Frequently Asked Questions
1. The number one question people ask me is... Can I bring someone with me to my portrait session?
Absolutely. We encourage you to bring someone along, especially if you're bringing multiple changes of clothing and shoes, (someone's got to carry all that stuff). If you're coming in for a boudoir or glamour type shoot we strongly encourage you to come with a friend. Our makeup artist will be present during most of the shoot but depending on how long the session goes, she may have to leave before we're finished. Many clients set up a time to shoot with a friend who is also being photographed the same day. That way you can be there to help each other with outfit changes and recommendations, etc. These sessions are fun and they're even more fun when you experience it with a friend who can cheer you on and bring out your best.
Significant others (husbands, wives, parents, boyfriends and girlfriends) are also welcome to accompany you. While they will be in the same room we're in, I have found it is distracting for my subjects to have this person watching them during the shoot. They will be sitting just around the corner (out of sight but only a few feet away). The people that love you always mean well, but sometimes it doesn't come across that way. And sometimes their suggestions are just counterproductive to what we're trying to achieve.
The main thing I want is for you to be comfortable during the shoot. Being scrutinized by someone you love doesn't promote that feeling. I will gently and encouragingly guide you from one pose to another, while someone who knows you better may unwittingly blurt out something like, "That doesn't look good." or, "Sit up straighter and suck in your gut." They want you to look your best, but the reality is they are not seeing you from my angle, which may well be a perfect shot.
2. When will my photographs be ready for viewing?
Depending on the time of year and how busy I am, it will be approximately one to two weeks after your session. During super busy times, it may take a few extra days but I suspect 90% of the time your images will be ready for viewing in one week or less.
3.How will I receive the "proofs" after our session?
I will notify you via email, text message or phone call (your preference) that your proofs are ready for online viewing and downloading. I will do an initial edit to remove all of the "closed eye" type shots that just didn't work. Then I will upload your digital images to a secure location on my website. They will be password protected by a password that you give me on the day of your shoot. That way only you and I know the password and no one else can see your photographs until you're ready to share them. I will never give out your password to anyone else so you have complete control over your images and who sees them.
During busy times your digital images will remain on my site for a guaranteed period of 30 days during which time you can download them to your own computer. You will also have an opportunity to order other products such as mugs and calendars, etc. (I'll explain this later). I don't want visitors to my site to have to scroll on and on to find their photographs. So if it's a busy time of the year, I will remove your digital images from the site after 30 days to make room for other folks' portraits. The digital files are never deleted and will be available to you if needed after that 30 day period. I do want to make you aware that once the photographs are removed from my website after that 30 day period, there is a processing fee of $50 to upload them to the site again.
4. If I want to have prints made can I do that directly from your site?
Yes. When you are viewing an image you will see a small "button" above it that says, "Buy" with a dropdown arrow. Click on the button and you will be given various options to choose from including, but not limited to, prints on various mediums (from wallet size to 30"X40" prints and everything in between), mugs, calendars, cards, clothing, even ceramic tiles. If you can think of a way to display your photograph, it's probably on the order menu. Once you get to the ordering page, you will see two tabs to choose from. One will say "Prints", the other "Merchandise"( which is where you find all the other goodies like puzzles and coasters and magnets, etc.).
All of the items are competitively priced with your local vendors and your satisfaction is guaranteed. If you are unhappy with anything you buy from the site, we will make it right or refund your money.
Still have questions? You can call me at 651-905-1486 or, contact me by email here.5. I am interested in having several of my photographs retouched. How does that work?
We do offer retouching serves on all of the photographs we create. Whether it be removing a few skin blemishes, "losing" a few pounds around your waist, or "gaining" inches in other areas, you've come to the right place. There is a charge of $75 per hour for retouching services but most enhancements can be done in less than 60 minutes. I can give you an estimate of the cost when we talk about the changes you'd like to make.
6. What should I bring with me to the shoot?
This depends on the type of session we're going to do and who is going to be in the photograph. If we're doing a shot of you with your pet, we may need a few things to keep your pet occupied while we get things ready. Chew sticks, favorite toys, that kind of thing.
