FAQ's (scroll down for Wedding specific FAQ's)
What does my session fee include?
The short answer: It includes the session time, editing, props & backdrop choices (if in studio), local travel (if on location), instant previews, an online gallery for viewing and ordering, and web sized digital images from the session (sent via email as a link to a zip file that you then download and save). It also includes stellar customer service!
The long answer: (no need to read this unless you really really want to know)....In addition to the above, it includes my talent and knowledge, the hours I spend communicating with you, setting up for your session, investing in and maintaining computers, software, lenses, camera bodies, lighting, internet that I need to upload the photos, the external storage devices where I store your photos, the online gallery membership fee, memory cards, the highest quality lenses to ensure your photos are as amazing as possible, insurance, sales tax, and other fees. It includes the loss of income that happens to me when you take your photos and print them elsewhere, as well as a humble profit so that I can help pay the bills and feed my family. Just know, I truly appreciate your business, and strive to keep your costs as low as possible without working for free. Photography is not something anyone gets "rich" doing. We do it, because we love it!
What is the BEST way to contact you?
Short answer: my email email@example.com. I prefer having something I can go back and read, to refresh my memory!
Long answer: With social media, email, business phone, texts, messenger, etc...I find myself having to check multiple sources a day for client contacts. I can't always get to them right away, and remembering where to go to get back to someone can sometimes hurt my brain! The BEST way to contact me and ensure a response is through my email, at firstname.lastname@example.org - I am able to flag emails, as well as have a written reference to go back to and see what we've discussed. It's not that I don't want to talk to you, it's just that with two children and sessions and, life in general, my "quiet time" is typically late in the evening. I also need things in writing, because with questions and inquiries coming at me from 20 different sources, I can't remember who I spoke to about what, and when!!
Can I print from the downloads?
Yes, you can if you choose to purchase a digital download from your gallery. It will come with a Personal Use License, however I recommend using your online gallery provided by me for beautiful quality prints. The prices are very reasonable (an 8x10 is just $14!). I can not guarantee quality of a non professional lab, and often, all the beautiful skin tones and color of my images are destroyed when using the wrong lab.
Why are the Newborn Sessions so much more expensive than a regular one? Can't I just have a Newborn Mini?
I wish newborn mini's were possible. Typically a newborn session lasts 3 hours. Newborns have a lot of needs that must be met, and photographing them in the sleeping poses requires a baby who is perfectly content and in a deep sleep. The first hour of the session is normally spent nursing/feeding, burping, changing, then wrapping and putting baby to sleep. Sometimes right when you think they are asleep, they poop and need to be changed, then they're UP and everything starts over again. :) This is totally normal, and often the session begins in hour two when baby finally konks out. So, the time is a factor, adding in the cost of all the wraps and props I provide, plus the extensive editing involved in a newborn session, results in the higher price. I am actually on the low end of what average (professional) newborn sessions cost. I also include the digital files!
Can I edit, crop, colorize, sell, give away, or use the images commercially?
Absolutely not. Please do not do this.
I own the copyright to the photos, and extend a personal use license to you for printing. You are not permitted by law to use or sell any of my images for profit. You are not permitted to give away the digital files, they are for your personal use only. I don't say this to be mean, or greedy! I take my photography very seriously...it is my art, my time and effort. When files are given away in the wrong size, format, etc. it has an effect on the quality. When my name is on my work, I want it to be exactly that, my work! Businesses that wish to use an image for advertising purposes may feel free to contact me directly to purchase the image they desire!
How long does it take to see all my photos?
Portrait sessions average 2 weeks, weddings average 8 weeks.
I am very particular in making sure the best images from the session are immaculate and perfect. This can not be rushed! I also do not start the editing process on your photos until complete payment is made and checks clear the bank (often 10 days). With that said, I always whenever possible, try my best to get you your gallery quicker. I know you are excited to see them, and I'm just as excited to give them to you!
