Hello clients and potential clients! I put this section together to help answer any questions that may arise before booking a session, or after you’ve booked a session with me and are wondering “what next?”
Please feel free to Contact Me at any time with additional questions.
Q: How far in advance should I book my session?
A: As far in advance as possible. It’s never too early. For 2018 family sessions, I will have very limited spots available and so I recommend booking at least 2-3 months in advance if possible, especially during busy times (summer and fall). Newborn sessions should be booked at least 2-3 months before your due date if not earlier, though even if you are looking to book last minute, still contact me as I may be able to fit you in.
Q: How do you know when to book me for a newborn session? What if baby is early or late?
A: I put your due date on my calendar, and then whenever baby arrives I will fit you in. I have a limited number of spots per month that I book so that I am able to accommodate all of my newborn bookings, and it is also why I very rarely am able to accommodate newborns after they are born without a prior booking.
Q: When is the best time to book my maternity session with you?
A: Maternity sessions are best taken around 30-35 weeks of pregnancy, so booking around week 20 in your pregnancy is recommended.
Q: How long will my session last?
A: Full family, maternity, and milestone sessions take approximately 1 – 1.5 hours. Newborn sessions are longer to allow for feedings and soothing as we need baby to be fully asleep to safely achieve most poses, and these are usually between 2-4 hours. Half family, maternity, and milestone sessions take 30-40 minutes.
Q: Where will our session be?
A: We can decide on the location together depending on what type of look you are after: city, park, country, studio, in your home, etc. I do not offer multiple locations (with the exception of those who want a combo indoor/outdoor session as these are done in the greenbelt area behind my home where my studio is located) and travel fees may apply if the desired location is more than 20 minutes away from my home in the west end of Edmonton.
Q: How many people can be included in the photos?
A: It depends on the type of session. For newborns, the sessions are limited to the newborn, parents, and siblings only and the focus is on the newborn. For cake smashes and milestone sessions done in studio, the shoot is limited to the child the session is for and their parents and siblings only up to 6 people. For outdoor family sessions, there can be up to 6 people. There is a $25 per person fee for each person over the included 6 family members.
Q: Can I request specific photos to be taken (ie grandchildren/grandparents, solo of kids, etc)?
A: Absolutely! Please let me know ahead of time of any “must have” shots you want me to be sure to get. You will also have the opportunity to do this while filling out the pre-session questionnaire I will send you or during any of our discussions beforehand.
Q: Can our pets be a part of our photos?
A: Yes! I am a HUGE animal lover, and as a pet owner I consider my pets family members as well. If we are taking photos of you in your home or back yard, it is easy to grab a few with your fur babies. However, if you would like to bring them to an outside location where we plan to have the session, keep in mind that someone will have to take care of them while getting shots that don’t include the fur members of the family. For this reason, I ask that you please let me know ahead of time if you plan on bringing your pet(s) to an on location shoot. In this case you can bring along a friend or family member not involved in the shoot to watch your pet. If bringing them to the studio, they are permitted for the first few shots but then they must be able to leave with someone who is able to take care of them for the remainder of our session.
Q: What do we need to bring?
A: For shoots with little ones, an extra change of clothing for them is recommended, and, possibly a change for you too if it involves a cake smash! If we are going to be shooting outside in the summer, be sure to pack sunscreen, water, and insect repellant. Snacks and drinks for the kiddos is recommended too.
Q: I know what kind of look I want but I’m not sure what locations to achieve it, can you suggest options?
A: You bet! Let me know what you have in mind and I will be happy to work with you to find the perfect location. I have a lot of gems that I use frequently, and I am always scouting new locations as well.
Q: What should we do to prepare for the session?
A: Do whatever you need to do to look and feel your best. If you feel good, it will show in your pictures. Try and get a good night’s sleep beforehand, and don’t be too nervous! It will be fun, I promise.
Q: If it rains, do you have a studio to shoot at?
