Family Portrait FAQs
How long does the session last?
Usually about an hour depending on the light and how quickly I get the quality shots I am looking for. I have finished in about a half-hour before, but that is highly unusual. Mostly I shoot until the family (usually the kids) are over being photographed, or we run out of daylight.
How many finalized images are usually produced from a session? It all depends on many factors, but usually you get anywhere from 35-50 unique and finalized images with the full sessions.
Are any photos “photoshopped”? I do use photoshop, but not very much. I am a believer in portraying the individual for who they are. I am not saying I have not gotten rid of a wrinkle or two, or erased a blemish, even toning down an uneven sunburn, but I am a purist. Proper angles and lighting go a long way in making someone’s beauty come out. Where I do employ photoshop is with color correction and tonal balance. I like to tweak color, contrast, sharpness and exposure to create the best looking image I can, while still looking natural.
Where do the sessions take place? Well it does depend a little on the client and where they are located. But as for Pensacola Beach sessions I typically shoot somewhere in the Fort Pickens Area of the Gulf Islands National Seashore for its remoteness and variety. Because of the great light and abundance of textures, inside and around the actual fort is a great resource to capture great images. There are several beach settings nearby the fort with large driftwood for posing on and beautiful sand dunes with no buildings in sight. Other locations I like to mix it up. Navarre Beach has the pier and adjacent state park that are great. I tend to generally stay away from where other people are so I like to venture into the National Seashore area just west of Navarre Beach. Gulf Shores again has the pier and Gulf Beach State Park which has several spots away from crowds. For Perdido Key there is another Gulf Islands National Seashore, aka Johnson Beach which affords beach locations with no crowds and beautful natural scenery. Orange Beach clients I either travel east to my locations in Perdido Beach or west to Gulf Shores locations as well. If you notice, the criteria for my locations is mainly natural settings away from crowds. Being in front of a camera can be stressful enough without strangers around looking at you while you pose.
What do we wear? Again, this depends on the client. I really have no preference, but if I did have to say what I like, I like when clients dress as themselves. Whether that is matching white and khaki, or bright colors, just where what you feel you like to be seen in. Perhaps go through my galleries and get some ideas as well. In the summer I do recommend something cool, as it can be sweltering hot, even in the late evenings when we shoot. In August it is not unusual for it to be over 90 even at 2 in the morning. I also recommend to not where anything too short. There
Do we get an outfit change? Yes, if you want, but most of the locations do not have a place for you to change so you will need to be creative. I do have many clients who do their family shots and then change their kids for others so they can play in the water for shots.
How long does it take to access to the finalized images & how do I receive them Normally it takes 2-3 days for me to get images ready after a session, I am always excited to see the final results and jump on the processing as soon as I can. If you need images quicker, I will always try to accommodate the best that I can. Included in your session fee is the access to high resolution downloads, but you can opt for a physical CD to be mailed to you at $25 per CD. An electronic rights form will be emailed to you with the instructions of where to download images when the images are finalized. The rights release form is necessary to show any processing labs that you have full rights to your images.
What is the process during the session? While at each location we have agreed upon, I like to get the shots of what everyone looks like out of the way first. Meaning, all eyes on camera and posed as a group. Then I break the group up for any sub-groups or individuals. Usually by this time, clients loosen up and I can snap some candids and focus more on the personality of the family. I am not much for staging moments, but rather like to capture them as they happen genuinely. The only props I use are what are in the environment where I am shooting: driftwood, piers, boardwalks, sand dunes, buildings, fountains, etc. Some families are more formal and some are more casual. The diversity is what keeps sessions from never looking exactly the same.
We have some older people, or disabled, who we want in the pictures and it’s hard for them to walk on the beach what are your suggestions? What I do for people who find it hard to walk on the beach is we shoot only where there is a boardwalk and we can always shoot in the dunes and not go all the way to the water so that they don’t have to walk very far. I’m use to working with all ages and will accommodate as I need to.
Are mini-sessions ever offered? I will do a mini-session, but it will depends on how busy I am at the time. Pretty much from Memorial Day to Labor Day mini-sessions will not be available. Cost is $200. A mini session is no more than a half-hour of shooting, and then about 10-15 color-corrected and edited mages and 10-15. Please contact me to set up as I do not offer them for reservations on my automated system. I normally like to do these sessions in the early morning. Evenings are reserved for full sessions.
What time do the beach sessions take place? 2 hours before sunset is the optimum time, however, that can be altered if need be. I just prefer the light in late evening as it is softer and warmer than the harsh mid-day sun. Early morning is just as good, but that means a 7 a.m. start
When is payment due, and what forms of payment are accepted? Payment is due at the end of the session. I can accept either cash, check, or credit cards
Is there a deposit? Yes, a $25 non-refundable deposit is required on all sessions.
What about getting images printed? I have an ordering system in place so that you can easily order prints from a very recommended process lab. I send you the link to login once your photos have been finalized. There is a very small markup, just to cover time and setup costs of the system, but it is still comparable to other lab pricing. You can also use any other print lab you want as you own your images. This is also where you will be able to download your high resolution images from.http://www.mpix.com ››