Do I have to get my pictures taken outdoors?
For the most part, the answer is yes...however, I do make a few exceptions...and that would be for infants (before they can sit alone). My portraits are casual, rustic and natural and that means outdoors.
Where we take them depends on you. The most economical place to take them is at my home. We have over 30 acres, that includes split-rail fence, arbors, ponds, rocks, a dock, lots of flowers, grasses, etc. Beginning in May, each week may look a little different depending on which perenial flower might be blooming or which ornamental grass has turned. The leaves normally start turning around the middle of October, then when they are done there are still lots of leaves hanging around on the ground. If you want to take them at Theta Pond, Couch Park, or other Stillwater sites, I'll be glad to meet you there. This will add $15 to your sitting fee. If you prefer a sitting at your home (outside, of course), the additional fee will depend on the distance. Call or e-mail for details.
Since we depend on natural lighting a lot, I like to take them about 1 ½ hours before sunset. That means in the summer months it may be around 6:00pm - 6:30pm, in the spring around 5:00pm -5:30pm, etc. If you set your appointment up several months or weeks in advance, I will call or e-mail you with a more specific time as your session approaches.
How far in advance may I or should I schedule a session?
This is tricky since these are outdoor portraits and someone other than you or me is in complete control of the whole weather issue. Appointments made more than 6 weeks prior to the actual date require a CASH (not check) deposit equal to your sitting fee. This is good for everyone concerned. It lets me know that you are serious about having your portait made, and it encourages you to mark your calendar, remind your husband, get a hair-cut, etc. In the past, it has been my experience that the farther in advance your session is scheduled, the more likely it will be cancelled or changed - due to weather, emergency cheerleading practice, "bike-wrecked" nose, or granny janes's last minute surprise visit... you get the idea. Your CASH deposit, of course, serves as your sitting fee when we take your protraits as scheduled. Failure to cancel or reschedule your session within 72 hours of your appointment will result in loss of deposit. I will do my best to work you in as soon as possible, but in September, October and November, it's possible that it may not work out. I understand that things can change at the last minute (see rescheduling). Please be courteous and let me know as soon as possible if you will be unable to keep your appointment. No show - no call - no refund - no reschedule.
What about rescheduling and cancellations?
Rescheduling sometimes cannot be avoided due to the weather. I will reschedule due to weather if it is too windy or if it is rainy. If your child is sick, we can reschedule. Please be courteous and call as soon as possible if you know you will not be able to keep your appointment. (Example - If you schedule a sitting for July 21st, and call to cancel because it is 90 degrees and that's "too hot" - it's unlikely I will reschedule your appointment.)
Can I reorder later?
Yes, however in addition to a $8 shipping/handling fee, your minimum portrait reorder must be at least $10.
Can my pet, girlfriend, Uncle Bob, or parakeet be in a couple of my senior portraits?
Yes...a couple, as in TWO. If you want your horse, dog, cat, grandma, etc in several shots, there will be an additional fee.
Do I need to let you know if I'm bringing my horse, pig, car, etc?
YES!! I have one of my own -- you'll probably love him--and he is out and about while we are taking your portraits.
How do I get there?
Please call or e-mail and I will be glad to send you directions. If you are bringing a caravan to watch someone be photographed, please keep in mind they will not be allowed in the house. If possible, take a family bathroom break prior to your arrival. Please call for further assistance.
What should I wear for Senior portraits?
You know your senior better than I do, and if he/she tends to run late or not. Please come ready to photograph. You may have up to 4 changes. If you think you may get lost, or need additional time primping, selecting what to wear, etc. adjust your arrival accordingly. I do ask that if you plan to arrive prior to the actual time, that you let me know. (Since we are meeting at my home, my family appreciates not sharing our evening meal, piano lessons, or homework with you.) Parents are welcome to accompany their senior, but it isn't necessary. Bring any props (letter jackets, balls, even animals---LET ME KNOW--). Rule of thumb, dark solids look great (turquoise, royal blue, red). I used to say to try to avoid plaids, stripes, etc. but honestly, some of my favorites images are the ones where all the "rules" are broken---so wear what is YOU. Senior year is absolutely a time of negotiation, so perhaps one outfit can please Mom, one can please Dad, Grandma, etc. Ask for ideas when you set up your appointment. Avoid pastels unless you think you look awesome in them, same with sleeveless tops (guys and gals). And ladies...if a black or dark sweater is worn, please wear a black bra with it. And regarding nails--fingers and toes--either paint them or don't---chipped nails don't photograph well. Avoid glitter make-up, consider whitening strips for your teeth (if it's okay with your mom), PLEASE wash and dry your hair and PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE iron your clothes, even T-shirts.
What should we wear for family/children's portraits?
You know your family better than I do, and if you tend to run late or not. Please come ready to photograph. No changes of clothing are included in a regular family/child sitting fee. For family pics, try to coordinate. You don't have to perfectly match, and I used to recommend avoiding plaids,stripes, etc. However,some of my favorites images are the ones where all the "rules" are broken---so wear what is YOUR family! You know if your family best:) Ask for ideas when you set up your appointment. Avoid pastels unless you think you look awesome in them, same with sleeveless tops (guys and gals). And ladies...if a black or dark sweater is worn, please wear a black bra with it. And regarding nails--fingers and toes--Either paint them or don't---chipped nails don't photograph well. Don't forget that even little girls look best when their hair is brushed and their faces and nails are clean. If your daughter normally hates bows and hats, it's unlikely that she will love them the day we try to photograph her...just something to keep in mind. A few other notes on children's clothing...please have a practice run on what your kids are going to wear. Make sure it fits (shoes included) and is comfortable. They grow so quickly, and it's not worth the stress an hour before you arrive to realize that sissy's Easter shoes from last year are too small! Make sure collars don't flip up, overalls don't bunch up and tags don't poke their soft skin...you'll thank me later!