A: I do, but usually what happens is that we would reschedule. Studio photos are a very different look than outdoor photos and if you have your heart set on an outdoor shoot an indoor one won’t cut it and it is easiest to reschedule. Same goes for crazy wind or snow.
Q: What happens if you’re sick or are unable to shoot the session on the scheduled day?
A: I will give you as much notice as humanly possible and we will reschedule. Knock wood, this has never happened yet, though I am only human 😉
Q: Will these images be posted online or any social networks?
A: Yes. I usually use Facebook and Instagram to post sneak peeks, so it is a good idea to have everyone involved in the shoot “like” my page so they can keep an eye out for photos. Afterwards, I often blog the best images from a session as well. However, in the digital contract I send you before our session, there is an option to opt out of Facebook sneak peeks or other online marketing for an additional fee.
Q: Will we have the option to use props?
A: Absolutely. If you have seen a prop used in a previous session of mine that you love, let me know ahead of time. Additionally, if you have a certain prop you want to use, let me know what it is ahead of time if possible and I can work it into our session.
Q: When is the best time of year to schedule my session?
A: Late spring to mid-fall are considered the best for outdoor sessions. Other than that, the best time is what works for you. I can get great photos of you no matter what time of year.
Q: What time of day is best for a portrait session?
For studio, any time of day works. When young ones are involved, ideally we schedule for their happiest time. Newborns are ALWAYS scheduled at 10 am as I find this the best time for both the baby and for you. It’s a long session, and it’s nice to have the rest of the day free once it is over. For outdoor family sessions, I like to start the shoot about 1-2 hours before sunset if possible as that provides the best quality of light for my style of photography. In the middle of the summer this can be quite late for toddlers and babies so we try and book a session for the morning or as late into the evening as we can. Location will be a factor in this case as well.
Q: What if my children act up on the day of the shoot and we can’t get any good photos?
A: If absolutely nothing we try together works to get great shots, you will have the option of paying for a re-shoot, which is 50% of the session fee cost. Keep in mind though that even though sometime is may feel like chaos during the shoot, unless I am concerned about it I encourage you to trust me as all it takes is a few seconds to get an amazing photo.
Q: How will we know how to pose?
A: I will give you all the guidance you need and posing tricks to keep in mind on the day of our session. All you need to do is relax and have fun! You don’t have to be “good” in front of the camera for me to take great photos of you. It’s my job to know how to bring the best out of everyone.
Q: I really don’t like “X” about me, can we shoot around it?
A: Of course! Just let me know ahead of time and I will pose you in ways that are flattering or minimize whatever problem areas there are. Keep in mind though, at the end of the day the important thing is to actually BE in photographs for your loved ones to cherish. You may see flaws, but I can guarantee you they don’t. They just want beautiful images of you all together celebrating your family and your love for one another.
Q: How long have you been shooting portrait sessions? What kind of training do you have?
A: I have been shooting portraits semi-professionally (for some money, that is) for about 11 years and professionally (as in, I became an actual photography business that files taxes etc) for the last 6. I have a strong background in photography and design. My passion for photography started in high school about 18 years ago, and I also have a diploma in Visual Communication Design and was a professional graphic designer for over 10 years. I have also taken numerous photography courses and workshops as well as learned through experience, and I continue to use my graphic design background in the products I design for my clients and all of my own branding and marketing.
Q: How many photos do you typically take during the session?
A: I usually take at least 200+ photos per session, and from this, I narrow them down to the absolute best. With kids (toddlers especially!) I take a lot, as they move so quickly and capturing those genuine moments happen in the blink of an eye.
Q: Do I get to see ALL the unedited photos?
A: Nope! Not even my own family gets to see those. When I get to the computer, I narrow it down by culling out images where eyes are closed, blurry, or any unflattering photos and from the remainder I pick the best photos of each set-up/pose. This usually leaves me at the exact amount I need to show to my clients. If they aren’t included there’s a good reason. Have you seen that Beyonce meme that went around a few years ago? Yeah. That’s why you don’t get to see them 😉
Q: How many photos will I get to see at our ordering session?
