Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN A SHOOT?
Most of my shoots (mini sessions excluded) will start with a brief phone consultation to discuss styling and location. After the shoot, you can expect your photos in two to three weeks (I will give you a more specific time frame the day of the shoot). All photos are delivered electronically in a private online gallery. The link to the gallery is sent through e-mail with a personal usage license. You can download the high-resolution images immediately. You can print them with the vendor of your choice and post them online. Your final images will not be watermarked. All images are lightly edited, which means they may be cropped or color corrected. Specific touch-ups are available for an additional fee.
DO YOU SELL PRINTS?
Not at this time, but I can recommend excellent places to print your photos. When ordering prints from a third party vendor, please ensure that you do not check any sort of "auto correct" option. Please also preview cropping to ensure it looks how you want it to. If you plan to order a large print or canvas, please let me know and I can help you prepare the file.
WHAT IS YOUR CANCELLATION POLICY?
Session fees are nonrefundable. If you need to reschedule a shoot, you must notify me at least 14 days in advance of the shoot.
WHAT IF BAD WEATHER IS PREDICTED?
First of all, cloudy, overcast light is my favorite light to shoot portraits in! It provides beautiful, even lighting and will make you look awesome! So please don't stress if it isn't sunny the day of your shoot. Your photographer will be rejoicing. Secondly, most locations have covered spots we can utilize in the event of rain, and unless it is pouring, my gear can hold up. I even have a rain jacket for my camera. Also, I love using rain, snow, and wind to create unique, spectacular images.
In the event of inclement weather, we will still shoot 80% of the time. I will touch base with you the night before the shoot if bad weather is predicted.
For weddings, I truly believe that rain on your wedding day is good luck! I understand that not everyone feels that way though, and I never want my clients to stress. This is why there is a rain clause in all of my wedding contracts that guarantees you a free portrait re-shoot if it rains the day of your wedding. We also have enough umbrellas to accommodate even the largest wedding parties, and we always have rain sites and backup plans.
DO YOU HAVE A STUDIO?
Not at this time, but studio rentals are available for an extra fee.
WHAT GEAR DO YOU USE?
We have all kinds of gear that we use for different gigs. We also have backups of all our gear, and often backups of backups (essential when you shoot weddings and events like we do). My primary camera body is currently a Canon 5D Mark III. My workhorse lenses are the Canon L series 85mm 1.2, the Canon L 24-70mm 2.8, and the Canon L 70-200mm 2.8 (they almost never leave my camera). I am invested in the Yongnuo flash and trigger system.
ARE YOU GOING TO SHARE MY PHOTOS?
My contract includes a standard model release. Sharing photos in my portfolio and on social media helps me grow my business (and is likely the way you heard about me). As a small business owner, I rely on my clients graciously allowing me to share the photos we create. That being said, your privacy is important to me, especially because I shoot boudoir and dating photos. If a client asks me not to share their photos, I will respect that. Please let me know when you book your session if you have concerns about photo sharing.
HOW DO I PAY FOR MY SESSION?
I invoice through Paypal and your invoice can be paid with Paypal or a credit card. I require full payment in order to book a portrait session, and the session fee is non-refundable. Weddings and events are a little different- contact me for details.
WHAT IF I JUST NEED A FEW PHOTOS?
Photographers hear this a lot! Most clients are just looking for "a few photos". In reality, it takes a full session to produce a few great photos. We will take lots of different angles and poses to find your best looks. Photography is a process, and usually the last photos of any session are the best. I think it is because the client is most comfortable by the end. If you need just a few photos, you still should book a full session! My minimum session is one hour.
DO YOU OFFER MINI SESSIONS?
I do not currently have any mini sessions scheduled, but I sometimes offer them in the fall or spring. Please follow my Facebook page for updates on mini session events. Mini sessions fill up quickly, so it is best to book right away when they are posted. You can contact me to be added to a no-obligation mini session wait list.
DO YOU KEEP THE RAW IMAGES OF OUR SESSION FOREVER?
The answer most photographers will give you is yes. And they are lying (even if they don't realize they are). DO NOT BELIEVE ANY PHOTOGRAPHER THAT TELLS YOU THEY WILL MAINTAIN BACKUPS IN PERPETUITY. What if that photographer's hard drive crashes? What if they get out of the business? What if they get hit by a bus? I urge you to BACK UP YOUR PHOTOS. I do NOT promise to maintain backups of your photos. I am obsessed with your photos and will obviously maintain them as long as I can, but once I deliver your files to you, I am no longer responsible for them. I recommend you back up your files to AT LEAST two hard drives, one cloud, and one set of prints. Technology changes quickly, and technology fails. If you need help backing up your photos, or have any questions, please let me know.
