FIFTH AND CHESTNUT PHOTO CO. FAMILY PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY | FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I put this FAQ together to prepare my clients and clients-to-be for a family portrait session with me. I have tried to answer the common questions I receive (and some not-so-common). I know that choosing me as your Reno family photographer isn’t a decision you take lightly – if you are reading this, I know that you are looking for the best of the best and you love my work. That’s why I want to educate my clients and potential clients about the Fifth and Chestnut Photo Co. experience.
My portrait sessions are made up of two parts:
1) A session fee that covers my creative camera time & culling, editing, preparing your images for viewing and other behind-the-scenes stuff I do for your session. No images, prints or products are included in your session fee.
2) A minimum product order (pre-tax) at an in-person Image Premiere where you’ll view your images and place a print/product order with me.
Contact me for detailed pricing information.
THE PHOTOGRAPHY SESSION
How would you describe your style?
I describe my style as authentic and heartfelt. I don’t use trendy filters in my editing process, nor do I fall into the hype of other trends because your photos should stand up to the test of time. Over the years, I have developed my own unique editing process to give my images the look and feel that they have.
What kind of investment should we be prepared for?
I several product collections for family portraits. I also have an extensive a la carte menu and special pricing for families who purchase a collection. Most families invest $2799 or more in their photo products and display items. Very few families invest the minimum required.
If you live in the Reno/Sparks area – your Image Premiere & Ordering Appointment is a required part of the photography process. My goal is for you to display your portraits in your home via wall displays, albums or other photo products. This ordering appointment is pivotal in achieving that goal.
My goal is always to create heirloom-quality photographic products for you, and although I love digital images for sharing with friends and family (and for long term safe-keeping) – they most often get stuck on a hard drive or lost when you get a new computer and forgotten. I am very passionate about providing prints, canvases and other physical photographic display items! Hi-res images are available for purchase, but web-sized digital images are provided to match every print/product purchased so that you can share those precious images on social media like you want to!
Will you travel for my session?
I am happy to travel around northern Nevada & northern California for an additional fee. Contact me for rates.
Can we book you for more than 1 hour?
Yes, and in fact, I recommend that family groups of more than 6 people book a 2 hour shoot. I also recommend more time if you want more than one outfit. I typically shoot for 1-2 hours for a portrait session, but special circumstances might require more time. Just ask me if you have questions!
What if our session is going over time?
I don’t necessarily keep my eye on my watch, but I tend to know when our time is almost up, and I will check to see how we’re doing so that our session ends on time. I don’t want to keep my clients from the rest of their day’s plans by shooting past what has been agreed upon, and I often have other commitments to attend to as well. If you ask me to stay past our allotted time, I do have to invoice you for the extra time, so it is best to plan out our exact time allotments in advance.
Can we wear more than one outfit?
In a 1-hour session, I recommend one outfit for families. Individual subjects can safely get away with two outfits in one hour (high school seniors, one year sessions etc). Outfit changes (especially for an entire family) take a considerable amount of time away from shooting time, which seriously impacts your photo results. If you would like more than one outfit for your family, I’m happy to schedule a 2-hour shoot to accommodate that! And if you’d like to change into your clothes once you arrive at the location (rather than wrinkle them during the car ride), plan accordingly and arrive 10-15 minutes early to get dressed and ready.
Speaking of outfits, what should we wear and bring to our session?
I have this whole blog post dedicated to answering this question about wardrobe and props!
Can you shoot in a certain style that I want or use a certain backdrop at a location?
I trust that you have looked through my portfolio and have chosen me as your photographer because you like what you saw! I use soft, natural light and backlighting techniques to get the beautiful portraits shown in my portfolio. I photograph my clients within certain landscapes at specific directions because I am looking at the LIGHT. I can’t control the light (sun), but I can control where I place you! Occasionally I will take photos in the bright sun for dramatic effect, but it’s not often and I usually reserve that for candid shots. If you are wanting something that you don’t see in my portfolio, I encourage you to discuss what you’re looking for before selecting me as your photographer. You get the best portraits when you trust my location suggestions, poses and methods.
Can you photograph us in front of Lake Tahoe?
