What to expect before/during/after a photo session
Jul 14, 2018 | By: Katelynn LaGrone
You are looking for a photographer, and after considering many different options (for more information read our "What to look for in a photographer" blog), you think you may have found the right one! So what is next and what can you expect? Well, each photographer is different. While I can't speak for each photographer, I will give you a little insight into what you can expect from us. I strive to provide a special and unique photography experience from start to finish, as well as provide heirloom quality products that will last a lifetime.
Generally, the first step is to contact us! There are a few different ways to contact us in regards to booking a session. These include: our websites "contact us" feature, Facebook message/quote feature, emailing us, or via phone. It is always nice when contacting us to provide as much information as you can such as: what type of session, who would be photographed, any location/date preferences, etc. After receiving your inquiry, I will respond by kindly thanking you for considering us for your photography needs. I may then also ask some follow-up questions about what you are looking for as well as some get-to-know you questions. I value personally connecting to my clients and getting to know them, and I am always looking to make new friends! ;) I am very up front with my price structure and what is included, and I want to make sure we are all on the same page. These are listed on my website, and I will usually attach the price guides to my reply to your initial inquiry as well.
If you continue to move forward with us, I will ask a few questions such as any date/location/time preferences. Typically, the hour or so before sunset is the best time for photos. The light is nice and soft. After all, who likes photos where you have to squint, or where the light is so bright that it makes for bright/uneven skin, etc.? No thank you! Cloudy days are a little easier to do photos during non-sunset times, as the clouds act as a natural light diffuser and helps make for even lighting. After we decide on date/location/time, I will then send you a contract via my website with more information as well as an invoice via Square to collect the non-refundable session fee. Both of these are conveniently collected online which makes it nice and easy for clients to complete. Both of these are required to book the session, and without these the date is available to any potential clients as my calendar remains open until these are collected.
After this is collected and things are finalized, the next step is the planning! This step is a little different for each photo genre. I will always ask if you have any particular photo requests or "must have" images ideas. For weddings there is much more planning that is involved and I will also ask for the itinerary, other vendors, etc. I like to get to know what your vision is, and to do my best to achieve this for you.
After the planning is done, here comes the day of the photo session! Each session is ran a little differently depending on the photo genre. Regardless of photo genre, I usually like to start with a few fun images to break the ice. I like to use prompts to create the most natural images. Depending on what is envisioned these can be fun and silly, sweet and romantic, etc. A few examples of silly prompts could be "quick! Run towards me!" or "look at the person with the smelliest feet!". A few examples of sweet and romantic could be "hug each other close and tightly, as if it were a goodbye hug", or "put your foreheads together and think about your favorite thing about the other person". Like I've said before, I strive to build a personal connection with my clients.
After the photo session, comes the editing and presentation of galleries. I will do a quick/basic edit of the photos, and then upload them to a proof gallery for you to look through and decide which images you want fully edited. For portrait sessions this step usually takes a few days, and for weddings this could take about a week. I will usually present a gallery of 40 images, and you will get to pick your collection of how many final images you would like (5/15/full gallery). The proofing gallery is available for 2 weeks for you to choose from. For portrait sessions, full editing usually takes about 1-2 weeks, and for weddings this step could take a few weeks. After editing, I will then re-upload a gallery of the fully edited images. This album will be available for 1 month for you to download your chosen images. This time restriction is due to website restrictions. If gallery is not downloaded within the 1 month, gallery expires and photos will no longer be available for download and since it takes time to re-upload them, there would be an additional fee (as noted in contract) to make them available again. For portrait sessions, if images are chosen in a timely manner, final edited gallery is usually available for download within 2 weeks of the photo session. For weddings, this could take a few more weeks.
Each collection also includes a certain number and sizes of prints. After you let me know which images you want printed, I will order them and it usually takes a few days for me to get them. I will then inspect them myself and either hand deliver (locally), or mail them to you. I use a professional lab that provides very high quality prints, and therefore cannot guarantee that prints from commercial labs (IE: Walmart/Costco/Walgreens/etc) would match the correct colors and quality.
As I have said before, I strive to provide a special and unique photography experience from start to finish, as well as provide heirloom quality products that will last a lifetime. If this sounds appealing to you, I look forward to meeting and getting to know some of you!