Welcome back for part two of my Frequently Asked Questions! As I create this post, it is 30 degrees outside, something a bit unusual here along the coast. It seems like a great day to create the second part of this list and answer some more of your questions. Remember that part one can be found in the blog post just before this one on my website. So let’s continue the conversation about me and my photography and what you can expect when we work together…
What is included in a session? – Well, that depends on what type of session you choose! However, in general terms, your session fee investment begins with your full client experience, from beginning to end. When you book with me, I work to create an experience for you that goes beyond “just a photo session.” From our first chat till the end, it is my hope we will build a friendship that we will each cherish as we create beautiful memories for you to hold on to. Your client experience should have a luxury feel. There is a lot that goes into planning a session and completing a session. After your photo session, you will receive a private, online gallery with your completed images. In that gallery you may order prints in a variety of different formats and you will also have the option of purchasing your gallery images in high-resolution digital files. I will also share how you may purchase a photo album or receive one as my gift to you!
What is a Legacy Session and how is it different from a Family Session? – Oh, Friend, Legacy is so much more and it truly is something unique and special! To really understand Legacy, I invite you to visit my website and take in the details. However, let me share a bit of this special offering here as well. A Legacy Session has a specific purpose and it all begins with a handwritten letter. For some it may be documenting a new birth, celebrating a special anniversary, celebrating a parent’s love for their children, handing down a family heirloom, documenting a pivotal point in a person’s life, documenting the life of an aging or ill family member, etc. The reason for this special session is to recognize the significance of that journey and to intentionally photograph and record it in a way that forever memorializes its importance.
Legacy Sessions do require a lot of work from both of us. They require some planning meetings, one or more photo sessions, a session to shoot flat lays and a session to record the audio reading of that letter. In the end you receive your gallery of completed images, just like a Family Session. But you also receive an Heirloom photo album and a video book that will give you a lifetime of memories and may be passed down through generations. Often, families will purchase additional albums and video books so that everyone has a lasting record of that beautiful experience to forever hold on to. A Legacy Session is an investment and its value becomes priceless. Whatever your reason for Legacy, I am here to walk that journey with you and share in your awareness that life is delicate and precious and each of us has a story worthy of being remembered.
I have horses and want to know about your Equine Sessions – Horses, like wolves, have a special place in my heart. While living in PA, I had the honor of volunteering my photography for a non-profit horse farm that was part of a larger non-profit. Their mission was to save these special wild horses in North Dakota, the Nokota horse. While I’ve never learned to ride a horse, I became fascinated with these horses and their ancient language that belongs only to them. I was blessed to watch a trainer communicate with these horses and connect with them through Natural Horsemanship. It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever witnessed. The Nokota horse will forever hold a piece of my heart.
It is because of my time with the Nokota horses, that I fell in love with Equine Sessions. Today I offer these sessions to capture the special bond between a horse and its human partner. You may choose to be in the photos with your horse, or simply have me photograph your horse. These sessions are similar to Family Sessions, in that they are held outdoors and last one hour. You will receive a private, online gallery with your completed images and will have the ability to order prints in a variety of different formats. You may also purchase your high-resolution digital files through that gallery. As always, you have the ability to purchase photo albums and I will share with you how you may receive a photo album as my gift to you!
How do I book a session? – The easiest way to book a session with me is to visit my website and fill out the form on my Contact Me page. I will respond back and we go from there! Of course you may always reach out by email, phone or a message on social media. I will get your contact information and go from there. We will discuss your session options, learn a bit about each other and what you hope to capture. From there you will complete your contract, submit your first payment and book a session date!
Where can my session take place? – There are endless possibilities with this question. In general, I photograph my sessions outdoors in natural light, utilizing the best light of the day as much as possible. Living at the beach, I know most families prefer beach sessions, and we have numerous spots to photograph beach sessions. However, I love photographing families in open space with the greens of trees and wooded areas as well. Some families want to hold their sessions at a family home or farm. Really, there are endless possibilities. We will discuss options and find a location that gives you the look you want as your backdrop.