I have a strategic process and many safeguards in place to ensure that your photos are safe until they are delivered to you.
WHAT LOCATIONS DO YOU USE?
I shoot anywhere in the city of St. Louis. I can shoot at your place or a public place. I have plenty of great locations if you don't have any in mind, but please tell me if you already have ideas! The sky is the limit on locations, and often times even seemingly off-limits locations can be rented out for a photo shoot. I prefer to shoot outdoors, and most often shoot downtown or near Forest Park. And while I love a good location, I firmly believe that you can shoot beautiful photos almost anywhere, and I've proven this time and time again. Give me the roof of a parking garage or an alley, and I will create something magical for you.
Also please note that light is more important than location. A specific location is going to look different every minute of the day based on light. When we get to a location, I am looking first at light, not at background.
I'm glad to travel beyond STL city, but do ask to reimbursed for my mileage and time. I'm equally as glad to travel to exotic locations to shoot as my schedule permits. Request a quote here.
I am in Chicago, Kansas City, Memphis, Seattle, Boise, New York, San Francisco, Paris, and Brussels regularly, so don't hesitate to contact me for my travel schedule.
CAN YOU STYLE ME?
When you book a shoot, I am will advise you on wardrobe, hair, and makeup free of charge. All sessions include a brief phone meeting to discuss your needs and expectations to ensure that your photos align with your vision. Feel free to bring ideas, but don't worry if you are drawing a blank. Check out my blog for styling tips and advice.
DO YOU OFFER HAIR AND MAKEUP?
Yes! I have some amazing hair and makeup artists available for an extra charge, and can accommodate men and women of all races. They come to you or on location at our shoot. Please request hair and makeup services at the time of booking so that we can coordinate schedules.
WHAT KIND OF TOUCH-UPS DO YOU DO TO PHOTOS?
My personal editing style tends to be natural, realistic-looking photos. I primarily do natural light, outdoor portraits. While I do touch photos up slightly, touch-ups are done to enhance the photograph. Color correction and other similar adjustments are made to images in most of my packages. I'm not a fan of airbrushing out all of your beauty and uniqueness. I want to capture who you really are! I also want you to be happy, though, so I'm not opposed to doing a little bibbidi-bobbidi-boo on a wrinkle or blemish here and there. Time-consuming touch-ups are negotiated and typically billed by the minute. My general rule of thumb is that if it is going to be on your face or body in two weeks, it should probably stay in the photo.
WILL YOU SHOOT MY GAY WEDDING?
Yes, I am a queer-friendly photographer.
DO YOU OFFER PROOFING?
Typically my clients trust me to select their best photos to edit and deliver, but occasionally I can accommodate requests for client proofing and selection. Please let me know at the time of your shoot if you would like to proof and select your photos. This option is not available for weddings or events.
WHAT IS YOUR EDITING TURNAROUND TIME?
Right now, my average editing turnaround time is three weeks for portraits and six weeks for weddings. To a non-photographer, this can sound like a really long time. Editing is a time-consuming process, and each week I accumulate thousands of photos to cull through and edit. For every hour I spend shooting, I am spending 2-3+ hours editing. Additionally, I have a full-time day job. Thank you for understanding!!! I am always glad to provide a sneak peek within 24-48 hours of our session.
HOW FAR OUT ARE YOU BOOKED?
I am typically booked 2-3 months out for portraits and 6 to 18 months for weddings. Please factor in editing time when scheduling your session (schedule your session at least three weeks before you need your photos). Don't hesitate to contact me for a last-minute request- I will do my best to accommodate you. My busiest months are May, June, October, and November. My least busy months are January and... January.
DO YOU OFFER SECOND SHOOTING?
Local professional photographers looking for second shooters for weddings can feel free to contact me. I do not mind being contacted at the last-minute--- I know emergencies come up! I love second shooting and have reasonable rates.
WHY ARE YOU ASKING ME TO SHOOT AT 6 AM?
I prefer early morning shooting, as close to sunrise as possible. If I ask you to get up at an ungodly hour, don't blame me, blame the sun. :)))))) There are plenty of other reasons I like shooting early in the day... Check out my blog for my opinions on this and many other photography-related topics! If you're not an early bird, that's okay, we'll work around your circadian desires. But please know that lighting is the most important factor in portrait photography, and the light is always the best at sunrise and sunset.