Frequently Asked Questions
Are you licensed?
Yes! I’m a fully licensed Limited Liability Company (LLC) in the state of Michigan. I also have equipment and liability insurance, which is required for some venues.
How do I schedule a session?
Contact me through the contact page so we can work together to schedule a mutual date/time. I will then email you an invoice, contract and model release. Your session is not officially reserved until your deposit and signed contract are received.
When should I schedule a session?
For most sessions, you can contact me for availability whenever you decide you’d like to work with me. For newborn sessions, I’d suggest contacting me midway through your pregnancy so I can add your due date to my calendar. We’ll coordinate a more specific date once baby arrives.
I generally schedule newborns and children in the morning as that’s usually their happiest time of the day. We definitely want to work with the child’s preferred nap/eating schedule to encourage a successful session. Family photos with beautiful golden light are scheduled about an hour before sunset. I understand that can be difficult with young children, so we can work with any time frame. Just know that we won’t get golden hour sunlight during midday.
What is your sick policy?
I am committed to keeping your child safe and healthy by maintaining a clean and sanitized studio. If any family members planning on being in the studio present with illness symptoms (such as fevers, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, goopy eyes, etc) in the days prior to the session, please contact me immediately so we can discuss rescheduling. This also applies if family members have been exposed to highly contagious illnesses such as chicken pox, hand/foot/mouth, RSV, and influenza as you can be carriers of the germs before symptoms appear.
I realize rescheduling can be difficult with busy lives, but this policy is extra important when working with newborns and young children who haven’t completed their vaccinations and who have immature immune systems. Besides, sick kids often don’t make the happiest models. Know that I will have the same respect for the health of your family. I stay current with all vaccinations and sanitize the studio between sessions. I will contact you about rescheduling if I am concerned about my own symptoms/exposure.
What if my child doesn't cooperate?
I think this question causes the most anxiety for parents at photo sessions. Parents are worried that they will spend time and money to plan for a session with trendy coordinated outfits in order to get the perfect portrait of everyone smiling at the camera… and then their child goes stone-faced. But don’t worry because there are lots of ways we can coax out the best in your child:
1. We do our best to schedule the session for a time when your child is generally the happiest. When scheduling, take into consideration their normal eating and sleeping schedule to avoid hungry, overtired attitudes. For newborns, I will send you a prep guide that will give suggestions on how to encourage a content baby in the absence of a regular sleep/eat schedule.
2. Being a mom to three young kids and a former elementary teacher, I have great rapport with children and always have tricks up my sleeve to help them relax.
3. I find that often the “off” moments portray the child’s true personality. I love capturing the various moods of my own kids, because that’s our daily reality. So even though I’m sure we’ll get beautiful smiles, you may find yourself loving the sincere, tender moments even more.
4. And last, if all else fails, know that your child is not the first to be uncooperative in an unfamiliar situation. Posing and modeling is not natural for most kids, which is why I try to encourage more interactions to help them relax. I always say that my own kids are generally my most difficult models, because even though they should be oblivious to a camera at this point, I’m still their mom trying to pose them. The older two have caught on that they get candy bribes for taking photos, but the youngest is still a challenge.
How will I get my images?
You will receive a proofing gallery within a week after your session. The proofing gallery will have minor edits applied to all images, with the first 2-3 being full final edits. Through the online system, you'll be able to "favorite" the images you'd like to own. Depending on your specific session package, a certain number of images will be included with your package. You will also have the option to purchase additional individual images or the full gallery if you LOVE them all. After you've made your final decisions, I'll invoice you for any additional images and start working on final edits. Within 2 weeks of making your choices, your final images will be sent to you in a new gallery where you can download them in full resolution. (Note: the images in your gallery will have large watermarks on them. But your final images will not have those watermarks on them once downloaded)
Do you deliver every image you take?
No. During an average session I take several hundred images. I would never have enough time to edit and deliver that many images for every session. Plus, many of those are outtakes of turned heads, closed eyes, etc. Part of the artistic process is culling the full batch of images down to the best ones that showcase your family members’ personalities and their relationships. Though there are times that I will include some of the outtakes if I think they personify your child’s uniqueness.
Do you deliver images in color or black/white?
Both! Most of the photos I deliver will be in color. But I occasionally include black and white when I feel it suites the image. If you purchase an image and want it in black/white, just let me know and I will send it to you. I would much rather edit it correctly for you, than have you rely on other conversion software.
How many images do you typically deliver?
It will vary with each session, but a typical gallery for full session will have 25-30 images to choose from. Longer newborn sessions may have more, and mini sessions will have less.
Do you charge a travel fee?
Yes, there is a $0.55 per mile charge for sessions located outside a 20 mile radius from my studio in Ada, MI.
What if there is bad weather?
For outdoor sessions I closely monitor the weather throughout the day and try to avoid rescheduling if possible. We may need to adjust the session time, but that’s often easier than trying to schedule a new date entirely. However, we live in Michigan, with four seasons and lots of variables. So reschedules are often inevitable. In that case, we’ll work together to find a new session date.
What if I lose my images?
If you lose your images, you can contact me to retrieve your purchased images. However, there will be a $20 un-archival fee for me to find your images once your initial gallery has expired. Also, although I backup all galleries to my personal hard drive and online backup system, it is your responsibility to backup your images to your own systems and keep up with new technology developments.