Need to Know
You probably have questions – and that’s okay! You can feel welcome to reach out to us directly if you have specific questions about your session, using the button below.
But, you can find answers to many of the common questions we encounter about preparing for your session, and what you should expect before, during, and after.
1. What if my children don't listen?
Children are children, and we fully expect them to be children during their portrait session! PLEASE don’t expect your child to sit quietly and follow every direction – it’s unrealistic and will only cause you stress. Instead, you should arrive at our studio or one of our outdoor locations with the knowledge that IT’S OKAY and we are fully capable of going with the flow and capturing images of your children as they are. We understand child psychology and know that children need time to warm up to new people and new locations – and we give them that time because capturing beautiful images is more important to us than doing it as fast as possible. Melissa has a background as a pediatric speech pathologist and over 15 years working with special needs children. This has given our portrait studio the unique insight needed to work with any child. We know EVERY trick in the book. So come to your session with a smile and a relaxed, open mind…and let us create magic!
2. What should we wear?
In a nutshell, you should wear something that makes you feel absolutely incredible. If you are uncomfortable or unhappy in your outfit, you won’t have a happy memory of the experience and it will influence how you view your images. It’s important that children are comfortable – there’s nothing worse than a little one pulling at a too-tight collar, or an older child who looks unhappy because of an itchy sweater. So when choosing your outfits, absolutely choose something that is beautiful AND comfortable. Still unsure of what to wear? That’s fine, because as part of every session package, we offer styling assistance. We will work together to style your entire family, including choosing an overall style of clothing, selecting a cohesive color combination, and perfecting the entire ensemble with coordinating accessories. If that means a weekly phone call every Friday afternoon to discuss your outfits as they develop, we are more than happy to do that. Professional photography is an investment and you deserve to be nothing less than fully satisfied with every aspect of the process and experience.
3. How far in advance should we book?
At any given time during the year, we are booking out up to six months in advance. To ensure that you are able to secure the day and time that works best for you, we recommend scheduling your session as far in advance as possible. We take a small deposit to secure your session, and once that is completed you are in the books and we can begin planning your perfect portrait session!
4. Can we purchase prints and wall art through you?
YES and I encourage you to do so. I’m going to be honest with you – the local drug store and big box store printing services are fine for your cell phone snaps, and I use them for that kind of thing myself. But professional photography deserves to be printed in a fashion that these low-end places simply can’t handle. From color matching to brightness; to clarity and detail – your images can only really shine when handled by a professional level, fine art printing lab. Luckily, we work with several of these high end printing labs that are only available to professional photographers. If you take the time and spend the money on the perfect outfits…and you take the time and spend the money on amazing, professional quality images…let’s finish the process the way it deserves to be handled and end with a gorgeous, one of a kind, professionally printed piece of wall art, the quality of which you’ve never seen before.
5. How long does a session last?
Sessions last as long as they need to last in order for us to capture a wide variety of incredible images. If children are on their best behavior, and the sun behaves, and there is no wind and all the stars align, this might be as little as 30 minutes. If the children need time to warm up, or we have to wait a few times for the sun to go behind a cloud, or it takes a few minutes to get just the right shot because the wind is blowing hair and clothes around, it can take 60 minutes, or maybe a bit longer. It’s our job to create a gorgeous gallery of images for you and we are NOT in a rush to do this.
*Note – themed and mini sessions do have time constraints that are listed when booked.
6. Should I arrive early?
There is a waiting area at my studio if you choose to arrive early! Note though, that your session will still start at its scheduled time even if you arrive early, and if you are more than 30 minutes early for your session, my doors may be locked for security purposes. If we are meeting at one of our outdoor locations and you arrive early, you may beat me there! Rest assured, even if you do not immediately see me, I will be there by our decided upon time.
7. How long does it take to receive our completed package?
Generally, galleries are delivered within 3 weeks from the date of the session. We spend a great deal of time and attention on every single image, and this process cannot be rushed. If you have a time constraint and need your gallery back by a certain date, please inform us of this at booking and we will schedule your session at least 3 weeks prior to this date.
8. How should I expect to receive our package?
Galleries can be delivered and viewed in person, if desired, but most of our clients prefer to have their galleries delivered online. When your gallery is ready, we will notify you and select a time at which we are both available to review it. You will receive a link to your online gallery, at which point you will select your images for download. At this time, you may also order any prints and/or products, if desired. Once ordered, we will notify you when your artwork is in, and pickup will be at the studio, at your convenience.
9. Are you insured?
Yes, our studio is fully insured – as any professional photographer should be!
10. Have you been trained in newborn posing?
Absolutely! Newborn posing and safety is EXTREMELY important to our studio. Melissa has taken several newborn posing and safely classes, is experienced in handling newborn babies, and has taken in-person, hands on workshops as well.
11. What if my child gets sick shortly before our session is scheduled?
We do not EVER want to spread infection by having a sick little one in studio. If your child is feeling under the weather, please contact us as soon as possible and we will discuss the next step.
12. Should I worry about allergens in/around your studio?
No. Our studio is nut free and generally pet free as well. We do not personally own any animals, as our own little one is allergic to both cats and dogs. Animals are very infrequently in studio (under 3 times a year), and if there is an animal in studio we clean up carefully after and vacuum with a HEPA filter. If you have a little one that is sensitive to pets (or if you are!), please let us know ahead of time and we will make sure to schedule your session far away from any pet-related sessions. Pets are NEVER in contact with any newborn props, studio wardrobe, or any soft/cloth surfaces of the studio.
Ready to Book?
Getting on Melissa's calendar is as easy as sending in an inquiry. Contact us today, and let us custom design a unique portrait session just for you.
"Melissa is amazing..."
"Melissa is amazing! She has done multiple photoshoots for my twins, and each one is better than the last! To say that working with mobile toddlers is like herding kittens is an understatement, but somehow she does it with aplomb. She is patient and kind and somehow captures her subjects at the perfect moment. Her photos are truly beautiful and absolutely worth the investment. My family is so glad that we have had the opportunity to work with her; she remains our go-to for all of our picture needs!"
- Bridget S. - Childrens' Portraits
"A pleasure to work with..."
"Melissa's studio is gorgeous and she has such a great variety of props and outfits! She is a pleasure to work with, especially with cranky toddlers that don't want to smile! She is amazing at what she does and the results speak for themselves. The work she puts out is unlike anyone else in the area. Definitely check her out!"
- Jennifer M. - Maternity Session
"Her work is impeccable..."
"I booked a session with Melissa for my 5-month-old daughter. She was so wonderful to work with. From communication prior to the shot, her work the day of and even following up with me. Her work is impeccable and she is just so kind. I have recommended her to many friends and would definitely use her again! Her work speaks for itself!"
- Allyson D. - Themed Session