soon as you have given birth, call me to book your session. Many clients let me know as soon as they are admitted into the hospital, and again as soon as they know their discharge date. For a true newborn session schedule in the first 9 days. I recommend these sessions occur in your home, or the hospital.
-What do I get with my session?
Each session includes up to three hours of shooting time, 60 miles of round-trip travel, 25-30 images showcased either in an online gallery for purchasing, or an in-home consultation, and $100 complimentary for purchases.
The $100 gift credit can be applied towards prints, products, or digital negatives and cannot be ‘saved’ for a different session (so make sure you use it all!) Prints require a $250 minimum, and do not include canvases or products.(No minimum on canvases and products).NOTE:tax will be added to your total for session and products. For info on tax please see next question.
-How do I get charged tax?
When booking, you will be charged a $50 non-refundable retainer fee for that time and day via paypal CC or check. You may pay for the session in total at time of booking, or wait until the day of session to pay the other $250. I take cash or check at that time. After the portraits have been edited/seen and purchased, your total will be amounted. You can pay by cash, check or paypal CC.The total purchase will be charged 8.25% for tax, total includes the session price and item total. You will receive a paper receipt day of purchase, and an detailed email receipt later that day.
-I want an in-home consultation, but my mom lives in x-state and wants to order as well!
An online gallery can be available for just $20, in this situation, I suggest opening the gallery for a week or so to allow people to choose the items they want. They can purchase the products themselves (the minimum order is $250) and the items will be shipped to their home. Or you can take their order, and on the day of your in-home consultation you can add it to your order.NOTE: all items will be given to you, so you will be responsible for separating and shipping the items.
-When do I get my stuff?
DVD’s will be shipped the day of purchase (except sunday and monday), while prints and products will take an additional 5-9 business days to receive in studio for pick up, or drop off. In-home consultations will be dropped off directly at your home, while online purchases are only available for pick up. Shipping is available for an additional cost. Albums take 7 business days to create, and require your approval before printing. They take an additional 5 days to come to the studio, and are pick up or shipping only.
-What are collections?
Collections are packages designed to help you save money! There are two types: Print and Gallery. Print collections include a specified number of prints for a lower price than a la carte. They also include a specified percent off of additional a la carte purchases.NOTE:print collections only include gift prints, which are 8×10 and smaller in size. Larger size prints and canvases are not included in the collection, but percent off can be applied.
Gallery collections are designed for those looking to create a wall display using canvases for rooms or gifts. They include the size canvases specified, as well as 30% off additional purchases. They save you money than purchasing a la carte, and show suggested display ideas.NOTE:The percent off can not be applied to an additional collection.
Have another question? Let me know, Id be happy to answer anything!