Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions:

"How long does a normal session last?"
It depends! Weddings (engagements, bridals) usually take about 1 1/5-2 hours. Newborn sessions are usually pretty long, any where from 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Children's sessions are usually between 45 minutes to 1 hour. Senior portraits usually last about 1 1/2 hours. Family sessions usually take about 1 hour. These are just averages, I don't set time limits.

"Why are your prices so much lower than other photographers?"
I don't require print orders. You just pay one price for your sitting fee and your cd of images. This saves a lot on costs for printing, shipping, and so forth.

"When do I pay you?"
I trust my clients, and don't require payment until you receive your images. However, if you would rather pay in smaller installments (this most has to do with large wedding orders), I would be happy to work that out with you! 

"Where should we take the photos?"
Location is super important! I have a lot of places that I like, but it also depends on what style you want to achieve. Do you like more modern pictures? Then we would want a more urban (downtown, old buildings, etc) location. Are you more into a classic style? There are some beautiful parks, canyon locations, and rivers that we can try. Some clients like to try both, just to see. I'm fine with moving around to multiple locations. You can look at my blog for locations that you like.

"What should I wear?"
Your clothing choice is a huge part of the overall feel of the image. I always tell clients to first wear something they feel really good in. Something that they feel makes them look cute (or handsome). Next, take a look at the textures and colors you have. Gone are the days of a white shirt and jeans for pictures. Wear multiple colors and lots of different textures (for girls necklaces, jewelry, scarves, boots, vests, head bands, etc.; for boys several shirts, ties, scarves, vests, etc.). This photographer posts a great "what to wear" section on her blog. Think coordinating instead of matching for engagement or family sessions.

I have even had clients request that I come to their homes and go through their closets to find outfits. I can do that, or I welcome you bringing a whole trunk of clothes that we can go through at the time of the session!

"What should I bring?"
Particularly for seniors and children, bring things that mean a lot to you. Props are great! Also bring extra clothing. Lots of it. You can change outfits in the middle, or I can help you pick out what would photograph best! 

"Can I bring my camera to the shoot?" 
My camera is the only camera permitted at the shoot. Multiple cameras can be distracting. You hired me to do all the hard work, so you relax while I take care of the hard part! If you're interested in learning how to take great photos, contact me for a one-on-one mentor session.

"How can I be sure my child will be good?"
You can't! But here are some good tips to try to make sure things go smoothly. Make sure your child is well rested and well fed before coming. Schedule around normal nap times. Bring snacks that are easy for your child to eat and that aren't messy. Bring a favorite toy, book, or other comfort item (or 3!) so they can be more relaxed. For younger children, bringing a grandma, aunt, or favorite babysitter that can get them to smile helps a ton!
 Once you get to the session, let me give all the instructions. My job is to get natural looks and smiles, and often children will give parents cheesy smiles. Stand behind me and let me run the show. I promise you'll be happier with the results! 

"Can I bring samples of poses from magazines that I like?" 
Sure! That will help me get a good feel of what you're looking for! But please, let me choose some poses too.

"How long until I get my images back?"
Due to high demand right now, it will take me between 3-4 weeks to get your photos back to you. Thanks for being patient!  

"Why do I only get 45 pictures back when you took 400?" 
I tend to start snapping the moment i see the potential for a perfect shot. Why? Because people blink, stick their tongue out, stick fingers up noses and all sorts of other fun things. I also manually focus every shot, so I will like 5 or 6 times, just to make sure I got exactly the right bit in focus. If I take a ton, then usually 1 of those will have all hands, fingers, tongues, smiles and focus in just the right place. The rest get deleted immediately to conserve space. 

"Can I photoshop my own images?"
No. You wouldn't buy a Monet just to paint over it! Photography is my art. I will take post processing requests though!

"Can I email my pictures to Aunt Suzy in Siberia, or post them on my Facebook?" 
Unlike many photographers, I do not do prints at this time (although if you want big, professional quality ones, please let me know. I can do them, I just don't offer them as a package at this time). I give you a cd with all of your photos on it. Because of that, I can't stop you from e-mailing or sharing your pictures online. I would just ask that you please give me credit by posting my name and blog address with each photo. Thanks!

“Why should I not print my photos at Walmart when they sell them for $0.15 a copy?”
With a professional photographer you are paying for travel time, equipment set up and break down, superior photo equipment, expert photo composition, years of experience, skills, external hard drive space, and approximately 3-5 hours of photo editing time. As you can see you are paying much more than a person taking pictures. So why print them at a cheap place? You want the quality of the print to be as good as the quality of the actual photograph. Contact me for recommended printers.

I'm sure there will be more to come. If you have other questions, please contact me!


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