Frequently Asked Questions: Top 10 things to think about.
1. What to Wear?
• Be aware of clothes that fit. You want to look your best and as we change around poses you don’t want to worry about having to adjust constantly with tight clothing or oversized clothing that will bunch up. The most important tip is BE COMFORTABLE!
• Think about coordinating with a color scheme over being totally “matchy matchy”. General rule of thumb is to work with at least 3 colors. For example, navy maroon and gray. Or purple, beige and soft yellow. Avoid heavy patterns if possible or accent with pattern (scarf). Don’t forget to coordinate, either dark or light jeans, not both.
• Layering is suggested. A cardigan, scarf or long sleeve shirt help hide any areas we may or may not be comfortable with. When you look at a portrait, your eye is naturally drawn to exposed skin and contrasting light. Eliminate those distractions by covering arms and legs so that the focus is on your face.
• V-neck for women and collared shirts for men are the most flattering. Staying away from a graphic Tees and heavy patterns with larger groups.
• Dress for the season. Maxi dresses can be a great alternative to short dresses pending on how cold it may be. Avoid jackets when its high heat or wear a cute overcoat or scarf when its cold so you are comfortable during the shoot.
• Don’t forget about the details. Iron your shirts or change once you arrive to your session to avoid a lot of wrinkles. Shoes will be in some of the shots so do think about this. Socks should coordinate with your color scheme. Wear a belt if the shirt is tucked in. Jewelry can shift around during the session or really large jewelry can be a distraction. Keeping things Clean and Simple goes a long way.
• If anyone wears transition lenses, locate your last pair and see if you can pop the lenses out. We can’t guarantee through editing to make the eyes look natural if we are working with dark lenses.
2. What location should you choose?
• We can suggest many locations but all that depends on the type of photos you would like. Doing something in an alleyway, downtown or old train station will have an architectural/urban feel. Wooded areas, fields and public parks are landscape and have a softer more natural feel.
• Accessibility – is it a public space or private property. Public parks will have other people visiting, walking around or even doing their own photo shoot. Private areas need permission to be there but can allow for no distractions of having an audience watch you get your photos done. Safety is considered at the end of the day or some locations require permits. Railroads for example can be dangerous and fines can be given if found shooting on them. Perhaps off to the side of a railway can make for better images without the risk of someone getting hurt or fined.
• Time of Day – being in an open field mid day makes for harsh lighting. Open fields are best done early morning or later in the evening to avoid such harsh sun. Finding a space that have overhangs or shaded tree areas can go a long way!
• Time of Year – Each season offers many great opportunities for photo session but with each season can bring their own challenges. Waterways or ponds are stunning, but during a rainy spring they may be flooded or during a summer drought water may be gone. Wooded areas are perfect for photos, but mid summer there are mosquitoes, fall lends to beautiful color but be aware of chill in the air.
• Is it a meaningful location? Shooting in a family barn adds a personal touch or even your own backyard. If you a family that likes to camp, doing a picnic in a woods would be fitting. However if you a family that loves baseball maybe the local baseball fields would be a fun environment.
3. Should we bring anything?
• Smiling faces and a fun attitude go a long way. If there are any props you’d like to incorporate, blankets, a favorite toy or anything with your name on it are great accents to images. If you have a theme you are wanting discuss that with the photographer and we work together to bring the props as needed. At the end of the day the focus is on the people in the picture. Natural environments provide opportunities to interact with and we will have stools, crates or various items pending on the type of session.
•Can we bring pets? Sure can! We love the furry family members. With Pets, it is important to remember treats and leashes and that they are easily distracted. Sometimes having an extra person there to watch the pets during other parts of the session is helpful.
4. Do you work weekends?
• Absolutely, but availability is limited. The earlier you schedule your appointment the better. We even take our last appointment at 7 pm during the week so getting the shoot in after your work/school day can be a great time to do it to pending on sunset times.
5. Can we reschedule if our child is sick or for rainy weather?
• Absolutely. We check in a few days prior to your session to make sure everything is still a go. No charge to reschedule. Conflicts come up, weather changes and sick kids don’t like to smile. We understand and would rather reschedule then try and force a session.
6. Do you edit the images?
• Yes. We want you to look your best and your images to be polished. However we try to avoid making you look like a plastic doll or like someone who isn’t you. Kids slobber and we take that out, teenagers are prone to acne and softening that up is appropriate. Those pesky crows feet can be softened because we all know, your only as old as you feel right! Head swaps are done in large family groups because getting multiple young children to all look at the camera simultaneously is an art form in and of itself. Additional editing can be done per request, but at a charge, if for example you want braces removed. We want it to be real. Some editing requires a lot of time to make it look natural. We like to create poses and use lighting that are flattering and choosing the proper clothes certainly helps as well.
7. How long is the session and what do I get?
• Sessions can last anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 or 3 hours pending on what we are shooting. A children’s session may only last 45 minutes since there attention span doesn’t last much longer than that. A family session roughly an hour but a 4 outfit senior shoot can be 3 hours due to changing locations. The session fee is paid the day of the shoot and you will come back for a follow up appointment with your photographer to view them. The session fee covers the photographers time for the shoot, their time to edit and getting the variety of images ready for you. At the follow up we will provide you with a variety of option on how to order. You can mix and match your prints, we help create wall displays for you and also provide custom albums and options for digital downloads. Online viewing will be available after the follow up meeting and we will assist you in the ordering process thereafter. No high pressure sales! Just assuring you get the best quality and helpful service so that your portraits are displayed in the best way and for what you are needing.
8. How many images will we get to choose from?
•That certainly varies. There are many factors to consider: how many or in the session, how many outfits or locations or even how well children are behaving or what the weather permits. We strive to provide you with a variety of images. The photographer will use their best judgement on how long to shoot and what to present to you in your gallery.
9. How long does it take to get our images?
•This varies based on what you are ordering. Standard prints take about a week to arrive. Framed or Wall portraits can be 2-3 weeks and albums and custom cards usually arrive in a few business days. We do keep your images on file so if you would like to reorder at any time we will still have them available.
10. Do we do a standard session or a mini?
•This is a great question. Big difference in the two. A mini is just that. Its quick and sometimes all you need is the single family photo update. You get basic breakdowns and poses. A standard session is far more involved and in many cases give you the opportunity to get comfortable, can allow kids to run and be themselves and will give you an array of images from posed to “lifestyle” candid moments. You also get a variety in your backdrops and you have time to explore and walk around a location.