Here you’ll find the answers to some of the questions I get asked most often. If you have a question that is not listed below, feel free to use the contact form to ask!
When is the best time to shoot?
Ideally, because I choose to shoot using available natural light, the best times to shoot are in the early mornings or late evenings (about 1-2 hours before sunset) when the light outside is soft. This is the time of day that will provide the most flattering light for your photos. If we’re shooting indoors, it all just depends on the natural light available at the location that you choose.
Where should we shoot?
I like to tell clients to think of a place that holds meaning to you (where you got engaged, a first date, etc.) or a place that you enjoy (for kids to run around and be silly). The photos I take are going to be part of your story — so choose a place that you connect with. That helps big time in making the session unique and personal to you. Leave the rest up to me.
What should I wear?
No graphic tees. Kind of a joke, but not really. I just don’t think graphic tees photograph all that well — unless it is intentionally used as part of your story. Then maybe I’ll make an exception!
My advice to clients is to choose outfits that you feel comfortable in. If you feel comfortable, you’ll be confident. And that will show in your photographs. As far as colors and all that — go with outfits that complement, and aren’t too matchy matchy. Don’t be afraid to layer, and mix and match patterns (but don’t go overboard). Focus on small pops of color. Some places I like to shop are J. Crew/Crew Cuts, Anthropologie, Nordstrom, Gap, Francesca’s, and Old Navy. Check out my Pinterest board for more ideas.
If you’re looking for a photographer to shoot your family in khakis or denim and white shirts … you might want to look for someone else that more closely fits that style of photography.
How long does a session last?
It all depends on the light available. On average, my sessions last between 1.5-3 hours, or when the sun goes down. Newborn sessions will take longer to allow for feeding time, changing, etc. This is why it’s important to be on-time and prepared so we can maximize our shoot time together! Bring snacks for the kids and get them down for naps in advance so they’re full of energy. We will tire them out.
When should I expect my photos to be done?
Within 1-2 days, you will see a preview of the session posted to the blog and/or Facebook (so be sure to follow me there!). During the shoot, I can usually pick out a favorite image in my head that will be the shot I’ll share prior to editing the entire session.
For portrait sessions, expect to see your photos within 3-4 weeks. This includes your photos in an online proofing gallery and a set of 4×6 proofs mailed to you. For weddings, between 6-8 weeks. But, it’s almost always done sooner — it just depends what’s going on at the time.
How many photos will I get?
At the very minimum, you will receive 20-30+ images for portrait and engagement sessions delivered to you in a beautiful, mobile-friendly online viewing gallery. This number is typically higher because all of my clients are so awesome that it’s hard to narrow it all down. But — I strive for quality, not quantity. You could have 50 so-so images that you won’t print and just store away in a box, or five amazing images that you blow up into canvas prints for your wall. See where I’m going with this?
I’m camera shy.
So am I!
What I tell clients is this: think of our session as an opportunity to spend quality time together. Enjoy each other’s company and just love one another. Laugh, hug, kiss — all you need to do is have fun. I’ll help direct you, but I promise that most of it will come naturally.
For family sessions, we’ll spend a lot more time doing, instead of trying to get everyone to look at the camera at once. I love — and prefer — action shots to posed.
Do you mind if we bring props?
I don’t mind at all — but, I would suggest to be thoughtful about the props you choose. Sometimes I think props can be distracting if they are forced into images for the sake of using a prop; however, if the prop is incorporated into a session’s overall “theme”, then I think it is okay! Use your best judgement, and let me know if you need a second opinion.
Why should I order prints from a professional lab instead of sending them to Costco or Walmart?
There’s a lot of work that goes into ensuring our images look their best for the final product. Part of that includes calibrating monitors to ensure color accuracy, which in turn makes photos look so much better. Any post-production editing work that photographers do allows them to control the end result so that the image is consistent with their style and body of work.
So, because I’d hate to see that hard work go to waste, as well as the time and money you spent to hire a photographer, I recommend ordering from a professional print lab who calibrates their printers regularly, and whose quality we know and trust. I print all client orders through White House Custom Color.
To me, there’s nothing like having a physical print to hold in your hands. I think it’s important for clients to see their images on something that is not a computer screen. For this reason, clients receive a set of 4×6 proofs from the session so they can see their images in their true intended form.
There are several blogs out there who compare different labs, including Target. Decide for yourself here.