How To Prepare For Family Portrait Session
We want you to have the best portrait experience ever! We know how important it is to you to have a family portrait. Not only will you all look great, but you’ll feel great and have fun, too. So often, we are told “That was so much fun!”, even from those who tell us that they are not comfortable in front of a camera.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do you offer consultations?
Of course! In fact, we encourage you to contact us and discuss your needs in advance of your session before you complete an Online Appointment Booking. This is such an exciting time for you and we invite you to review our Client Galleries and discuss your wishes for a successful portrait session. We recommend that you schedule a specific date and time with us so that we are able to give you our fullest attention.
Q: What does my session fee pay for?
Your investment starts at $195 for a session at the studio, outdoors or at your residence. Included in your initial investment is photographer’s time and talent during the session and a personalized follow up consultation to assist you in making your portrait order selections. You will also receive 15 low resolution images. Learn more about our Services and Pricing to understand what is included into your Family Portrait package
Q: Do you charge more per family member?
The session fee is the same for a small or large family up to 6 persons. Each additional person is $20 up to 10 persons total for the entire group. In your family session, we look to capture a variety of combinations, including individual portraits and groups.
Q: Do you photograph large family groups in your studio or outdoors?
We can accommodate up to six persons in a group shot at one time in our studio set up. During the warmer months, location sessions can be done outdoors and the size of the group can be larger. With any family group session, we strongly recommend that one family member act as the lead decision maker to finalize the photo session details and book an Online Appointment
Q: Where will my session take place?
Family sessions can take place at our studio location (1090 Clark Avenue, Mountain View, CA 94040), outdoors at public park or at the privacy of your residence. We will travel to the outdoor and residence locations, but you need to come to to our location for indoor studio session.
Q: How long will you spend with us?
We allow up to an hour for our family sessions, which is usually more than enough time. Depending on the age range of the family members (small children versus young adults), we can often get great results in less than the time allotted. Typically, if there are younger children being photographed, they run out of steam after about an hour. We ask that you be on time and arrive no earlier than 10 minutes in advance of your session, as we often have a scheduled appointment just before or after your reserved time.
Q: What is a mini session?
Periodically throughout the year, we plan family portrait events and offer promotional mini sessions which run approximately 30 minutes per family. Our email newsletter subscribers and Facebook fans always learn of our mini session specials first, so we invite you to be added to our mailing list!
Q: What about black & white images?
Any of your portrait images may be prepared as a beautiful black & white photograph. Let us know in advance if you have a preference for black & white and we will prepare your images accordingly.
Q: How far do you travel?
Locations up to 20 miles or 30 minutes from Mountain View, CA are no additional charge. Locations beyond that will incur a travel surcharge which is evaluated on a case by case basis.
Q: What happens if I need to reschedule my session?
We understand that personal emergencies, illness or inclement weather sometimes require sessions to be rescheduled. We kindly ask that you provide as much notice as possible in order to make that time slot available to other clients. Cancellations or postponements less than 48 hours prior to your session may result in a cancellation fee.
Q: What should we wear?
Simple and timeless is best. It is recommended to avoid busy patterns, logos and large designs on your clothing. For families, we encourage you all to coordinate, but it is up to you if you wish to wear matching colors.
For indoor studio sessions we suggest bringing a change of clothing, as multiple clothing changes are encouraged during a session (as time allows). You may be formal or casual, it’s up to you. Often, families will coordinate by wearing white shirts with denim pants, or by all wearing a similar color, like khaki or navy blue. For black & white portraits, we suggest wearing a color darker than your skin tone in order to accentuate the faces in the portrait.
For outdoor sessions we suggest that you bring additional clothing or accessories only if you can change them in public places. We don’t provide any portable changing tents for outdoor sessions.
Q: What if I wear eye glasses?
If you always wear glasses, then of course it is best to photograph you wearing glasses. Non-glare lenses are best suited for portraits. If you only occasionally wear glasses, it’s often preferable to go without so your eyes are best seen. And if the session is outdoors, it’s best to refrain from wearing transition lenses so that your eyes are visible in the portrait.
Q: What kind of backdrop do you use in your studio?
We most often use a clean white backdrop for our studio sessions. This ‘high key’ background is a fresh modern look and works well for all kinds of clothing, including whites, denims, khakis or bright colorful clothing. Think of yourself as being on the set of a Gap commercial! Alternatively, we often use a black backdrop for more formal portraits. The darker ‘low key’ background is great for striking black & white portraits and works best with darker clothing (even black) so that the face is the focus of the portrait. In general, it’s best to let us know if you have a preference for either style in advance so that we are prepared when you arrive.
Q: How many images will I see from my session?
We may photograph dozens of captures in a given session, however not all are keepers. We will capture as many images as necessary in order to present you with a strong body of images. Depending on the number of family members and/or group combinations in the session, we will present you with the best 60-80 images in order to simplify your selection process.
Q: When will I get to see my photos from the session?
Approximately three days following your session, we will post on our website proof images (straight out of the camera images with low resolution and no adjustments) for you to review and pick the number of final images included into your session. These images would be in secured online gallery which will be visible only to you and your personal information (name, address, session date) will not be revealed or known to anyone.
With any family group session, we strongly recommend that one family member act as the lead decision maker to receive the link to the online gallery and communicate with us the final image selection. If there are multiple families participating in the portrait session, we generally recommend that each family dedicated a lead decision makes to select the portraits of their own family. We are happy to provide any additional details if required.
Q: What should I expect to spend on my portraits?
It’s entirely up to you what you decide to spend on your purchases from your session, choosing from our gift portraits, wall portraits, gallery wraps or custom hardcover books and albums. We offer online ordering of prints from your digital images at very reasonable prices. Fine art wall portraits are also available in three elegant finishes: classic linen, fine art canvas and our most desirable gallery wrap finish. Inquire before and after your session and we would work with you to meet your needs.
Q: Can you retouch our portraits and make us look better?
Yes, absolutely. Every portrait in your order will be individually enhanced for lovely skin tones. We will smoothen, soften or remove any blemishes or facial lines, so not to worry! Just make sure you specifically request what you would like to have retouched and what we should leave unretouched.
Q: We’re so excited, may we take photos during the session?
Unfortunately, no. We kindly ask you to refrain from any picture-taking during your session. With all the time and effort to pose you and your family, we reserve the right to be the sole creators of the portrait art of your family. We appreciate your understanding.