A: Every session is different, but usually about 30-50. Sometimes more, sometimes a bit less.
Q: Why not more?
A: Do you really NEED to see more than 50 photos? Chances are you will narrow it down to your 25 favourites easily, and from those, you will likely only print a handful. I find showing too many of each pose is overwhelming and it is my job to use my creative eye to narrow it down to the very best.
Q: Do you offer professional retouching (ie blemish removal)?
A: Yes, I do this for all purchased photos. My rule of thumb for skin is if it won’t be there in 10 years from now then I will remove it or at least minimize it (in the case of under eye circles for example; people look funny if you eliminate them entirely). If you have a certain mark, scar, or mole you would like removed I can do that too just let me know before the session in the pre-session questionnaire or when ordering. If you are looking to have something major done (have transition lenses lightened, body shaping, braces removed, watches removed etc) then there will definitely be an extra charge per photo if it is possible to be edited. It is best to discuss these types of things before the shoot so we don’t encounter anything like that afterwards.
Q: How long does it take to get the photos back?
A: My turnaround time depends on how busy I am at the time. We usually have our ordering session within 1-2 weeks and then about 2-3 for the finished images (depending on how many are ordered).
Q: What should we wear?
A: I have a whole blog post on that which you can check out here. And I also include a link to detailed preparation information once you book your session with me.
Q: Do you have an assistant?
A: It depends on the type of shoot. For small family sessions or newborn sessions, I generally don’t use an assistant. For large families or families with more than 2 kids, I bring an assistant which is usually my mom. She’s awesome!
Q: What days are you available to shoot portrait sessions?
A: I am available Monday-Friday and Saturdays. Occasionally in the fall I will book a Sunday but I try to leave those days open for church and spending the day with my family.
Q: Why is your logo on all the photos in your portfolio? Will the logo be on the prints?
A: My logo will only be on the online versions of your photos shared on my blog or Facebook business page. The actual printable files you receive or physical prints that you order through me will NOT be watermarked. The reason we photographers do this is for 2 reasons; so people can quickly and easily identify who took the images (marketing/promotion) and for protection (copyright). There are people/businesses/groups out there who will gladly steal professional photographs online without a watermark to use on their own sites or for their own business’ promotion and marketing. Check out www.photostealers.com if you don’t believe me 😉
Q: How do we go about securing our session?
A: Contact Me via email or phone and I will set up a time to go over everything with you in in person or on the phone. After that I will arrange to send you an invoice for a deposit. This deposit as well as the signing of a basic contract is required to hold your spot.
Q: What type of payments do you accept?
A: Credit card and email money transfer.
Q: Why do you charge so much? My neighbour/friend/cousin provides all the images on CD for less than your session fee.
A: Well, if you really want to know the answer to that question and have decided I am too expensive for you, then the chances are my answer won’t change your mind. The short answer is, you get what you pay for. You truly do. Not only are you paying for my skill behind the lens and in front of the computer, but you are also paying for my time that I fully invest into each and every client. Each session can take anywhere from 10-20 (or more!) hours when you add up all of the communications back and forth, the preparation and planning, cleaning (or travelling), actual shooting, cleaning (or travelling) again, hours in front of the computer editing, meeting with clients for viewing and ordering, then hours putting together their orders. This doesn’t include taxes, insurance, expenses (supplies, props, equipment, did I mention props?) either. I am a small business owner, and this is my career, my art, and not just a hobby for me. Because of that, I put every spare moment into improving my craft, sharpening my skills, and making changes so that I am giving my clients the best possible custom photography experience and service. This type of photography is a luxury, yes, but it is an important one that will hold its’ value over many years to come every time you look at the works of art we created together.