General Session FAQ
Where do I find cost information about having a session with you? My mini sessions start at $395 for maternity, newborn and motherhood. If you would like detailed pricing on my session options, just reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can email them right over to you with more detailed info on my process and sessions, and then we can schedule a time to chat on the phone to discuss your ideal session.
We are very Covid19 concerned. How do you handle this in your studio? I take Covid19 as well as other easily spread diseases like RSV and Influenza very seriously, as I spend my days working with pregnant women who have a weaker immune system and may not have been vaccinated, and of course infants who can not be vaccinated. I sanitize all used surfaces in my studio between clients, as well as properly sanitizing all props used immediately after each session. I am fully vaccinated. I currently leave it up to each individual client if they prefer masks be worn during their session, and ask that everyone from both parties monitor for any illness concerns (not limited to Covid19) that could expose each other to illness that could be dangerous for newborns.
We really want to do photos, but they're so expensive. Yes, professional photography is an investment. In this day and age where everyone has high quality phone cameras, you should expect a photographer to be a cut WAY above. Most of us invest significant amounts of money on education, training, gear and props, and we spend way more hours editing your photos to perfection than you probably realize. I believe everyone deserves the opportunity to have great photos. I will happily do payment plans, just ask. While I will take time sensitive photos with a small deposit (maternity or newborn), I will not deliver the gallery until the balance is paid off.
Do you do family photos? While I take casual family portraits during many of my newborn sessions, and will accommodate my returning clients for family sessions as my schedule allows, I do not offer family portrait sessions as a general rule.
Do you do other types of photos? I am always up for trying new things, but I just like to be honest - I do my best work with single subject portraits. That said, if you're looking for a quinceanera photographer, glam studio birthday shoot for an adult, drag or burlesque, body positivity session, etc., PLEASE reach out to me! I would love to discuss it!
What times are available for photo sessions? I am typically in the studio weekday mornings, keeping my afternoons for editing time, and allowing for as much weekend time as possible with my own rapidly growing kids! While I realize that we all have different work schedules that need to be considered, I ONLY do newborn sessions on weekday mornings. If one parent doesn't have time off to use, I will consider scheduling the family part of a newborn session at a separate time to accommodate, but the newborn session still needs to be done on a weekday morning as they are several hours long. As they are much shorter, I will do my best to be flexible with older baby sessions and maternity sessions to accommodate for work and nap schedules. I only offer one weekend date per month, so these fill up quickly.
What type of photo and print products do you offer? While I have found that many clients prefer just having the digital images from their sessions, a lot of people also want high quality prints or products after investing in a high end portrait session. I do NOT do in-person sales, so I don't expect you to come back to my studio at another date and buy a bunch of product after you pay for your session, but I offer many different paper types for prints, and I also have a significant boutique offering of print products, some of which can be found by clicking here.
Do you donate sessions? I'm a HUGE believer in giving wherever I can. I donate a significant amount of time as both a photographer and editor for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, and I do free mini sessions for families that wouldn't be able to afford the luxury of having photos taken as my schedule allows it. I also do free Story Sessions for people going through or recovering from serious illness. Please fill out my donation request form by clicking here to be considered.
Newborn Session FAQ
When should I be scheduling my newborn session? Most photographers only take a set amount of newborn sessions per month, so the earlier the better as far as photographer schedules are concerned. Many people start their inquiries between 12 and 16 weeks pregnant, and book their maternity photos at the same time. That said, some babies are born early, and some are born late. The official session date is not booked until baby arrives. I start accepting bookings for newborn/maternity when you are 12 weeks, and will continue to take them until I book my monthly limit - this may happen three months in advance some months, and others, I am still able to take a session if you reach out after baby has already arrived.
What if I didn't realize I needed to book this in advance and already had my baby or am due soon? Reach out to me right away. I do my best to accommodate session requests if I have a spot available, but understand that if I'm able to do a session last minute, editing time might be delayed a bit (I will definitely let you know if this is the case).
