FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS A PHOTO SHOOT LIKE?
Every photo shoot is just a little different, depending on the location, type of shoot, number of people, etc. But in general, you will receive all the information for your shoot via email and in your contract. This includes the date, time we are meeting, a map or address of the location, and any other specific information you need. Each photo shoot is between about an hour and two hours where we will be taking tons of pictures in different poses and different backgrounds at our location. You are welcome to bring outfit changes – seniors usually bring about three outfits per session. You can change as many times as you’d like. Before we start, we’ll chat about specific pictures wanted, posing, feeling confident in front of the camera, and a basic timeline of our session. Throughout the session, we’ll chit chat, laugh, goof around, and mostly have a great time while getting some fabulous photos. After your shoot, it takes about three weeks to edit your photos (see questions below) and get them posted to your online gallery where you can place digital and print orders. Please see my What To Expect page for a more detailed description of a typical photo shoot.
HOW DO I PICK A LOCATION?
I am an on-location, natural light photographer, so I use outdoor lighting in outdoor settings as much as possible. Location is one of the most important things to choose for your photo shoot, it really enhances your personality and atmosphere of the shoot. So it’s important to think about what you like: nature, urban, rustic, casual, grunge? Based on what you are interested in, I have tons of great locations, and am adding more all the time. Before I send out your contract, we will talk about what you are most interested in and what’s best for your shoot. Of course, I am always open to new and unique places, and am happy to work with specific location requests.
WHAT DO I WEAR?
Here are the most important bullet points about what to wear:
- Do not wear white, it will wash you out in the photos.
- Avoid solid black, it casts dark shadows in already dark areas, like around the eyes. Some black, or black with color (big jewelry or a scarf) is fine.
- Avoid neon as it casts odd color reflections on your skin and other people in the photos.
- Mix and match families in different textures and patterns, all jeans and solid color shirts takes away from everyone’s personalities, and plus it just doesn't look good in photos. Do not wear jeans and white shirts. It may be easy to plan, but I promise it just doesn't photograph well.
- Wear something that you feel completely comfortable and confident in. If you can look in the mirror and say, “Man, I look good!” Then wear that!
HOW MUCH DOES A PHOTO SHOOT COST AND WHAT IS INCLUDED?
A photo shoot includes the time and talent of the photographer, the time it takes to edit 30-40 of the best photos (or 60-65 for Extended Session), and the development of your private password-protected online gallery. This includes any of the following photo shoot categories (plus others not listed): children (age 6mo+), seniors, portraits, modeling, couples, engagements, maternity, families, groups, etc. Newborns and groups of 7+ etc. With the Basic Session, prints, products, digital files on thumb drive, single digital files, albums, and custom items can be ordered after your session. Weddings are customized to fit your needs and purchased in a package for special discounts. Corporate and commercial photography are priced on a case-by-case basis depending on your specific needs.
DO YOU “PHOTOSHOP” THE PHOTOS?
If by “Photoshop” you mean edit, then yes, absolutely! I take great care with each and every photograph to make you look your very best. I use several different software to edit each photo, and adjust exposure, contrast, cropping, tone, white balance, and many, many more things. The photos displayed on your gallery are the 110% best product that I can give you based on our photo shoot.
WHAT ABOUT ALL THOSE PICTURES YOU TOOK? WHY CAN’T I HAVE ALL OF THEM?
I often take between 300-800 photos each session, yet present 30-40 of your best images, and you may wonder, what happened to all those other pictures? Can I have those too? Can I at least see them? Taking all those photos is part of my creative process, sometimes I’m just doing a random test shot to test lighting and color, sometimes I’m gathering information on how you look your best (lighting, poses, etc), and sometimes I’m trying something different and pushing my creativity to see how it works. Not to mention, in three quarters of those 1000 photos someone is blinking, talking, or looking a weird direction. I also don’t give some photos because some are just not flattering, and I want you to look 110% your best. Which is why I don’t give photos of every pose, every outfit (if there were several changes), and every location, but instead comb through those 1000 photos and choose the very best photos to edit and present. When I present you with your 30-40 edited photos, they are the best of the best of your poses, outfits, lighting, etc.
The editing process takes several hours per photo, I often make 100’s of corrections to one photo (exposure, contrast, tone, skin touch ups, lighting curves, etc.). So by the time you are presented with your 30-40 photos, you look your best, are posed your best, and are presented in the most flattering way possible. On that note, if there is a photo you absolutely need, for example a head shot for the yearbook, a horizontal family shot for above the fireplace, or a formal photo in your best dress for Grandma, let me know that before your shoot. I have to plan to take those photos as it is extremely difficult if not impossible to try to “find”a photo from your shoot that meets those qualifications.
But can I at least see all the photos you ask? Because of the format the photos are taken in, and the extremely large file size, it would be impossible for you to view all the pictures. Special software is needed just to read the file. Plus, I present you with beautiful edited photos, I do not display any unedited work for any reason. What I have is 1000 negatives, they are what is needed to present fabulous photography, but in and of themselves, they are just raw data that needs additional processing. Editing is just as much a part of the photography process as taking the photos. It would be like showing you the ingredients of a wedding cake and asking you to pick the wedding cake design you liked best. You can’t decide by looking at a bowl of sugar and some eggs, you have to see the finished product to make a decision. So, by hiring me, I ask that you trust me to use my best professional opinion and skill to present you with fabulous photos that are technically refined and flatteringly beautifully.