Frequently Asked Questions
What is your re-scheduling policy?
How long does it take to receive our photos?
How far in advance do I need to book you?
What should we wear?
What time of day is best for our session?
When do you recommend scheduling maternity sessions?
How does newborn session scheduling work?
Will you recreate photos I found on pinterest or elsewhere?
I have young children and family portraits are always a challenge - what can I do to make my photos be the best?
I’m self-conscious about that stubborn baby weight, or a blemish on my face, or something else…can you help me with that?
In the case of bad weather, we’ll wait until the day of your session to make the call since Seattle weather is fairly unpredictable. If it’s overcast/cloudy, we’ll still do the session (and the soft light from a cloudy day is actually great for photos – no harsh shadows on faces that way). If it’s raining, you have two options…1) you can reschedule the session based on my availability, and I leave some buffer in my schedule specifically for clients that need to reschedule based on weather, so I can usually fit you in the following week or two in this case OR 2) you can change to a different indoor location (I don’t have a studio, but I have some suggestions I can give you for options here).
Note: You can also request a small change to the start time (for example, if your child's nap time has changed) or a different location by contacting me 8 days prior to the scheduled Session date.
I also allow you to reschedule for other circumstances (for example, a sick child) – however, I only allow 1 reschedule to a different day at the committed price…after that if my prices have increased on my website, you will have to pay the new rate. Your deposit in these cases will still be applied as long as you give me at least 4 hours notice and of course all change requests are subject to my availability. After three reschedule requests (for reasons other then rainy weather), a reschedule fee of $50 will be required in order to reserve a new date for your session. In all cases, if you decide you no longer desire a photo session, the retainer paid at the time of booking is non-refundable, because once I block off my calendar for your session I can't book other clients during that time.
I also usually post a sneak peek of a few favorites 1-2 weeks after your session (and I'm also happy to give you a partial drop of those edited photos at that point if you're in a rush for baby announcements, etc.).
You'll get all your photos no later then 3 weeks after your session occurs (sometimes a bit sooner depending on how busy my schedule is).
If you choose to order professional prints through me, my lab is extremely fast with shipping so they usually arrive at your door within about 3-4 days.
During the summer, my schedule for weekend sessions generally get booked about 6-8 weeks in advance and weekday slots fill up anywhere between 2-6 weeks in advance. Unfortunately I have a limited number of sessions per week that I can accomodate in order to keep some buffer in my schedule for newborns (where their arrival is unpredictable) and rainy day rescheduled sessions. However, it's always worth contacting me to find out my current availability because sometimes I can accodomate last minute requests.
This is the most-asked question, but before I get into all the tips, keep in mind that it’s the family interactions and mood of your children that will make the most difference in your photos because great smiles and moments will trump even the best clothing combinations – so don’t over-stress too much about your outfits. Also, there are lots of people that have broken these rules and their photos still turn out to be great, so consider these to be gentle suggestions…
For Family/Couple/Individual Sessions:
Try and avoid logos, really busy patterns, and numbers or words as they can distract from faces and look more dated in years to come.
Ideally, avoid all black or all white…some white or black is fine, but it's a little harder to photograph for outdoor sessions since it tends to lose the details, and keep in mind that white gets dirty while black shows every piece of lint or loose hair if you have a pet (tans/beige or grey can be a good neutral alternative to black/white).
Don't dress everyone in the exact same color…instead very the tones or coordinate color matching across different people and tops/bottoms...spread everything out on the bed and see if it looks good together. Another technique that works well is to pick a solid shirt for one person and then a non-busy pattern that incorporates some of that chosen color and then use a different color off that pattern for someone else in the family, etc. Don't forget scarfs, sweaters, hair ribbons, or even a hat or other accessories to help tie things together.
Bright bold colors like blue, orange, yellow, pink, etc. tend to stand out nicely against water & tree backgrounds. Pastels also work well. Pinterst can be great for browsing color combo ideas as well.
Keep things comfortable if you're doing an outdoor session - we'll walk around and get a variety of different backgrounds and we want to minimize grumpiness from the kids over sore feet or being too hot/cold. Make sure your kids are used to the shoes you're planning on having them wear - and that they've had a chance to break them in.