How far in advance do I need to schedule my session? – Speaking in general terms, if there is a specific date or week you need your session to be scheduled, please reach out early to give us the best chance of accommodating your needs. Living in a coastal area, spring, summer and fall get busy. I am intentional with my bookings and will not overbook sessions. I want to ensure I am able to give my clients my full time and attention and I do not want to rush your session. I limit how many sessions I will shoot in a week to allow time for processing galleries and staying on track. No one wants delayed gallery deliveries and excuses on why things are late. Again, that is a part of your client experience and I aim to make it the best!
Can I bring my pet to our session? – Yes, absolutely! However, if you do plan to bring your pet, I ask that you please share that with me when we chat about planning your session at the beginning. Not all locations allow pets and it helps me to know when I am planning out your sessions details. Here is a piece of advice if you plan to bring your pet…Please also bring a friend or family member who is not participating in your session! You will want someone there who can hold and take care of your pet while we shoot the pictures they are not a part of. If not, you will be distracted and not fully present in your session and your experience will not be what you hope. Also remember to bring poop bags and water for your pet as well!
Can I share my photos on social media? – When we are planning your session, I will suggest you follow my social media pages and I will follow yours! Once your session is complete, I will always share sneak peaks on my social pages and once your full gallery is complete, I will again share some images on my social pages that highlight your session. It makes my day when you repost those images with friends and family! Just please remember to also provide my photo credit. Besides, there is no better compliment you can give me than to share my work and my business! Please don’t alter my completed images either. Your posted images are a direct reflection on my work and my vision and should be presented that way to others. Thank you!
What is the best time of day to shoot my session? – Ideally the best natural lighting occurs in the time period just after sunrise and just before sunset and then right at sunset. When the sun is high in the sky, it will create harsh lines and shadows and wash everything out. It makes you squint as well. So I strive to shoot my sessions in the hour or so before sunset and in that beautiful light of sunset. That’s when the light falls evenly and casts a warm glow. With that said, I will occasionally shoot earlier, provided the location gives us natural, open, shaded areas to filter out the harsh light. This means in the summer months when the sun sets later, your session times will be later. As the sun sets earlier, your sessions would start earlier. Additionally, while each session is one-hour long, I always ask that you arrive early to the session and not have any place to be immediately after. It allows us to meet up, chat and get settled and relaxed and then move into the session a bit early. It also affords us a cushion at the end.
I want to print some pictures from my session but your print lab prices are more expensive than other printers. Why are they more expensive and what’s wrong with these other printers? – I left this question for last because I want the answer to stay with you. It’s a valid question with an important answer. I am going to use that familiar phrase again – You get what you pay for! Let’s recap for a moment…You reached out and went through the process of selecting me as your photographer. Then you invested your hard-earned money into this photography session experience. We had a fun evening creating magical images that left you and your family full of love and gratitude for each other and you’re now looking at your beautiful pictures and figuring out where you can hang them, show them off in a frame and even considering creating a photo album so you may have all your favorites held lovingly in one place to forever hold close and cherish. You would love to print them all but as you finalize your choices, it hits you…if you just purchase the digital files, you could have them printed somewhere else, like Target, Walmart, Costco, Shutterfly, etc. and pay less! Yes, you would pay less for the prints, but you’re forgetting something important. How long do you want those prints to last? Are you concerned with the color-accuracy and making sure they look like the magical images you see on your screen?
As your photographer, trust me when I say that I know the value of a moment. I know the gift of a photograph when it is all you have to look back on and remember a person, a time, a love. I have intentionally opted to work with only the best professional print labs for a reason. They use only the best photo papers and archival inks. They are also able to handle the large digital files that contain your images, unlike the cheaper printers. This means you will not have issues with compression and distorted pictures. Their sole mission is to print your pictures on the best papers with the best inks and ensure your images will not fade or be altered years down the road. Long after we are gone, those images will still reflect the same beauty they held the day they were printed. The generations to come in your family will be able to hold these pictures and see you without fading and discoloration. That, my Friend, is a priceless gift. So, yes, my lab fees are more expensive. But you’ve invested in your family and this photo session and come this far…I believe you and your family are worth the investment of only the best printed pictures and albums. You deserve to have these treasured memories to always look at in their most beautiful rendition. Give yourself this gift. You will never regret it!
And that’s a wrap on this two-part series! I have covered the most frequently asked questions and I hope you find them helpful! As always, if you have questions or concerns, please reach out and let’s talk!
May you always walk in beauty….