Friday, August 14, 2009

Client EDU: FAQ's {Williamsport, PA Photographer}

I seem to get a lot of the same questions from my clients, so I decided to start a FAQ post. I will keep the list updated. If you have a question, send it to me at

What should we wear to our session?
Well, this really depends on the type of session you're booking. It will be easier to start with what NOT to wear:

Clothing with large logos/characters (exception: if your child has a favorite shirt that you want to remember, bring it along for a few shots)

Busy/conflicting patterns- For group portraits solid colors work best.

You don't all have to wear the same color, just make sure they compliment each other. As a general rule, everyone should have light colors or dark colors (ex: if dad is wearing a navy blue shirt, then everyone else should wear deep colors as well).

All white shirts seems to be a popular choice, but it does not always work out. For one, and this is especially true with larger groups, the viewer's eye will be drawn to the "blob" of white shirts, instead of the subjects face.

My style of photography is more laid-back, so you don't need to wear your Sunday best. In fact, I'd prefer to capture your family's everyday style. After all, you want to remember your identity as a family unit at this time in your lives.

Please dress babies like babies :o) If a child can't stand on their own yet, do not wear overalls or they'll scrunch up around their face. Babies under 6 months will mostly be photographed in their beautiful bare skin.

Ladies- avoid embarrasing mistakes- wear skin colored undergarments with light colored pants/shirts. Do not wear white under white- it will show through.

Seniors- Bring several of your favorite outfits. Layers of clothing always look great. Also bring a classic outfit that will not look out of style 20 years from now (gotta please your mom!)

Make sure your nails are done- french manicures are best. I also photograph people in their bare feet. Put on an extra coat of mascara, even if you don't normally wear it. Trust me on this one. Bring along chapstick and foundation/powder for touch-ups.

Sleevless/short sleeve shirts tend to make your arms look larger than they are.

Do not spray tan, or become overly tan for your session. You will look unnatural in your portraits, and being overly tan can add "weight" in your pictures.

And lastly, don't be afraid to break the rules! I happen to like bold colors, large stripes, knit hats on kids, etc...But always bring along several outfits that follow the "rules" as well.

When is the best time to have my newborn session?

Newborn sessions take place within the first 2 weeks after the baby's born. The sooner, the better. About an hour before your session loosen baby's clothing and diaper so they don't have red marks on their skin. Make sure your house is extra warm. Have a solid, dark (preferably black) shirt for you and dad to wear.

How often should I have my baby/child's photograph taken?

Well, in the first 2 years of life your child changes so rapidly, you don't want to miss any milestones. I have a baby plan set up for after the newborn session, and you can get their pictures at 3/6/9/12 months, or 4/8/12, or just 6/12. I then recommend again at 18 months, and 2 years. Then I recommend having a session at each "stage" of your child's life, or approximately every 2 years.

When is the best time for outdoor pictures?

The few hours before sunset are best, or early in the morning. After 11 am the sun is too harsh and will not create the best light to work in.

What should I expect during/after our session?

You should expect to have fun! I try to keep the session light-hearted and fun for everyone involved, including the men! (I know they're usually the least enthusiastic about the session) I want to get pictures of you and your family interacting with each other. I'll have you play with your kids, I want you to act natural. I'll also arrange a few relaxed poses. A typical session lasts 2-3 hours, so I'll photograph many combinations.

Why should we have an engagement session?

Engagement sessions are very important. For one, you're only engaged once, so why not? But really the main reason is to get to know me if I'll be photographing your wedding. Most people have not had a camera focused on them all day, so it helps you to be more relaxed and comfortable on your wedding day when you've had an engagement session. I can also design save-the-dates, guest books, and awesome wedding favors from your engagement pictures.

What the heck is a Rock the Dress session?

After the wedding, it's an opportunity to wear your dress one last time and go out and have fun in it! We'll get to do poses that we couldn't do on your wedding day, and it also allows for more pictures of you and your hubby together. Brides are LOVING them so far, so I highly recommend the splurge :o) It's never too late to have a session, even if you were married years ago. It would be perfect to do on an anniversary.

Do you offer wedding packages?

I will customize a package to fit your needs and budget. I chose not to do a one-size-fits-all package list, because each bride is unique. Please contact me for details.

I'm getting married outside of Williamsport, PA, are you available?

Absolutely! I do have a small travel fee, so contact me with your date/location and I'll let you know if I'm available.

How far in advance should I book my wedding?

I'm booking for weddings up to 18 months out, so as soon as you know you may want to use me as your photographer we'll set up a consultation. I'm only taking on 2 weddings a month, so my schedule will fill up fast.

Do we get to see every single picture that you take?

No. When you hire me, you're trusting me as an artist to deliver only the best portraits. Not every picture I take will be worthy of viewing. I often take several shots of one "pose" or moment just to make sure I get one with everyone looking, no eyes closed, etc.... My clients only get the "creme de la creme" :o)

Can we pull our pics off your site and use them in e-mails/screensavers/facebook?

I will gladly send you a few watermarked images to use on the web, but I do ask that you include a link to my site with each picture.

I want to be a photographer, can you help??

I absolutely love my job, it's what I've always wanted to do, but it's NOT easy! It is very hard to make a living off of photography and it is very expensive to get started in. I recommend starting out slow- buy an slr camera, a flash, computer, and a few good books. Take your time and learn your camera inside and out. You need to have a thorough understanding of aperture, shutter speed, and iso, among many other things. You have to have good people and customer service skills. You also have to have good business skills. This has been 75% business, and 25% photography for me. The business end can be a bit overwhelming if your not prepared for it. I'm talking about everything from setting your prices, to accounting, to marketing, etc..... You also have to take into account the need in your area (as with any business). I don't want to be discouraging or scare anyone away, but I do want to be honest. I know when I started I didn't realize what a long road it would be, but for me, it is completely worth it.

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