At what age are newborn photos done? Every photographer has a personal preference, and my recommended age is between 10 and 21 days old, provided they are healthy and eating well. If you end up with a c-section or baby is born prematurely, then sometimes we push that out a bit. This is why I reserve spots for newborn photos, but we don't book a specific date until they are born. If your baby is already born, I still recommend that window for the classic, sleepy, curled up poses. The older baby is, the more alert they are and many of those poses aren't safe if baby is awake and moving around. That said, you can still capture beautiful images at any age, and I personally LOVE some good eye contact in newborn photos. I have done newborn style photos with babies as old as 9 weeks (full term) and will always TRY but I definitely will communicate honestly with you about realistic expectations.
How long does a newborn session last? Full newborn sessions will range anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. If we are doing family photos, that will a bit of time, and remember - we are doing this on the schedule of a newborn. Sometimes they decide to just be wide awake for an hour. While we will still get some awesome shots of an awake baby, this makes transitions and certain poses take longer as many poses aren't safe while baby is alert and wiggling around. If baby is breastfeeding exclusively, this usually will also slow things down as most babies get very snacky when we are dressing and undressing them, because this is their instinctive cue to nurse. Bottom line, I don't schedule them back to back, and I don't ever push a baby. The goal is a content, peaceful newborn with zero distress and minimal annoyance with my ministrations. :)
What kind of photos can I expect to get out of my newborn's session? After we discuss your preferences of color, style, and any particular shots you are hoping to achieve, I will prepare 5-6 different setups for our session. My typical basic and signature session will include one outfit setup, one knit wrapped setup, one 'naked' setup on a colored backdrop with a draped wrap, two to four different prop shots (you can choose specific props if you like, or I will), and if they're awake, an overhead setup with 'mug shots'. Some babies will easily get through all 5 setups, and some are lighter sleepers and will only get through three. I do my best to give you as much variety as baby can tolerate without stress. Every session will also include a variety of macro shots (feet, lips, hands, etc). Shots with parents, siblings or pets are only included with my signature session. Micro sessions are for families just looking for 1-2 really great shots, and ALL photos will be taken with baby wrapped (or swaddled) in a two different colors and 2-4 props.
I have a young toddler or a dog that I really want to include in my newborn photos. How does that work? I always do family shots first, and recommend that mom come with baby, and someone else come with siblings or pets at the beginning, so they aren't sitting there for the full session as this gets stressful for not only bored kids or pets, but also mom as my space is full of 'interesting things' that they will constantly be wanting to touch and climb, etc. I typically will photograph young toddlers and dogs separately from the newborn and create a composite image for safety purposes, but if they're calm enough, we can certainly try to naturally photograph them together. Safety is my number one priority, so I will be very honest about what we can/should do once I meet everyone.
I have my heart set on having my baby's photo taken with this pose I found on Instagram/Pinterest. Every single baby has a different body, and a different level of flexibility. I go with baby's flow, and capture what feels right for them, which means I won't guarantee any specific pose for every newborn. I will NEVER force a baby into a pose they aren't comfortable in, and I don't like doing poses that I feel are unnatural for their body, so if a Froggy Pose is all you want from your newborn session, I'm definitely not your ideal photographer as while I am trained in doing it, and some babies are absolutely fine with it, it clearly bothers some and could be dangerous to force them into. I am willing to TRY any pose that is safe, but I will listen to baby and will never guarantee a pose.
I am looking for an in-home newborn session. Do you do that? I am what is referred to as a studio photographer, and I offer posed newborn sessions. The in-home sessions are what is typically referred to as lifestyle sessions where the photos taken are mostly candid. While I definitely like to capture some candid shots during every session, I do not specialize in traveling photography, and all of my sessions are done at my Burnsville studio.
Maternity Session FAQ
When should I be scheduling my maternity photos? Ideally, I like to shoot maternity photos between 30 and 34 weeks, when you are showing well, but still comfortable moving around. However, I've done them as early as 24 weeks, and as late as 41 weeks - everyone is different. If you are having a multiple pregnancy, or have other complications, we definitely want to bump it up. If you are on restrictions, as long as it isn't complete bedrest, we should be able to safely accommodate your needs. As far as booking, many people schedule this when they book their newborn photos, so as early as 12 weeks is appropriate, but I usually have wiggle room as it is a shorter session.
