Will you tell me what to do? I don't know how to pose.
Well... yes and no. I like to do a mix of posed photos and more organic ones. I want you to look natural and feel comfortable, but I also want a great photo. I'll definitely tell you where I need you and I may give you some instructions (turn your head this way, chin down, look over here, etc.). I also like to give some "prompts" to get you to relax or laugh. Just go with it! And don't worry. If something doesn't look right, I'll try something else. It's my job to make things look good.
What if my child is self-conscious? What if I am?
First off, who isn't at least a little self-conscious? You aren't alone. Even if we are usually confident people, having photos taken of ourselves can be a vulnerable experience. It can be awkward, stressful, and anxiety-inducing. For me, the best part of portraiture is being in a place to ease anxiety, build self esteem, and show all clients how beautiful they are. I'll make sure to get photos from flattering angles, and I'm happy to work around any insecurities and highlight your favorite features. Just let me know ahead of time! Most importantly, I love offering affirmation. We all need to hear what looks good and be reassured!
What can I do to get my child to cooperate?
Bring your kids and yourself rested, fed, and happy. Seriously, though. If we parents stress on the way, it will put a damper on the mood. Running late, forgetting things, fighting over clothing, etc. can all make our families more anxious, frustrated, and less cooperative. Do what you can and let the rest go.
During the session: For babies or toddlers, be ready to play games like peekaboo, make silly faces, or play fun music on your phone. Bring surprise toys and low-mess snacks hidden away to surprise younger kids. Don't micromanage tweens and teens. You'd rather have a genuine photo of your child laughing than an annoyed, fake smile. For older kids, if nothing else works, bribery is a beautiful thing. All kids who cooperate and roll with it get ice cream. Extra screen time. Free pass on a chore they hate. You get it.
What should I wear?
It's really up to you. I offer my client closet for regular, standalone sessions. However, if you're booking a mini session or just want to wear your own stuff, here are some suggestions:
- Try to avoid items with logos or text as they will cheapen the look.
- Pick complementary colors or neutrals whenever possible.
- Keep it simple - Limit to 1 kind of print in family photos. If your kid is going to wear plaid, don't wear stripes or a different style of plaid.
- Go for timeless over trendy. You don't want to cringe when you look back in 10 years.
- Simple is almost always better, and you can add accessories like hats, scarves, bow ties, suspenders, and hair bows for that extra "pizazz."
- Remember that at the end of the day, these are recommendations, not rules. Wear something you love and feel comfortable in - this above all else.
When will we get our photos?
I deliver galleries for all portrait sessions within 1 week( and I've never been late!). For weddings, my turnaround is within 2 weeks.
If you request additional edits, I will let you know the estimated wait time for those edits.
If you need photos by a certain deadline, I can do my best to accommodate them, although rush fees may apply.
My family doesn't look like most of your other clients. We will be welcomed?
This is a HUGE yes. I celebrate Black, Hispanic, LGBTQIA+, and Special Needs families and do my best to maintain practices and editing that celebrate and document you, just as you are.
This means respectful practices like asking for pronouns at booking and planning for special needs or accommodations (this can be a bit trickier with mini sessions, but I still make every effort I can!).
It means taking care to edit all skin tones accurately and beautifully. I don't brighten deeper skin tones. They're beautiful the way they are.
Can you "Photoshop" me?
I do light editing as a part of my process. If something is a natural part of you (birthmark, your natural body), I leave them. I want to make you look great, but I also want it to still be you.
If you want additional editing like tummy flattening, face slimming, etc., I will do it upon request only and additional fees will apply. Most of the time, we can use angles to show off your best features and minimize your least favorites, but if you aren't happy with how you look, just reach out. We'll figure it out together!
What if I have a special situation? Or what if my child has special needs?
