Preparation

BOOKING & SCHEDULING

High school senior sessions are very popular and typically book 2-4 months out. Family sessions are typically scheduled 4-6 weeks in advance. Sessions usually fall on a weeknight or a Saturday. I can accommodate earlier scheduling and Sunday bookings in some cases. Since weddings are the bulk of my business, I usually leave Fridays and Saturdays open for bridal clients until 4-6 months ahead of the date. Click here to see senior session pricing. Click here to see family session pricing.

The session fee is due at booking and serves as the non-refundable retainer to hold your date. You are allowed one reschedule, made at least 48 hours before your session, with a transferable deposit. Additional reschedules will incur a $50 rescheduling fee. Collections and individual products are available for purchase once your online session gallery is live. There's no need to schedule an additional meeting to endure high pressure sales!
 

Getting Ready

Your portrait experience starts with a consultation, either in person over the phone. Making great pictures is all about collaboration. I want to get to know what makes you unique, what gets you excited, and what you want out of your portrait session. 

Some of the big topics will be wardrobe, theme, locations, and what you want to have in hand afterward. This meeting takes about 30 minutes and can make all the difference when it comes to being in front of the camera.

For families and couples, a session means inviting me into whatever season of life you are enjoying. These sessions are a blend of classically posed photos and lifestyle photography. They strike the balance between a closely directed performance and being completely off-stage. I try to keep family sessions as organic and to-do-list free as possible. That being said, you probably didn't book this session out of the blue. You have an agenda, and that's great! This agenda becomes the theme for your session. If it's a milestone like a birth, birthday or anniversary, everything you do during the session should help to tell that story.

I always advise high school senior clients to approach their sessions from two perspectives: (1) be true to who you are now, and (2) do something you will be proud of in 20 years. These two things may look totally different in your mind. That's OK! That's part of why outfit and location changes are really important. Do something fun, even daring! But don't forget to take a nice picture for mom.
 

PLANNING & PREP TIPS:

Here are some universal tips to help you get the most out of your session.

  • If there are locations near by that are significant to you, tell me! Don't worry if they are not the prettiest or the most interesting. I can take a great photo at a gas station. This session is about you and the things that impact you.
  • Choose a color, style and texture theme to help you narrow down and organize your wardrobe. Color themes could be pastels, fall colors, muted primaries, etc. Styles could be weekend casual, rugged, semi-formal, etc. Textures could be denim & flannel, lace & linen, floral prints & solids, etc.
  • For clothing, choose solids and subtle patterns over busy prints and stripes (scarves can be and exception here).
  • The t-shirt with a picture or logo of your favorite band might be fun for one or two photos, but those will be the ones you roll your eyes later.
  • Choose closing cuts and combinations that work with your body type.
  • Black shirts are always a solid choice (especially for black & white portraits).
  • I recommend staying away from very bright colors as they tend to be distracting and can have a weird affect on skin tone.
  • Bring several outfit options. You may not use them all, but it's better to have choices, including colors and styles. An outfit change can be simply swapping out a shirt or jacket.
  • I suggest at least one casual outfit and one dressy outfit (including shoes).
  • Don't forget the accessories, including hats, jewelry, jackets and scarves.
  • If you wear glasses and don't have anti-glare coating on the lenses, they WILL glare. Consider removing the lenses from the frames (at home) or seeing if your optometrist can loan you a similar frame without lenses for the shoot.
  • If you get your hair and makeup done professionally, I advise you to do something close to your daily style. Remember, these are commemorative portraits, not glamor shots.
  • Worried about breakouts and blemishes? Don't. I do everything in camera and in post to remove temporary skin imperfections. You want to remember you, not your zits.
  • Do you have a favorite activity or hobby? Work it into your photo shoot. This can really add character and context to your portraits. These can include a family tradition or activity, a sport, instruments, books, costumes and, yes, even pets.
  • For senior session, parents are welcome to come along, but I ask that they step back to allow seniors and I to collaborate without distraction.

Beyond that, don't over-think it. Trust me. Be you. And your photos will be amazing


The Session

Most people feel awkward in front of a bulky, professional lens. It's normal! Usually, the first 10-15 minutes of your session is the "warm-up" period. This is where I shine. I spend the time to get you comfortable and have a lot of tricks up my sleeve from my experience with a huge range of client comfort levels.

I will direct and give suggestions as needed, particularly when it comes to lighting and composition. Depending on the goal of your session, we may spend a lot of time posing, or I may be a fly on the wall once I set the stage for a lifestyle segment.

Depending on our plans for the session, inclement weather may require that we reschedule. In this case, there is no extra cost. However, I've been doing this for a long time and have all sorts of tricks up my sleeve for dealing with bad weather, poor light and unexpected interruptions. I bring a full set of compact flashes and accessories, extra camera and lenses, and an array of weather-related accessories (including a shower curtain), so I'm prepared for pretty much anything.

If you are worried about weather, crowds, or anything else you think might make your session less than perfect, let me know. I will be able to determine exactly what I need to carry on with our plans, make a few changes or reschedule. Personally, I like a little adventure, and some of my favorite photos were taken with things didn't go as planned.


Proofing & Ordering

At the end of your photo shoot, we'll schedule a viewing session,  usually 1-2 weeks from your session. It can either be at your home or at my home office. If an in-person viewing session isn't possible, we can schedule a Google Hangout call instead. 

In the meantime, I will pick and process the best images from your session. A big part of my job as a professional photographer happens in this stage, which we call "the edit." It's where I hone in on your narrative. The final number of images will depend on the length of the session, the complexity of wardrobe and location changes, and the overall flow of the photo shoot. However, I consistently deliver 30-60 images for each hour of a session.

At the viewing session, you can select the packages or a la carte products you want. There's no obligation to buy during the viewing, and you'll be able to buy digitals, prints and albums any time while the online gallery is active. However, I do give 10% off for all printed products purchased at the viewing. See the links below to get a jump start on what products you might want to purchase.

  • Learn more about books and albums here.
  • Review my collection and product pricing here.
  • See my minted.com storefront here.

You'll be able to access your proof gallery for one year after initial delivery, so don't worry if you decide you want to add products later.