It's always my goal to provide full industry transparency on my website, including my full pricing and as much information as I can. Below you'll find a list of frequently asked questions regarding family photography and my work. Have a question that's not addressed below? Shoot me an email! I'm always happy to chat!
Are you vaccinated against COVID?
I'm fully vaccinated and mask for indoor sessions.
Where do your photo shoots typically take place?
My sessions can either happen at your home or at an outdoor location in central Ottawa/Gatineau. Studio sessions can also be booked, however there is an additional studio rental fee.
My in home sessions emphasize candid moments, while outdoor locations will generally provide you with a slightly more traditional/posed gallery.
Can you recommend an outdoor location for our photoshoot?
Yes, of course! I have a wonderful list of location options that suit every taste.
What time of day is best for photos?
The outdoor photos that you see in my portfolio are (almost) all taken in the last few hours before sunset. I know that getting your kids out the door for a photo shoot after dinner can seem like a daunting task, but I promise you it will be totally worth it! My sessions are fun and low pressure, we rarely run into meltdowns even if it's closer to bedtime than you'd prefer.
If a later start time absolutely isn't in the cards for your family, I'd recommend booking in the fall or winter months when the sun sets earlier.
For shoots happening at your home, mid-day (when your house is the brightest) tends to be the best time to book your session. Start watching the light in your home, paying attention to when main living areas (where photos would take place) are the brightest (while avoiding direct sunlight blasting through the windows).
What time of year is best for outdoor photos?
That really depends on what you're looking for!
Early spring can be very yellow and sparse. If you're looking for photos outdoors I wouldn't recommend booking earlier than mid-May.
Summer is beautiful, but sunset is very late, so if you're hoping for the best light you may need to keep your kids up past bed time. I promise this isn't the end of the world (as a mother of two kids under 4!) and it will be well worth it!
Fall is always the most popular time of year for photos because of the lovely colours and amazing light. The earlier sunset is also a bonus for families with young kids. Fall books up very far in advance.
September is still very green (even late September), October has the traditional fall foliage, and November has a dry/brown/warm mood.
November is a very underrated month. It's, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful months for photos.
Snowy winter sessions are SO much fun! Kids have a blast, and they look so cute all bundled up. The light is always incredibly beautiful, and sunset is super early.
How far in advance should we book our shoot?
If you're interested in a summer or fall photo session please expect to have a date reserved several months in advance. October is usually completely booked up by July.
I work as a full time wedding photographer as well, so I typically do not have weekend availability May-October.
I do sometimes have last minute dates available, so always feel free to reach out if you would like to book a family session.
Do you offer studio sessions?
If you would prefer to have your photos taken in a studio I do offer studio sessions at Quay Studios on Catherine Street in Ottawa. There is an additional $100 fee for renting the studio space.
Can we invite cousins, aunts/uncles, grandparents, etc.. along to join us for our family photo shoot?
My session fee includes immediate family members only (parents and kids).
If you are looking to include additional family members (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc..) there is an additional cost of $50 per person.
Do you offer gift certificates?
A family photo session is a loving and thoughtful gift for mothers, fathers, parents-to-be, grandparents and friends.
The choice of photographer/photography style, however, can be a very personal one. While you may love my style, your loved one may have a different type of session in mind.
If gifting a photo session is something that you're interested in I would highly recommend discussing it with the recipient prior to choosing a photographer.
Write a loving card informing them of your intended gift, and offer them a few different photographers to choose from. They may even already follow a photographer who's work they love and would like to hire.
I'm always happy to let someone else pay for the session, but I prefer that the decision to hire me be made by the folks that I'll be photographing.
When should we book our newborn photo shoot?
Unlike studio photo shoots, in-home/documentary style newborn sessions don’t have to happen in the first few days of your baby’s life. My “newborn” photo shoot is perfect for babies up to 3 months old.
You can book your newborn session at any point during your pregnancy. Once your baby arrives we'll chat again and figure out a date and time that work!
Do you pose newborns?
My style of photography is lifestyle/candid, which means that I do not use props or sets. I focus on delivering a gallery with natural photos that reflect real life moments with your new family!
There are lots of wonderful studio photographers in the Ottawa area who specialize in posed newborn shoots if that's the style you're after.
I'm worried my house is too dark for photos, how can I tell?
Lighting is one of the most important things when it comes to photography. The more light, the better...always.
Most houses have at least some areas that are suitable for indoor photos. If you're feeling worried, let's aim to shoot some photos indoors and some photos out in your yard or local park!
