Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions about Casual Moments Photography. There are so many photographers out there now, and every one of them does things a little differently, so I came up with this FAQs page to help you learn how my sessions work. Of course, you can ALWAYS call me or shoot me an email if there is anything that you are unsure of – I’m happy to chat!
Does the session fee of $99 include the CD of all of the images?
No. The session fee is payment for my time and expenses to photograph your family and prepare the images for ordering. It does not include the cd, any image files, or prints…those must be ordered separately and are priced IN ADDITION to the session fee. The session fee is payable at the time of our session. You may wait to see your images before you decide on a collection, so you do not have to worry about further payment until you order. Some photographers have a “one-price-for-the-cd” structure, but I have my collections set up so you can buy your files in sets of 10, 20, or ALL. I prefer that you only pay for the images that you love, and I work very hard to create images that every mother dreams of!
What happens if the weather is bad, or my kids get sick?
I am an outdoor photographer because I prefer that style. I love photographs taken in natural light (as opposed to artificial studio lighting) and I love the artistic freedom of shooting in different places. I love being able to let children run and not be confined to a studio backdrop. I especially love not having to maintain a studio and the expense that goes along with it, because that allows me to pass that savings on to my clients. But that does mean that we have to contend with the weather. Amazingly, in the 10 years that I have been in business, I have only had to reschedule a handful of times because of the weather. Unless it is actively raining, we can still proceed even if it’s a little gloomy – in fact, the light can be quite luminous then (and no squinting!). I will be in touch with you a day or two before, and even the morning of, our session so we can decide if we want to reschedule. On the other hand, if your child is sick, please let me know right away and we can reschedule. Children aren’t able to hide illness very well, and it will show in the images.
How long will the session take?
It varies according to the type of session and the age of the child. I usually shoot until I have 30 good images, so that can be anywhere from 30 minutes if the kids are older & cooperative to an hour if it takes awhile for them to settle in. I allow 90 minutes for each session and schedule them accordingly, so even if you are running a little late (and we moms know that feeling) we have some breathing room. If your child happens to be having one of “those days” (and all of you moms know what I’m talking about), don’t worry! We will stop when it’s obvious that they are done, and go from there. In almost every instance, I get plenty of good shots. In the rare event that I don’t, we can always do another quick session later to try for more and the second time is usually the charm.
Can we bring our dog?
Only you know if that is a good idea. Some dogs are very calm and easily included, and some are more active and require much more time. Group shots with the dog can be a little more difficult if the kids are easily distracted by the dog, but as long as you are fine with images that may not have everyone smiling directly at the camera, I’m good with it too!
What kind of props do you have? Can we bring our own?
As you can see from my portfolio, I don’t really use props in my work. I prefer to focus on faces instead of trendy props because I want your images to be timeless. High school seniors often like to incorporate a few personal items into their sessions to help define who they are at this time in their lives, and I love that. If your child has an object of sentimental value that you would like to include in the session, such as a favorite toy or blanket, by all means bring it along. But be aware that my personal vision for your session is to capture faces, expressions, and interactions within you family – it is all about YOU, not the props. If you really have your heart set on a stylized session, I am happy to recommend a number of photographers who specialize in that.
How do I order my images?
I differ from a lot of photographers in that I don’t make you come to an in-person ordering session. When your images are edited and ready for ordering, they will be placed in a password-protected online gallery for you to view in the comfort of your home for three full days. No sales pressure at all! I will send you an email asking you to CHOOSE the 3 day period – I want to make sure that it is a time that works for you – and then I will send you the password along with instructions on how to place your order. I am always available by phone or email to help you with any questions you may have, or give advice.
I can’t decide, or something came up – can I have more time?
I have an online ordering guide to help you through the process step by step. The decisions are pretty straightforward – pick one of 4 digital collections, and then any additional products that you wish to add-on. If due to extreme circumstances something comes up and you need an extra day, just call and let me know. If your order is not placed by the end of the ordering period that you chose, it will expire and you will need to call me to schedule a second posting of the gallery. If you have any questions about your order, the products, or just want my opinion, please feel free to call me! Please be considerate and make every effort to order on time so that I can maintain my workflow.
Do I have to order a digital collection?
I switched to selling digital files almost exclusively because of client demand. My families are very willing to pay for my expertise and style in creating my images, and they totally understand the costs of doing business, but they also love having the freedom to do as they wish with those images once they are finished. You are free to use the files to print as many photos (up to 11×14) as you wish, as well as make your own novelty items such as calendars or cellphone cases! There are 4 collections (based on 10, 20, or all of the images that I capture), to fit every budget, and yes, you must select one. Of course, the more files you buy, the lower the cost per file and the more products included to enhance the value. There are no substitutions or deletions within the collections because they have been designed at a discount already from my regular a la carte pricing, based on the number of files included. The least amount of images that you can get in a custom photo session with me is 10. If you don’t need or desire at least 10, then you should not book a regular session. I do occasionally offer mini-sessions that are focused on 3-5 files which may be more in line with your needs (sign up for my newsletter to find out dates and availability) . I also have special pricing for headshots. The digital collections are the best value, but I understand that they are not for everyone. I do have special pricing available by request for clients who are not comfortable with printing their digital files, or do not have the time to do so, but it requires a minimum purchase of prints and products. Please keep this in mind before booking a session with me.
I want more than 10 files but less than 20; how does that work?
Almost everyone can make one of the collections work, and it’s the most cost-effective way to get the images you love. If you truly can’t narrow it down or enjoy the benefits of going up to 20, you may add on additional files for $75 each.
Can I wait and order more later? Do you save my files in case I lose them?
I would LOVE to be able to archive everyone’s images indefinitely, but with the volume that I do it’s just not possible to do that in a way that doesn’t raise costs. Hard drives and external drives fill up, computers get replaced, off site storage is increasingly expensive, etc. The amount of time and expense to constantly transfer things over as technology changes is huge. I do make sure that all of your files are backed up in numerous places and off site during the ordering period, and then I also keep them on a cd and external drive afterwards. So – I do have a good measure of protection although not fail-safe and I make no claim to be. BUT this is one of the reasons I offer digital collections – so that my clients have their images for archival purposes and can take the measures that they see fit to keep them safe. That being said, you must complete your order within the 3 day ordering period that you select. Due to the custom nature of your photography session, payment must be received at the time of the order before it can be processed and before you receive any of the files. If it is a financial issue, I offer several methods of payment as well as payment plans to make sure that you can get all of the images that you love.
Do you photograph large extended family groups for reunions or special events?
Yes. I am one of the few outdoor photographers who will happily do large family sessions! You can learn all about it here: extended family photo sessions
You can view a copy of my Portrait Agreement online; you will be asked to sign it electronically when you book a session. It details everything in the process, so that we can be as clear as we can about the process.
SOUND PERFECT? I am always available to talk with you and explain more about what I do and answer any questions, by phone or email. Let’s chat!