Everyone loves Lake Tahoe. It’s a fact! But if you’re more interested in getting that beautiful blue lake & mountainous skyline with blue sky above it in the background than you are in having soft, beautiful light on your family’s faces, that’s just not the type of photos I offer. I am a natural light photographer (meaning – I don’t bring off-camera lighting with me to my shoots), and simply can’t get that gorgeous blue lake & sky in all it’s glory unless I photograph you with your face TO the sun. That means squinty/unpleasant expressions and sometimes drips of sweat running down cheeks. It’s not my style. I will happily photograph you walking down the beach candidly and get some beautiful lake scenery that way…but I am not a fan of photographing people looking into the sun. It’s not even possible at every location. Some spots are just not situated appropriately to get the pristine Tahoe blue background – there may be shadows caused by mountains or trees in the way, or we just can’t physically shoot in the proper direction due to the shoreline. Although a beautiful landscape can be part of your family portrait (and the Tahoe examples in my portfolio ARE gorgeous the way I shoot them), it is not the focus.
Can I give you a shot list from Pinterest? I really love some images I found there.
I don’t accept shot lists of any kind other than your specific portrait grouping requests such as Kid 1 solo, Kid 2 solo, Kid 1 & 2 together etc (which I honestly don’t need because I will get those shots anyway). Pinterest is a fun tool for planning your wardrobe and props, but asking me to recreate a shot by another photographer is asking me to copy someone else (aka copyright infringement – yikes). Also, I can’t recreate things like the time of day in which a photo was taken, or a particular landscape that just doesn’t exist at your chosen location. If I attempt to recreate something purposely, you may be disappointed – and I never want to disappoint a client. But rest assured that I will photograph you in a way that is true to my artistic vision and style. I enjoy working with families who completely trust me to create amazing images that are authentic to their individual family dynamic. That level of trust is paramount in our relationship.
What happens if my family is late to the session?
Sessions are simply cut short when clients are late, and in cases where families are more than 20 minutes behind, the session must be cancelled. I totally feel for families who run behind due to spills on outfits or naps running off-course (been there!!!) – however, I can not extend the session time. Sessions are scheduled at the perfect time of day to achieve my style of portraiture…and when the light goes away, there is no bringing it back! And of course I also have a schedule of my own at play. PS. Do bring an extra set of clothes & shoes for your kids (and maybe even you) because they could come in handy.
What if the forecast calls for rain/snow?
My inclement weather procedure is to wait until the day of our scheduled shoot to see how the area’s weather is doing about 3 hours before the session start time (our weather in Northern Nevada can be unpredictable despite the forecasts). If anyone in your group is getting hair/makeup done and 3 hours notice is not enough, please let me know so I can plan for more advanced notice! Rain will damage my equipment, so I do not shoot in the rain. In the case of snow, a light snow can be beautiful in photos so clients have the option to go ahead with a snowy shoot (unless it’s so snowy & wet that my equipment is at risk of damage) or reschedule at a later date. Wind can range from mild to severe in Northern Nevada, so we also touch base on windy days to see how you feel about the outlook (I can always shoot in heavy wind, but you may not want to).
When will our photos be ready?
Portrait photos are typically ready to view at your Image Premiere 3 weeks after your session date. I typically don’t post “sneak peeks” prior to your Image Premiere.
Can you rush my images?
Since I am a mom of four with busy schedules, I can NOT rush images at this time. To do so, I would have to miss events or other things that are important to me and my family.
Can we have your RAW images?
I don’t transfer my RAW files under any circumstances. Any outtakes, out of focus images (or images I just decide not to include in your collection) hit the cutting room floor and are deleted prior to your Image Premier & Ordering Appointment.
Do you have proper business credentials and insurance?
You bet I do! Fifth and Chestnut Photo Co is a Limited Liability Company, and I am insured and carry state and city business licenses. I also pay taxes – including the state sales sax that I collect when you make your product purchase. In addition, I carry a Washoe County Parks Permit which gives me permission to photograph you in our lovely local city parks.
Tell us more about you, the woman behind the scenes!
Although I breathe, sweat and bleed (mostly because I’m clumsy and will do almost anything for the perfect shot) for my photography business, I also do all of those things for my beautiful family. My devotion to my family has helped me shape my business into something that brings a work-life-balance to our lives. It offers me flexibility to be with my family at important times, and to spend precious time with my kids…helping them grow and learn. It keeps me passionate about what I do. My photography business is such a personal part of myself that it’s sometimes hard to separate, but I am always striving for the perfect balance between being an artist/entrepreneur with being a great wife and mommy. To that end, my availability is limited, and when you book with me, you have a LOT of my attention because I am not working on 30 other jobs simultaneously. I have four kids and my husband works for the magnificent City of Sparks, where we also live!
I also have graphic design and illustration skills, and one of my dreams is to write and illustrate a children’s book. My work experience has taken me from political marketing to advertising to graphic design in the music industry to the corporate world and now my passion for photography has taken over my life!
If you have any questions about me or how I can provide an amazing Reno portrait photography experience for you, please get in touch. I want to know you, and I want to create portraits you’ll treasure your whole lifetime!