What To Expect When You're Expecting...Your Photography Session
It's easy to get overwhelmed with a photography session for your senior, your family, your kids....basically anything capturing a moment in your life you'd like to remember forever.
I'm here to make it a little easier for you....hopefully.
Every photographer and every process is different, so I'm here to walk you through my process so you know what to expect every step of the way.
Before Your Session
Once I have a date set for you, I will send you a link via email to complete your booking process. Your date is not secured in my calendar until you accept your quote, sign the contract and pay the retainer to hold your date. Sounds overwhelming, but I promise it's a few clicks and you're done! You have 48 hours to complete the process. After that I release your date in order to give everyone access to limited dates on my calendar, so please make sure to get it done.
You will get a confirmation of your booking once your retainer is paid and even better, you'll get a reminder a day or two before your session! I don't know about you, but I forget to write down way too many things, and reminders have saved my clients more than once in the past from missing their session. I definitely don't want you to miss your session!
Outfits. That's a popular question I get after booking is set. "What should we wear?"
My advice is to stay away from matchy-matchy outfits. Everyone in a white tee shirt and jeans, even though it's easy to put together isn't always the best. But the real explanation is harder. My biggest advice is the color wheel. Finding colors that are complimentary and will really bring your pictures to the next level revolve around the color wheel. If you're looking for a super easy explanation and ways to make the color wheel work for your outfits, check this article out. Just scrolling down the page will give you FIVE ways to use the color wheel to maximize your outfits. And odds are, you have something in your closet already that works in one of these five ways!
Ladies, I always advise COMFORT as well. If you're uncomfortable in your outfit, it will show. I do a variety of poses, including sitting and standing, so make sure this is an outfit that can move with you.
Another way I always advise people to go, neutral tones. You can never go wrong with neutrals. Want to add a little more pop to it? Pick a bolder color and use it as your accent color. Grab everyone in your group one accessory in that color. Teal? Dad in khaki shorts and a teal shirt. Mom with a teal necklace. Daughter with a teal wide brim hat....the possibilities to mix and match are endless.
Also, I have a small client closet for young ladies and moms-to-be! These are free to use for your session, just ask about what I have and I'm happy to send you some picture examples of the dresses in use!
Location: We will discuss location after retainers are paid and your questionnaire is filled out. I'm a little secretive about my favorite locations. I've discussed it previously in my blog, so I won't get into it again, but if you're interested in why I don't discuss them before the booking process is completed, you can read my reasons here.
Two days before your session, you will receive an invoice for the balance of your session. Your previous retainer will be taken off whichever Collection you choose, it's never an extra fee. Due to past incidents, I no longer edit any gallery images until the remainder of the Collection is paid in full. This includes sneak peeks. I appreciate your understanding in this matter.
During Your Session
Wherever we've agreed to meet, it's usually a little walk into my ideal shooting location. Make sure you have shoes you can walk in, even if it means bringing an extra pair and changing them out. But don't worry, I do try to keep locations semi-close to parking areas, so wherever we're going is usually within a half mile.
I'm looking for interaction with your family during your session. Snuggle the person next to you. Tickle Mom. Whisper your favorite breakfast cereal in her ear. Some of it sounds crazy but run with it. I'm going for the laugh at the end, the way he nuzzles into you, the giggling between mom and child. If standing and looking at the camera the whole session is your cup of tea, I'm not for you. Sometimes I will tell you to literally look anywhere BUT my camera. I ask you a lot of questions and talk about things in my life that are similar to yours. I love getting to know more about you while we're working and honestly, it loosens people up and they forget they're supposed to be awkward in front of my camera. Especially when I'm working with senior boys. They can be the most awkward in front of my camera and when I say things like "Don't you dare laugh at me," as I crawl up on a tree stump or picnic table to get eye level with them (I'm all of 5'0" tall), the first thing they do, obviously, is laugh at me.
Depending on how old your kids are, or what age level I'm working with, I can usually get what I need within about 45 minutes. Younger kids sometimes require more time, and that's fine! Don't apologize! Older kids that are great at standing still and following directions are less time. Regardless, I know when I've got everything I arrived intending to get and end the session making sure YOU'RE happy as well. If you have anything specific in mind, please let me know and I'm happy to try to work it in for you!
After Your Session
Once I get home from a session, I always pop my camera card right into my computer and start downloading your images. Before I have even left your session, I have probably already decided which picture I'm in love with. Once the images are loaded, I do an edit on my favorite and share it on my Facebook and Instagram pages as a sneak peek. Yes. Sneak peeks are given the same day your session was. Sometimes that's not until 9:00 or 10:00 pm, depending on how much chaos my own children have created in my house while I was gone, but always same day. The very rare instance to this is weddings when I've been working 12 hours on my feet and get home late. Those are done next day.
Additional sneak peeks follow, usually an additional 2-3 over the next several days. Once completed, no more than two weeks, you will receive a link via email of your gallery. You are free to share this gallery with friends and family and use it to proof which images you'd like.
Each image has a number associated with it in the gallery. Depending on which Collection you chose, you can now let me know which number you'd like to fill each part of your Collection. For example: 2-8x10's- #14 & 26. You are free to use as many images as you'd like to fill each part of your order. If you get 8-4x6's, please do not feel like you have to order 8 prints of the exact same thing. If you WANT to, that's fine! But don't feel like you HAVE to. My goal is to get as many images from your gallery into your hands. If you work it right, you may be able to get almost every image in print or digital form. You have two weeks from the time your gallery is activated to get your print order in. Due to a high volume of work, I need to get galleries on my page and ordered in a timely fashion, otherwise it creates a huge backlog on my end. Galleries that are not ordered from and expire after two weeks incur a $25 reactivation fee as it's more time out of my day to get it back up and open for you. I do try to avoid having to charge this fee and you always get a reminder the day before your gallery is set to expire.
Digital downloads, once chosen, will always be loaded into a separate gallery. This gallery will be password protected to protect your downloads from unauthorized people having them. You are free to download them as many times as you want. Please just remember where you are downloading them to for easy access afterwards. Download galleries are only active for one month, so please download them in a timely manner to make sure you have them before your gallery expires.
Once your prints are ordered, I place the order to my lab as soon as I'm possibly able. Please understand that my lab is set up to not only be professional, but to get your prints to you quickly. Therefore, once your order is placed at my lab, I am unable to make changes to it. They tell me I have a half hour to make changes, but I have tried previously to make changes as quick as 10 minutes post order, and they have already started the printing process on my order. So please double check all your image numbers and print sizes before you submit them to me.
And that's it. That's the beginning, middle and end of how my sessions work. Did I miss something you had a question on? Please feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll try to get to it in a future post. Or email me directly at [email protected]
I look forward to seeing you out on the beaches and in the fields!