Do you edit every single shot?
I strive to have my shots SOOC (straight out of camera) perfect. Even still, I make mistakes! Mistakes are deleted. For the images that remain, I make a slight adjustment to each one that I see fit, whether it be to enhance color or contrast, or correct a slight technical error. All images receive what I like to call a "once over". After that, I will choose the best images from each pose/outfit/scene and complete a more artistic edit including facial smoothing and blemish/stray hair removal. This is time consuming and can not be done on every single image. If an image that wasn't given this extra edit is ordered from your gallery for print, it will receive that additional processing before it is sent to the lab. I do NOT do additional artistic editing on prints that you plan to print elsewhere. That would just be silly, since a non-pro print lab will surely mess up the colors and clarity anyway.
If I want to get pictures taken how far in advance do I need to set that up?
It's always best to book as far in advance as possible. I am often booked up 2 months in advance and can not always accommodate a last minute request.
A deposit is required to book a date and time. I DO NOT hold dates without a deposit. If we talk about a date and you wait two weeks to send in the deposit, chances are it is already booked.
Newborn Sessions need to be booked before the baby is born. Once the baby arrives a final date/time can be determined, however I typically keep my schedule relatively clear on the weekend near a due date, in order to be sure I have the hours available for a newborn.
Weddings book a year to even two years in advance.
What if we are doing an outdoor photo shoot and it rains, will we reschedule, do I lose my deposit for canceling because of the weather?
No, you do not lose your deposit, in the event of inclement weather we will reschedule, move it into the studio, or you can keep it as a credit towards a future session or mini spot.
If I have to cancel at the last minute due to an emergency (rare) I will give you the option of a refund or reschedule. If you cancel last minute for a non-emergency, your deposit is lost. If you no-show, your deposit is lost and any future sessions scheduled will need to be paid two weeks in advance, in full.
What camera and lenses do you use? I have a DSLR and my photos don't look like yours! Is it all in the editing?
I mainly shoot with a Canon Mark III. At weddings, I also carry a second camera (Canon Mark II) so I don't waste time switching lenses. Lenses in my bag are usually my 100mm, 50mm 1.2L, 35mm 1.4L, 24-70mm 2.8L, 70-200 2.0L, 85mm 1.4, 16-35 2.8L, and my 135mm 2.0L. Editing does play a role in the finished product, depending on whether I am going for a clean edit or a more artistic one. Mainly, the lens and the light are what make your photo amazing. People ask all the time, if the background blur is done in photoshop. No, it's not! Different lenses, depth of field, and focal distances create the blur. Knowing what to do with your camera and lenses, and the light, and when and where to use them is critical and the difference between a professional and a "person with a great camera" who charges people. While I have several "L" series lenses that I love, I also use a few reasonably inexpensive lenses that are amazing. When it comes to gear, it's true that an amateur DSLR and "kit" lenses will only take you so far. With all things photography (including the photographer) you get what you pay for.
Do you shoot weddings by yourself? Aren't two photographers better than one?
95% of my weddings are photographed solo, and no, two is not better.
I have the option to add a second photographer at the request of the couple, but here is why that is not always necessary or even practical. When the timing of the wedding is pretty standard, I never have trouble getting everything. I can be with the bride and her bridesmaids early on, then head over to the men (who don't even begin getting ready until 20 minutes before they have to leave for the ceremony). I have noticed during weddings where there have been two photographers, that I see a lot of photobombing by the other photog. Not on purpose, but often they are in the shot because they are trying to get the same shot from a different perspective. I find that very distracting and unnecessary. I prefer not to rely on someone else to capture the shot. I know I can get it, and how I want it to look, and I like the freedom to move around and not worry about what my other photographer is doing or whether or not they are in my way. On occasions where the bride and groom are getting ready far apart and there is a time constraint, my husband (who also runs the Photo Booth) is an additional photographer for that time frame.