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 currently able to do indoor shoots (at our home)?
Yes! I'm finally able to start doing indoor photo shoots again and I couldn't be happier about it!
Where do your photo shoots typically take place?
My standard photo shoots can either happen at your home or at a third party location of your choice. I love heading out into nature, letting your kids play and get dirty, run and be free!
My mini sessions take place at one of 6 outdoor locations in the central Ottawa area.
My in home sessions emphasize candid moments, while on location (a park, etc..) will provide you with a slightly more traditional/posed gallery.
Can you recommend an outdoor location for our photoshoot?
Absolutely! The Ottawa/Gatineau area is full of amazing locations for photos.
When you fill out my booking form I'll ask you a little bit about what type of location you're looking for, and will recommend a location or two that fits the bill.
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 supper can seem like a daunting task, but I promise you it will be totally worth it! My photo shoots are fun and low pressure, we rarely run into meltdowns even if it's closer to bedtime than you'd prefer:)
If you can't make the evening/dusk work, mornings are another option (starting as early as possible, no later than 1.5-2 hours after sunrise).
For shoots happening at your home, mid-day (when your house is the brightest) tends to be the best time to shoot. 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).
Do you have a studio?
I don't offer studio photography at the moment. All of my photo shoots take place on location.
How far in advance should we book our shoot?
This really depends on your availability. If you're only available on the weekends, you may fewer options and/or a longer waiting period to book a session. If you have weekday availability, I can usually fit you in any time!
The fall (September through November) are always incredibly busy for photographers. If you have your heart set on a fall photo shoot it's best to book a date well in advance (before the end of August).
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 days of the week do you book photo shoots?
This is my full time job which means I book photo shoots every day of the week!
Want to book a shoot on a Tuesday morning? Great, I'm in! Would a weekend work better for you? That's great too! Just keep in mind that weekends fill up a little more quickly (especially in the summer and fall months when I'm also shooting weddings), so make sure you book in advance.
Another thing to consider is that parks/greenspaces tend to be a lot busier on weekends than they are on weekdays, and we may run into conflicts in relation to shooting in a specific location on the weekends.
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 recommend waiting until the day of your session to decide whether we should postpone or not. The weather changes so much, it's always best to wait and see!
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).
That being said, the majority of your gallery will 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 $50 non-refundable retainer is due to reserve the date and time of your photo shoot. The remaining balance is due on the date of your photo shoot.
If we need to reschedule because of weather or illness, that's never a problem at all.
If you need to reschedule for any other reason I ask for 24 hours notice.
What's the difference between the Standard Session and a Mini Session?
My standard session includes a minimum of 50 high resolution digital files. All the final photos (all photos that are well exposed, in focus, flattering and non-duplicates) are included. These shoots include casual formal portraits as well as a heavy emphasis on candid moments. There will be much more variety in your gallery vs that of a mini session.
With a mini session you'll generally end up with about 20-25 watermarked proofs via your online gallery and you can select which 15 you would like to have edited and included in the package. Additional high resolution digital images (above and beyond the included 15) can be purchased for $35/image. Since it's such a short shoot, there will be fewer candid photos and less variety than you would get with a standard session.
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 always be made available to you via a downloadable online gallery within 14 days of your shoot.
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.
Do you offer bundled photo shoot packages?
I sure do! Some popular bundles include:
Maternity and Newborn
Maternity, Newborn and One Year
Newborn and One Year
Newborn, Six Months and One Year
Please reach out for more information about bundled shoots.
Do you offer mini sessions?
I offer a mini family session that can be booked any time and is suitable for groups of 6 or less. Please check out my pricing page for more information.
Do you offer gift certificates?
Yep! Any of the sessions you see on my website can be pre-purchased as a gift certificate.
Gift certificates for a photo shoot are a loving and thoughtful gift for mothers, fathers, parents-to-be, grandparents and friends!