♥ What should I look for when choosing a photographer?
Wow, that’s a loaded question! There are so many variables that go into finding a photographer that is a perfect fit for your family or event. First and foremost, you want to be sure you are working with someone who has a legitimate business. It may be tempting to take advantage of a super duper low price on a photography session from a hobbyist, but it’s not worth potential problems later on if they are not running a professional business. You want to look for someone who carries liability insurance, charges sales tax and carries a business license and any applicable permits. You also want to work with someone who utilizes a contract, to protect yourself and the photographer in the case things go wrong and to ensure everyone is on the same page as to what is being provided. These are all things I take very seriously, in abiding by the rules and regulations for running my business, paying taxes, and having permission to shoot at the locations I use.
Now that you’ve established you are dealing with a professional, you want to look through their portfolio and make sure that their style matches your vision. A photographer who only does studio work on white and blue backdrops is not going to be the right match if you are dreaming of a sunset session on the beach. If you are looking for a photographer to capture your family, someone whose portfolio is full of corporate events is not the right fit either. A little bit of research can go a long way in ensuring that the person you’ve chosen is going to be able to provide the images you envision.
And of course, it probably goes without saying, but check out their reviews and references! Yelp is a great starting point for this, and often provides a great insight into how the photographer runs their business and interacts with their clients.
♥ What type of photography do you offer?
I love to shoot weddings, engagements, newborns, families, kids, and seniors. I shoot in a natural, casual style leaning towards lifestyle photography, with guidance rather than super formal posing.
♥ Where are you located and do you have a studio?
My home office is located in Huntington Beach and I serve all of Orange County and surrounding areas. Travel outside of Orange County/ Long Beach can be arranged based upon availability. And my arm can TOTALLY be twisted to follow you to Vegas for your dream wedding. Just sayin’…
I do not have a studio, as you can see from my galleries all of my work is done at beautiful locations throughout Southern California, or in your own home for newborn sessions. I work together with my clients to select the perfect location appropriate for the day/time of the session, personalities and ages of those being photographed, size of the group, etc. I hold an Orange County Parks permit for shooting at all county parks and beaches, and am happy to work with you to obtain a permit for other locations. I have shot at high school and college campuses, urban areas such as the Orange Circle and downtown Huntington Beach, Anaheim Packing House, Old Santa Ana Courthouse, Riley Wilderness Park, Aliso Beach in Laguna Beach, Irvine Regional Park in Orange, Two Sisters Farms in Temecula, Peltzer Pines in Silverado Canyon, Crystal Cove, aboard the Queen Mary, San Clemente pier, on Camp Pendleton, and many more awesome local spots. More info about locations can be found here.
♥ What are your package prices?
While I definitely discourage potential clients from chosing a photographer based solely on price, I know this is most likely on your mind! Portrait sessions with me start at $325 for a one hour session, and include your high resolution edited digital files, an online sharing gallery, and the option to order prints, albums and wall art directly from me if you chose. There is an additional charge for large groups, longer sessions, certain locations, and travel outside of Orange County.
My wedding package is full-day coverage, and includes digital files, a private sharing gallery, and a beautiful 16×20 canvas of your favorite image. I arrive when hair and makeup gets underway and leave after the last guest has left the dance floor. I have found this is the best way for me to be able to capture all of the special moments and memories for you, without worrying about how much time we have together. Custom designed leather or linen albums for you and your parents, prints, and additional canvases are always available.
Elopements, proposals, courthouse and short & sweet weddings, and other special events will be custom quoted dependent on length of coverage, type of event, and any options added.
For portait sessions, your session fee is your retainer to hold your date. For weddings and events, a retainer of $1000 is required to hold your date and the balance is due 14 days prior to the event. All of my contracts and payments are handled online, super easy, quick and painless! Credit cards are accepted for any event totaling over $1000.
If you would like more detailed pricing information, just jot down a few of your details here for me and I’ll be happy to send it right over.
♥ What products do you offer?
I love to see clients actually print their images – thats what they are there for! I offer beautiful professional prints and canvases, and custom designed albums as an optional purchase after your session. My goal is for you to print your images, not store your files, and I keep my print prices low to reflect that. I strongly encourage you to print something, anything, right away after your session, and get those gorgeous images up on your walls!
♥ Do you provide the digital files?
Yes! All of my packages include your professionally edited digital files, as well as a print release that allows you to share your images and print them for yourself, family and friends. The files are full size, can be printed at any size you choose, and have no watermarks. Keep in mind that to protect the integrity of my work and professional style, your print release does not permit you or any other professional to edit your images in any way.