For Newborn Sessions:
- Often plain, neutral clothing can work well for parents (black, grey, beige, white solids) as they help draw attention towards baby.
- Many of the parent photos will be fairly close up with just the upper portion of your body in the photos so feel free to wear comfortable pants.
- Similarly, sibling shots look great with the older siblings in simple clothing (for example, jeans and a white t-shirt), to help draw attention towards facial expressions and the new baby.
- Newborns often get a bit 'lost' in clothing, but if you have a special outfit or dress then we can always use it for a few shots. Simple solid colored onesies always work really well in lifestyle oriented images for a timeless natural baby look.
For Maternity Sessions:
- A dress or top that comes in both above and below the belly is ideal for emphasizing your growing baby, although we can also mimic this with hand placement.
- Avoid a black top for maternity sessions since they'll tend to de-emphasize the belly (unless you're planning on exposing your belly skin, in which case a black top or bra works great). Bold hot colors (orange, pink, etc.) work well for outdoor park and beach sessions during the spring/early summer when there is a lot of green since you get high contrast. Blue tops with simple patterns also look great for garden and park locations.
- Coordinate colors with Dad and the rest of the family so they look good when laid on the bed together, but I recommend you don't match exactly (so your growing belly stands out when next to others)...also see other tips above:
You can also browse my sneak peek albums here for more ideas.
In general, if you have young children then I recommend choosing a time of day when they're generally in their best mood since that will have the biggest impact on your photos and I'm used to working with the light at all times of the day.
That said, my absolute favorite time of day as far as light is concerened is the evening (around 6:30pm in the summer). My next favorite is morning around 9 or 10am.
Usually between 32-36 weeks - what we're shooting for is a timeframe when your belly is big but it's not too uncomfortable for you to move around.
We'll set a tentitive date based on your due date and then I'll have you contact me once you get home from the hospital, at which point we'll figure out the actual day and time for your session. Ideally, for those sleepy baby poses, it's best to do newborn sessions within 5-10 days of the baby being born. That said, I've done many newborn sessions at the 3 week timeframe as well and the photos still come out fantastic, just less sleepy poses and more shots with baby's eyes open.
Feel free to send me your pinned images and I’ll take a look before your session and you can use these for inspiration of different poses during your session, just keep in mind that I cannot guarantee an exact replication of any other image. Also, since all your images will be in line with my editing style, I encourage you to browse through my website galleries and sneak peek albums and ensure you like the style of my work prior to hiring me to capture your memories so you.
First, bring a favorite snack and milk/water…it’s no problem to take a little break and you don’t want any grumpiness from a hunger or thirst. Also, make sure shoes are comfortable and outfits are weather appropriate.
Picking a location that aligns with your child’s interest can be a lot of help, as they’ll have things to look forward to while we’re exploring. Things like picking wild flowers, hunting for turtles in a wetlands area, or looking for cool rocks to skip along the beach can turn the session into something truly fun for your child, which then results in great photos. Choosing a location where you always have easy access to the car can be handy as well – that way you can leave the diaper bag in the car, since you never know when that great shot will happen and it’s always nice if you don’t have the bag in the picture. Ask if you need some ideas here. Also, pick a time of day for your session when your children are generally in their best mood.
And lastly, small bribes work very well - everything from some playground time at the end of your session (I can get some wonderful photos on swings and on the playground anyway) to an ice cream treat after your session.
And rest assured, I’ve had many people tell me their children are a challenge to photograph for a wide range of reasons – and I always get excellent photos of them by the end of our session…many times I’ve been told by parents that their kids wanted to get their photos taken again the next day.
Yep, feel free to discuss your specific concerns with me and I’ll do what I can to make sure you look your best in the photos.
For weight concerns, try wearing a black shirt with a colored unbuttoned sweater – this lets me do some tricks during editing to remove shadows and draw the attention more towards your face. We can also do a lot with poses (for example, more close up shots with you and your loved one or children snuggling).
For a blemish or pimple, it’s usually no problem for me to remove these during my editing of your photos or soften your overall face…just let me know in case it’s not obvious (sometimes it can look like a mole, which I leave alone unless asked otherwise).
If your child gets a cut on their face before your session - send me an email with a quick cell phone photo so I can take a look and I'll let you know whether this is something I can easily patch up during editing or if we should reschedule the session instead.