What should we wear for our family shoot?

Long gone are the days where everyone needs to wear matching khaki's and white t-shirts. Coordination is key, matching is not. For example, pick 3 coordinating colors and go with it. Examples: Purple/Gray/Green, Mint/Coral/White. Blue/Cream/Fuschia. Does someone in your family have a really great print dress? Steal coordinating colors from that to dress everyone else. Don't overthink it, just go with it. No need for everyone to wear the same shade of denim jeans with the boys in one color and the girls in another. Most importantly, make sure everyone is comfortable in what they are wearing. My goal is to capture everyone enjoying themselves, not messing with their clothes. If all else fails, and you're still having a hard time, go on Pinterest and search "coordinating colors" to get some inspiration! You can also shoot me an email - I'd love to help!


What does "on-location" mean?

On-location means any location of your choice, usually somewhere outdoors. Most of my sessions take place at a park, field, or personal property of the client. If you do not have a specific place in mind, I can give some ideas!


Do you have a studio?

Yes, I have a small studio in my home. Currently the studio is only set up for babies under one years of age. All other sessions are "on-location".


Do you print my photo's or do I print them on my own?

You can order prints through my website (coming soon in 2017!). The professional printing company I use has been calibrated with my monitor, so this guarantees the most high-quality prints, canvases, albums, etc. What you see is what you get. The product will look exactly like the digital file that I have carefully edited for you. When I deliver your digital images to you, I also provide a print release, which means you also have the option to print them on your own. I know a lot of people's first thought is to go right to the nearest supermarket or drugstore to print their professional photos, such as Walmart or Walgreens. However I URGE you not to do that. PLEASE DON'T! If you print at any of these type of places, the photos will NOT look like they do on your computer screen. If you do not want to order your prints or products through my shop, I strongly recommend mpix.com.  This is the only online printing company that I have found to come even remotely close to matching the original digital photos that I've edited for you, although there will still be differences. I also cannot guarantee quality and color when printing from anywhere other than my shop.

You've invested your money and time into getting your photos done professionally; don't skimp out when printing them!


What lenses do you use?

I'm a simple girl (at least when it comes to photography, ha!) and will always choose my 35mm 1.4 prime lens whenever I can. I love it! I also have a 50mm 1.4 prime and a 24-70mm 2.8 zoom lens that I use in the studio or in smaller areas. Of course I would LOVE to have a couple other lenses, but the lenses I currently have will get the job done for now :)


What software do you use in post-processing?

Adobe Lightroom. Sometimes I do use Adobe Photoshop, especially for newborn photos, but primarily I use Lightroom.


What does "lifestyle" mean, and how is that different than studio sessions?

Lifestyle and Studio sessions are pretty much opposites of each other. Studio sessions are 100% posed. For example, if you are booking a Studio Newborn session, I will have props and poses ready for the baby. Those photos you see on Pinterest of a newborn baby propped up in a basket? Those are studio sessions - my assistant will pose baby in specific ways to get the photos we want. Alternatively, I also offer Lifestyle Newborn sessions, which means I will come to your house and capture real-life, regular (but oh so meaningful) moments. This includes moments such as Mom feeding baby, Dad rocking baby to sleep, Baby snuggling between her parents in their bed, and of course photos of the adorable nursery!

Basically:

Studio = Posed

Lifestyle = Candid, Real Life


What if the weather is bad on the day of my shoot?

We will play it by ear, and if we come to the conclusion that we need to reschedule, we will! I have some flexibility in my schedule specifically for situations like this so that we can reschedule for another day within the same week if necessary.


I don't understand why having a professional photographer take pictures of my family is so expensive, when I can just do it myself.

So this isn't really a question, but I get it. The way I see it, people will invest in the things that are important to them. Whether it's getting your hair done, buying some clothes, date night with the spouse, or buying Starbucks every day -- you make sure you can swing it. You don't get this time back with your family and/or children. They may be 6 months or 2 years old now, but it'll go by in a flash, and you will wish you had at least a tiny little part of it professionally documented, because as a professional, I know how to capture those beautiful moments of love, silliness, intimacy, and admiration between a family.

It is a common misconception that all you need is a decent DSLR camera to be a good photographer. I don't claim to be amazing or have all the answers, but I do know the difference between art and a photo. "Art can come in many forms, but it is when you add skill into the equation that the real beauty happens. Something with intent, meaning, emotion, and eye and passion is what I can see when I am looking at art. If I can't see those things, to me it is just a thing or just a photo.  As far as photography, art does not just happen from picking up a camera when you have no idea on how to use it. The camera, lens, subject, lighting and equipment are only the tools to create the beauty,  you can't just pick them up not knowing how to use them and create magic. It would be like having all the parts to build a car with no knowledge or experience on how... do you think a safe and functioning car will be built? What about a home? You can have all the wood tools and materials but does that mean you could go ahead and build a home with no knowledge on how?"*

If you are price shopping for a photographer to see how much bang for your buck you can get, then I may not be the photographer for you. And that's ok!  My goal is for clients to come to me not for my price, but for what they will receive as far as my work. Being viewed for my quality of work that has emotion and substance - and not how many files I can give you for a low price - is what I strive for. This is why I spend countless hours learning, improving, and investing in my craft.

Photography is an art, and the clock doesn't stop ticking for me when I am done photographing you. The 1.5 hours that I spend with you is actually just a fraction of the time I put into the photos themselves. This is a breakdown of what I invest into just your session alone:

  • 1+ hours of pre-shoot work (emails, consults, gathering & packing equipment, supplies, props, etc.)
  • 1+ hours of shooting, trying to connect with you/your kids, along with graciously and patiently accommodating questions, suggestions, and changes
  • 10-30 minutes of editing per image - not because the image wasn't shot well, but because I can't control the environment, weather, blinking eyes, and all the other unforeseen circumstances that may affect the image.
  • 5+ hours of everything else (driving, ordering, packaging, posting online, shopping for props, scouting for good shoot sites, etc.)

Photographers invest thousands of dollars in props, software and equipment, then spend endless hours learning how to create beautiful images. They don't get paid vacation or sick days; they don't get bonuses for growing and improving in their profession or for the holidays. They don't have insurance plans, benefits, or retirement. They pay at least 35% of any profits to licenses, federal/state taxes, self-employment tax, equipment insurance, and tons of professional fees to continue to offer the best possible product to clients.

Please understand that photographers are business owners and they have a genuine love for photography... but that love does not pay the bills.

I will provide you with images and art that I have poured my heart into, for you to display around your house, post on social media - and most importantly - look back on years from now with the memory of who everyone once was, and how much they've changed since. Sure, you can take family pictures with your iPhone and print them at SAM's Club. But I promise it will be nothing like what I can provide you.

*excerpt from Ali Haley Visual Finesse


Do you offer gift certificates or have a referral program?

I do! If a new client books with me because of your personal referral, you will receive $25 off of your next session, and they will receive $10 off of their first session! Referral discounts only apply to full sessions, and there is no limit to how many you refer, however the offer is for new referrals only.