Then I work to accommodate you the best I can! I am happy to work with ALL clients, and if it's humanly possible to accommodate your family, I will make every effort to do so. Please make me aware of any special needs when you book. That will give me time to ask questions and plan accommodations. Even if I don't need to make any special plans, reaching out to me ahead of time is still helpful. For example, if you have a child with autism who has trouble making eye contact, I will happily plan for more candid shots that will capture the fun.
Do you photograph pets?
I don't specialize in pet photography, but I'm happy to photograph your animal friends as a part of your family session. I don't permit pets for mini sessions because the time slot is just too small to get great photos with animals, but I'm happy to accommodate your furry (or scaley, or feathery, whatever!) friends for a standalone session. Make sure to bring someone with you to help with the pets when they're not in the shots, and be sure to bring your animals on leashes. We don't want any escape artists!
Do you do newborn sessions?
Yes! I do what is called "lifestyle" photography for newborns. I do not provide traditional, posed/wrapped sessions at this time. It requires extensive coursework and safety training in order to wrap and pose a newborn correctly, and I have not yet pursued that training. Lifestyle sessions are all about capturing those little moments - snuggling, eating, etc. with the whole family, often in my clients' homes. I also offer a discounted "lifestyle" newborn option here in my studio, where I've got a bedroom setup (it's an air mattress).
I only need one photo. How much is that?
It sounds like you may want to keep an eye open for a mini session! Even if we only shoot for 5 minutes, there is a lot of other time involved on my end (communication, booking link and contract setup, planning, traveling, culling/editing, uploading, delivering galleries, etc.).
In short, I do not offer one photo packages, but I do offer small packages and mini sessions for those of you who don't need a huge variety.
Do you do gift cards?
I've finally gotten gift cards set up and running. Sometimes I offer special promotions for gift cards where the value is more than what you pay. Check for any special promotions or buy a gift card here:
What is your photography style?
I typically like to stick with a timeless look where colors are vivid and bright, but pretty true to life. I commit to you as clients, not a style. That means that I edit to skin tones first, and everything else is secondary.
Even with back-to-back mini sessions, you may notice that some are edited brighter or darker, warmer or cooler, pinker or greener, etc. than others in the exact same light and setup. That's because I don't do batch editing, even with back-to-back sessions.
Each family has a unique set of skin tones, eye colors, and wardrobe choices. It's my goal to make sure I keep you looking like you and edit to make you look your best, not to make my Instagram feed cohesive. That can be an unpopular opinion in this age where social media is king, but it's something I feel committed to.
What time of the day is best for outdoor sessions?
Golden hour! I prefer to shoot in the hour before sunset. This allows for the beautiful, soft, warm light we all love. Daytime shoots simply aren't the same; the lighting can be harsh and cause clients to squint.
Harsh light isn't awful for kids, but it brings out every wrinkle if you're older than 15. I will only do daytime shoots in completely shaded areas (like beside a very tall building) or on overcast days when I know I can achieve quality images.
If sunset sessions don't work for your family, I can also do early morning shoots, within 1 hour of sunrise. Middle-of-the-day sessions are best left indoors when diffused light can come through the windows for a soft look.
What if I can't afford a session right now?
It can be so disappointing to find that a service is out of budget. Unfortunately, I'm not usually able to negotiate session fees outside of regular specials. They're based on a cost of doing business analysis that enables me to pay myself a modest wage. Photography is an expensive business to run - even just the equipment and software run high (just one of my lenses retails for $2400 - it's worth more than my car, haha!), not to mention the website, card processing fees, location fees (like rentals or the park's photographer fee), rent and utilities for the studio, client closet collection, and self-employment taxes. I had no idea how expensive a photography business would be until I started my own, so I don't fault anyone for not understanding this.
Some ways to save:
- Schedule ahead of time, and break your balance into little payments. Apart from the retainer due at booking, you can make as many small payments as you want, and whenever you want. Some families make $5 or $10 payments every few days, while others make bigger payments on payday.
- Look out for a mini-session event for a lower session fee. They're back-to-back and discounted because I'm doing so many at once.
- Watch for a discount - I regularly send out early booking discount code and more to my email list.