How long does a maternity session last? I know some photographers who will do a 3 hour maternity session. I personally think this is way too much on a pregnant body, and I keep the majority of my maternity sessions at an hour or less, only getting closer to that hour if we are posing multiple people. If you are coming in alone, expect the actual shooting time to be around 30 minutes, and believe me - you will feel like you just worked out when you're done! :) If you are considering in-studio hair and makeup, then that is generally around an hour to 90 minutes on top of the session time.
What should I wear for maternity pictures? You are welcome to wear your own clothing, but 99% of my clients use my extensive couture client closet, and this is a main part of why they hire me. I have over 150 different options between gowns, bodysuits and silks, in a wide range of sizes and I'm always adding to it. We typically will work with 3-5 different outfits and setups in a maternity session. The only things I ask every mama to bring to her maternity session are nude underwear, and if you have a strapless bra that fits, bring that. If not, I can usually accommodate for that as well. The one popular thing that I don't keep in the studio is jeans, so if you want some cute semi-nudes with your favorite jeans, bring them along!
I'm full figured - can I still wear your gowns? Most of my wardrobe pieces fit to at least a size 16, but I also have many pieces that fit up to a size 26. I'm here to help you with pieces that will look best for your body.
I really want to do this, but I'm very self conscious about my body. That's okay. This is an emotional time in your life, and your body is changing rapidly. My studio is a safe space, and you are welcome to come alone, or with a partner or support person. You are welcome to try things on and decide what makes you comfortable, or pick a few favorites in my online gallery, and let me style you. I work with real women with real bodies every day. Every woman in my gallery is a real mom, being brave and embracing her inner goddess. Every. Single. One of them came in nervous and vulnerable, and nobody has ever told me they were disappointed that they did it!
I have really bad stretch marks, so I can't do those pretty nudes or open dresses. Almost all of the moms in the photos on this page have stretch marks, and some are dark purple and covering the whole belly and butt. This is unfortunately just a part of your body being a castle. While it's absolutely your choice how things are edited on your photos, the majority of my clients come to me because they know they can expect that their skin will look radiant and smooth in their photos, without looking plastic or unnatural.
What about my partner? I welcome partners to join you for this experience. Whether you do some photos together, or they are simply a support person, they are welcome in the studio, and I'm ALWAYS happy to put them to work as an assistant. Flowing dresses and fabric always look amazing when we have a helper to toss them!
What about my hair and makeup? This is a great time to get glammed up and have fun, so I highly recommend having hair and makeup professionally done. I work with licensed cosmetologists only in my studio, and they do a fantastic job. The cost for in-studio hair and makeup is $200 in addition to the session cost. This includes a blow out, makeup and lashes. I CAN help with simple hair styling if we are changing it up between setups.
Senior Session FAQ
When should I be booking my senior session? I start booking senior sessions the winter of junior year, and start shooting in June, going through the end of September. I will only be offering one senior session per week for the 2022/2023 season, so I will book up.
When is the best time to do a senior session? Because senior sessions are shot outdoors, lighting is very important. I prefer to take advantage of that last 60-90 minutes of soft, warm light before sunset, and the shorter the days are, the harsher that golden hour light becomes. Because of this, I personally prefer to shoot between the end of June and the end of August. Due to the much shorter days and busier schedules in fall, I will not be booking October or November dates.
What if I really want fall colors in my senior session? Background coloring can be altered in post production if you are really seeking those warm fall colors but we are shooting in summer. I will edit up to 3 photos of your choice with fall foliage without an additional fee.
What if I book a senior session and the weather is not ideal? Clouds won't affect a senior session, but rain or extreme wind could. If that happens, we will select a reschedule date that works for both of us.
What about locations? I have somewhere specific in mind that I want to do my session. Most places will have some sort of photography permit required. If you have a specific place in mind that requires a permit that I don't already have, that will be discussed and factored into your session cost. I do pull permits on a variety of locations every year, but some can be quite expensive, so I do have to limit them to a number that makes sense based on the number of sessions I shoot there. I am happy to do the research and offer alternative spots if the permit is expensive and you don't want to incur the cost.