Many of the usual questions have been answered in other page posts on the blog (i.e. “what to wear” or “when’s the best time to have maternity/newborn portraits taken”) but some of the most often asked questions pertain to things I don’t typically photograph, so if you have enquiring mind and want to know, here you go… (and yes, these are exact questions I’ve received either in person, on the phone or through email)
Hey, I love your work and want to hire you to photograph our wedding, but I don’t see any wedding pictures or prices on your website, what gives? Oh, this is a good one, and one I get all winter long… Here’s the deal, occasionally you’ll find me out second shooting with a local wedding photographer, but mostly I don’t shoot weddings. It’s not that I don’t love them, I do, but I love my weekends more. Now if you are having a small, intimate wedding, or better yet you’re going to some remote, tropical paradise, then by all means send me a note, I would love to chat with you further about your special day. If you are having a large, all day bash to celebrate your love please take your time and feel free to interview more than one wedding photographer, but know that I’m not your gal, as much as I love a good wedding (I had one of those, with 450+ guests and 22 total attendants), I really prefer spending my Saturdays with my kids, running from soccer fields, to baseball fields, to football fields. I’m happy to refer you to some good photographers if you’re having a hard time locating one you really connect with.
Whoa, cool, I see you have the same camera I have, but how come my pictures don’t look like yours? First, congrats on taking the plunge on such a nice camera 🙂 There are many reasons your pictures don’t look like mine, one because we have different eyes, seeing the world differently, we could be taking a picture of the exact same thing and yet they will be remarkably different. You may not know your camera quite as well as I know mine, or you may shoot with different settings, different lenses etc. Now if you have a question about the camera I’m happy to answer it if possible.
Hey, those are really cute hats and baskets I see in your pictures, are they yours or do I have to bring them with me? Most of the hats, headbands, blankets, baskets etc. you see in the pictures are mine. Occasionally I will have a client bring in a hat, headband or something special they want in their pictures but most often I choose hats and baskets based on the age of the child and the type of session we’re doing. If you have a something you’d like to use in your session let me know, I’m happy to incorporate it. Better yet if you see something you think might be cute for the studio, call me up and let me know, I love updating the studio props, keeps things interesting 😀
Do you shoot in a studio or my house? This is a fun one, because the answer is both. I have a studio in my home that I use all year for newborns, and in the coldest of cold months for littles or maternity sessions. I also will travel to you if you prefer. The sessions done in your home are considered “lifestyle” sessions. I use your home as the backdrop and the natural light coming in the windows as my lighting source. These really are some of my very favorite sessions, they are much more intimate and meaningful and often with toddlers much more relaxing. During the warmer months of March through November when possible I prefer to head outside and shoot in local parks, backyards, alleys and anywhere else I can find that will make for an interesting backdrop. Have a place in mind you’d like to use, let me know, just like purchasing new props, new locations make things interesting and keep the creative juices flowing.
So I contacted another photographer and they only charge $100 and that includes a disk with the images on it, do you give the disk too? This is tough one, there are many good photographers that do this, and many really poor photographers too. While I do offer digital collections I do not give the disk with the session fee. I am a custom boutique photographer, which means that I take on a limited number of sessions in order to make sure each session is unique and truly fitted to you and your family. I spend a lot of time before, during and after each session ensuring you have the best experience possible. I spend roughly 6-10 hours per client (more for my senior portrait clients), starting from the moment you contact me and we email or chat back and forth, to preparing the studio for the session, the session itself, the sneak peeks, editing the session (typically 2 hours in itself), resizing and uploading the images to the slideshow and the shopping cart, preparing the order for the lab, sending it to the lab, checking and boxing the order when it arrives and finally either shipping, delivering or being available for pick up of the order. Now I know if I went to all digital I could eliminate a couple of those steps but it wouldn’t be enough of a change to still live off that $100. If it’s a bargain you’re looking for there are many, many photographers out there offering just that a bargain, some are better than others so make sure you do your research. If it’s a custom experience you’re looking for with attention to detail and someone that you connect with then please take the time to figure out your budget then give me a call, I always work within a clients budget to give them the absolute most they can get for their money. I’ve had clients call me, tell me they want my services but know that in their budget they most likely can only afford one great wall portrait, so that is what we strive for. Now it would be nice if we all had Oprah’s budget, but the reality is I too live in the real world and have a real budget, I know what it means to make an effort to afford something great, so that is what I always strive to give you.
I like the “studio” look but I’m worried how my child will do with studio lights, are there other options? It is my dream to some day own a natural light studio (or rent one, renting is fine too) but for now the studio doesn’t have any natural light so studio lights it is. The good news is there are LOTS of options outside of the studio. While you won’t have that “studio” look, sometimes (who am I kidding, most times) using your home as the backdrop gives children a sense of calm, while yes this means they act more like themselves, isn’t that really what you want to capture anyway? Being able to use your home and the natural light it has in it is such a simple way to make the session unique to you and save you from worrying about flashing studio lights. Now, if your home is abnormally dark (if you live in the woods for instance) I may have to use a flash bounced off a wall or ceiling for some of the images, but if your child is really sensitive to that let me know and we can work on making it a session that is 100% flash free, it will just take a little more planning on our parts, not a big deal. I would much rather spend a little bit of time planning out the session to make the most of the experience and have a happy child than find out the hard way that flashing lights is not something they love.
My baby is 4 weeks old, can I still do a newborn session? Great question! The answer is “sort-of”. I know what you’re thinking, what kind of an answer is that. Unless baby was a premie odds are at 4 weeks, they startle much easier, there’s a good chance they’ve broken out in baby acne and cradle cap may be rearing it’s ugly head too. All of this means, those sweet, curled up sleeping pictures you see on my blog and website are much harder to obtain. It doesn’t mean it can’t be done, but it will take a lot of effort on both our ends. Now I have had a one or two babies at that age that still had beautiful skin and slept like a dream through their session, but that is the exception, not the rule. Be prepared to be in many of the images, as I find baby in mom/dad’s arms is a must at this age. Just know that it is a different kind of session and be prepared that those sleeping pictures may be difficult to come by.
What kind of camera do you have? Will you teach me how to use my camera? I am currently shooting with a Nikon D700 and using a Nikon D7000 as a back-up (and all around camera for my personal images). I have flipped back and forth between Nikon and Canon for the last several years, but having just sold all of my Canon gear I have committed myself to Nikon from here on out (don’t fail me now Nikon!). I wish I had the time to teach everyone how to use their cameras, but it just isn’t feasible. Some day I may start a class for beginners, but for now I just don’t have the time. There are many resources online that will help you learn more about photography. Searching Pinterest alone will yield a ton of information. I always say start with your manual, it’s there for a reason. Even after all these years when I get a new camera I still read the manual, pretty much cover to cover.
I would love to job shadow you, do you offer that at all? Nope, sorry, not at this time. I do occasionally have a need for an assistant and I post such requests on my Facebook page, but for now I’m a one woman show and I like it that way.
Have a question I didn’t answer? Feel free to post it in the comments and I’ll gladly add it to the list.