♥ How Many Images Will I Get?
That’s the million dollar question. First and foremost, rest assured, I do not set a limit on the number of images delivered! After removing images with blinks, movement, duplicates, and other “throw aways,” I professionally edit the remaining images and deliver them all to you. For standard one-hour portrait sessions, I deliver appx 20-30 images, dependent on kids’ moods, number of locations, size of group, clients running late, etc. For extended family sessions, it is closer to 30-50 depending on the size of the group. If we crank through a ton of awesome shots really fast and we end up with more than that, gravy!!
Weddings and events are a little more tricky to estimate. There are a lot of factors that will determine the final number of images delivered including length of event, type of event, number of guests, size of bridal party/family, amount of decor or detail to be shot, shots requested by client, number of children involved, events running behind/off schedule, travel time between venues, down time waiting for participants or events, and much more. Typically you can expect to receive between 30-70+ images per hour of shooting.
♥ May I have the RAW files and/or the “throw aways”?
Unlike the snapshots you take at home, the images from your session do not come out of the camera ready to print. RAW files are unfinished pieces of art, and not quite ready for prime time until they have gotten the royal treatment in professional editing software. Your images are not complete until they have been fine tuned for color, exposure and sharpness. For this reason, I do not provide RAW files to clients.
Once your session is over, my first step is to sort through and eliminate any images which have blinks, motion, misfired flash, photo bombers, etc. The rest get edited and uploaded to your gallery. The “throwaways” are eliminated immediately and are not archived or stored, and thus not available to clients. It’s kinda like asking for the mess-ups, and why would you really want those anyways?
♥ How far in advance should we schedule?
As soon as you have a date in mind! For weddings, your best bet is to book your photographer as soon as you have your date picked out, especially during the busy summer months. Many of my brides book 9 months to a full year ahead of their date. Maternity sessions are best done around 28-32 weeks so be sure to plan ahead to get a date that falls within that window. If you’re expecting, the best time to schedule your newborn session is well before your due date, especially if you plan for an in-hospital session. In this case, I will pencil you in around your due date so that I can be on call when the big day arrives. At-home lifestyle newborn sessions are best done before about 10 days old when possible.
♥ Do you have an assistant or second shooter?
Typically for weddings and large events of more than 5 hours, I will bring along an assistant to help keep me sane, keep track of my gear, make sure I drink water, keep the bride and groom from seeing each other, help wrangle guests for group photos, make little ones smile, and anything else that may come up. I do not bring an assistant on portrait sessions unless there is a specific need.
I shoot all of my own weddings and events, and rarely is there is a need to have a second shooter. However, in the case that you would prefer to add-on this service for an additional hourly rate, I have several amazing photographers in my network and would select one with a similar vision and style to my own.
♥ What should we wear?
I encourage my clients to coordinate but not match, don’t be afraid of patterns and color, and wear something that reflects your own personal style. Pinterest is AMAZING for style boards to help choose an outfit that suits you best! Also keep in mind the location when choosing an outfit. If you choose a very dusty, dirty location such as a rustic wilderness trail, white clothes on little ones and mini-skirts aren’t really the best choice. Likewise, a beach shoot isn’t the best place to show off your new Jimmy Choo’s.
♥ Do you provide props/ Can you copy this Pinterest pose/ Can you hang my newborn from a branch?
I get these questions a ton. Pinterest is full of super adorable images of babies in bowls full of gumballs and kids in front of pretty banners and fake backgrounds. They are definitely cute, but not a fit with my more natural style. My goal is to capture real moments, sweet giggles and kisses, funny faces and big hugs. I believe the photos should be about you, and not the props or copying another photographers creative posing. For this reason I do not provide props for my sessions. Depending on the location, I do sometimes bring along a box for little ones to step or sit on, a blanket to throw down in the grass, or other essentials for comfort or function that will blend into your image. However, I absolutely encourage clients to incorporate items that are special to them in their sessions. In the interest of newborn safety and comfort, I also do not smoosh babies into uncomfortable poses, hang them from branches, stuff them into bowls of gumballs or boxes or baskets, or do any elaborate staging that requires photoshop. There are lots of other amazing photographers who specialize in this type of session, however it is not something I offer.
♥ Can I post my images on Facebook or Instagram?
Absolutely! I love love love when my clients love their session so much that they want to tell the world. Sharing is caring, after all, right? And really, what good are amazingly beautiful images if no one ever sees them?