For you the choice of what you're going to wear is the most critical aspect of your session. Plan it out a week or more in advance to make sure you have everything you need. That way you've still got time to run out and pick something up if you don't have it. Several changes of clothing and shoes are a good start. If you are doing your own makeup and hair, bring your makeup with you so we can do touchups as the shoot progresses. Take a look at my, "Before your shoot" and "Makeup" pages. I've provided some good information about both of these topics. If you still have questions, you know where to reach me.
7. What is the best time to be photographed?
You have probably heard about the "Golden hour" for taking photographs. This refers to the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset. While this is the optimal time for taking outdoor photographs, because the sun's rays are less intense and the color of the light adds a bit of warmth to the subject, for many people it is not the most practical time to schedule an appointment.
When scheduling my outdoor photography sessions I try to work after 3 pm or before 11 AM (and this changes proportionally as the amount of daylight gets longer or shorter). That's not to say I don't shoot at noon or 1 or 2 PM. Often times that's the time I'm limited to when working with busy people and most brides. In those cases we simply find some shade or take other measures to counteract the intensity of the sun.
Obviously, if we're working in the studio the time of day makes no difference, but even then, I like to shoot while there's still light outside just in case we want to try something with natural light.
Ultimately, when it comes to scheduling a time for your shoot, it all depends on your schedule and what works for you and the location where your photographs will be taken.
8. What about location?
The location where we'll work is another important decision you need to make prior to the date of your session. And the time for you to start thinking about it is sooner than later. Try to picture yourself having your photographs taken. Where are you? What are you doing? "See" yourself in the setting of your choice looking fabulous and happy. Now is the time to start enjoying the process. Begin by envisioning how you will look and where you will be.
You will have three main options for location. My studio in Eagan, MN, which is located 5 minutes from the Mall of America, your home, or another location of your choosing such as a park, the beach, a downtown building or alley, etc.
If it will be at my studio, I need to reserve that date and time to make sure it's available for you. Obviously, the sooner you make that decision the better. The advantage of working in the studio is I have access to all of my equipment and studio lighting setups versus the lighting equipment I can carry when working on location.
If it will be in your home, there are several advantages to that decision as well. You have your entire wardrobe at your disposal (big plus). You can control the activities going on in your home the day of your session. And your home is probably where you will feel the most comfortable.
If we will be working in your home, I would like an opportunity to see what issues we may face logistically and the types of backgrounds that will be available to us. If I'm not able to inspect your home in person prior to your session, it is helpful to receive a few wide angle photographs of the interior and exterior of your home in an email. These do not have to be anything special, something taken with your cell phone will be fine.
Your third option is at a location other than your home. Prior to your session you may have scouted out an area that you think would be perfect for taking your photographs. Or maybe you just have an idea and think it would be great to take your photograph in that kind of setting. By discussing your thoughts with me in advance, we can put or heads together and come up with something that works.
If you have a place in mind, I'd like an opportunity to check it out ahead of time to let my creative side roll around in it for a while. Sometimes my best ideas come to me when I'm not actively thinking about it. And depending on the location, another consideration is that there may be a charge to use or be in that space. We want to determine that before getting there.
Having said all that, we will be able to find places to take great photographs almost anywhere. More often than I'd like, I find myself working in unfamiliar surroundings. By knowing what to look for and how to set camera settings, we can create terrific backgrounds where you least expect them. And the odd thing is, you can usually find different backgrounds all in the same general area simply by changing your camera angle or moving a few feet one way or the other. Life itself is a backdrop. Being able to envision the possibilities of what's around you is a skill that takes experience, knowledge, and a little something else that's hard to put a finger on. If you're at a loss for where you want your photographs taken, not to worry. We'll come up with a plan.
The one thing I want you to remember is this. Enjoy the experience. Enjoy this aspect of thinking and daydreaming about where your pictures will be taken and how fabulous you will look. Have fun with it. If it's stressing you out, stop and remember, this is supposed to be fun. When in doubt, let's talk and turn it back into fun.