Check out "Evaluating the Light in Your Home or Yard for Your In-Home Photoshoot" on my blog for more information on this topic.
What should we wear to our photo shoot?
You'll want to wear clothing that's comfortable and that your kids can feel confident playing and being themselves in.
I recommend avoiding shirts with logos/graphics/wording to achieve a more timeless look.
Make sure your children's clothing is clean, free of stains, lint/pet fur, pilling, etc.. as these are not things that are touched up in post processing.
While coordinating outfits is always ideal (i.e. you don't want one person wearing neon pink while the next person is wearing all earth tones), try to avoid matching outfits.
Consider the setting as well...wearing a fancy dress at home might look out of place (unless your daughter loves wearing her princess gown at all times, in which case let's do it!).
Dress appropriately for the location, as well as the weather. If it's cold outside please bundle up! Wearing a t-shirt in the snow will just look out of place and strange. Likewise, if it's hot out don't dress your kids in pants and a sweater (everyone will be sweaty and grumpy!). You get the idea!
It's a good idea to have layers planned so you don't find yourself in a jam if the weather ends up being colder or warmer than you anticipated on the day of your shoot.
Letting your kids have a say in what they wear can be great, too. While you may not want them choosing their entire outfit, giving them some options can make them feel more in control and confident in front of the camera. A happy kid wearing their favourite shoes is better than a grumpy kid wearing the fancy leather boots you bought them!
What can we do to prepare for our session?
Make sure your kids are well fed and (if possible) well rested for their photo shoot.
Talk to them about the photo shoot. Tell them what to expect, where we'll be going and what we'll be doing...hype it up! Talk to them about the big camera. Tell them how you'll end up with photos of everyone, and chat about where you might put the photos around your home. Ask them if they have any ideas of things they'd like to do for the photos and get them involved in the planning!
Sometimes telling your kids they'll get a reward at the end of the shoot (like going for ice cream) can work...and sometimes it can backfire. Sometimes kids will only focus on the reward for the whole shoot and become upset when they feel the photos are taking too long...so use your best judgement on that one.
If we're doing photos around your house, try to de-clutter any areas where we'll be shooting. It doesn't have to be perfect, just keep in mind that if you have a Starbuck's cup sitting on the counter, that cup may end up being in the background of a bunch of your photos.
If we're doing photos outside, make sure you bring sunscreen, bug spray, hats, sweaters, and anything else you might need to keep your family happy and safe outdoors.
With babies and toddlers I also always recommend bringing some wipes along for cleaning up drooly/messy faces throughout your shoot.
What if the weather is bad on the day of our session?
I always wait until the day of your session to decide whether we should postpone or not. The weather forecast can drastically change from one day to the next.
If the weather ends up being rainy, snowy or exceptionally hot/cold I'm always happy to reschedule your session free of charge.
Will we get any posed/group family photos from our shoot or will all of the photos be candid?
We'll definitely take some group photos of your family together (and we can take some individual portraits of your kids, too)! I always try to have these photos happen in a fun and natural way.
That being said, the majority of your gallery (and the majority of the photos you see in my portfolio) focus on candid moments of your family playing and having fun!
When you finalize your booking with me we discuss what you're looking to get out of your photo shoot which helps me understand the best way to focus my attention while photographing your family.
Do you require a retainer to reserve a session?
A $100 non-refundable retainer is due to reserve the date and time of your photo shoot. The remaining balance is due on or before the date of your session.
If we need to reschedule because of weather or illness, that's never a problem at all.
Are your prices negotiable?
Out of fairness to all of my clients who pay full price, my rates are not flexible.
How long will we have to wait to see our photos?
Your photos will be made available to you via a downloadable online gallery within 7-14 days of your shoot. During the busy fall season it may take a little longer.
Do you offer printing?
I do! Your online gallery includes a built-in store for purchasing prints through my professional printing vendor.
Are we able to print our own photos?
Absolutely! All of my sessions include high resolution digital files with full printing rights. You can simply download your images and have them printed at a vendor of your choice.
I do not recommend printing at places such as walmart, costco, etc.. as their printers are unreliable and the prints will likely not match the edits you see on your screen. I cannot guarantee the quality of any of your photos printed through these vendors.
I highly recommend www.artifactuprising.com for all your printing needs.
Do you offer bundled photo shoot packages?
I do not currently offer bundled shoots.
Do you offer mini sessions?
I don't often offer mini sessions, but if you follow me on instagram you'll be the first to know if/when I do :)