Frequently Asked Questions
How would you describe your photography style?
I think my style is very relaxed and natural. I shoot outdoors in natural light as much as possible (the exception to this is newborn photography which is done indoors usually). I like my family sessions to feel like a fun outing. There isn’t a ton of “everyone look right at me and smile!” although I do try to get a few of those. I prefer my images to be very crisp and bright. I also love converting some into black and white for variety. My clients’ galleries always have a mix of color and black and white pictures.
Do you have a studio?
No I do not. My photo sessions are done on location, typically outdoors. Wilmington, NC has so much beautiful scenery, it seems like a waste not to take advantage of it! We have gorgeous beaches, parks, and a vibrant downtown. I also love doing sessions at families’ homes, in their backyards, around their neighborhoods, etc. Not being confined to a studio means more room for children to run around and enjoy themselves. When they are relaxed and happy, it gives me more opportunities to capture their personalities.
There are tons of Wilmington, NC photographers. Why should I choose you?
Well, the short answer is, maybe you shouldn’t. I encourage everyone to carefully research photographers before making a decision. There are many talented photographers in the Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach area. And each photographer has a unique style. You should look through each photographer’s website and through all of their galleries. Check out their Facebook page if they have one. See what appeals to you. Do you like a formal look or more candid? Do you like very dramatic looking photos or more natural? Do you prefer crisp looking images or more of a faded/matte look? I feel like picking a photographer is almost like picking out clothes. Two people will pick out two completely different outfits. It’s not that one is necessarily better than another, just different. There are also other factors to consider, such as your budget (see next question).
I’ve been looking around and I’m shocked at how expensive photographers are. What’s the deal? You are clicking a button, not performing brain surgery!
Ha! Well, if you saw what goes on when I edit a photo, you might think its just as complicated as brain surgery There is so much that goes on behind the scenes that takes time, education, and experience. Quality photography equipment is expensive. Running a business is expensive. Taxes are expensive. Time is valuable. It takes me time to prepare for a session, time to get there, time to actually take the pictures, time to drive home. And it takes hours of my time to edit your photos to make them as beautiful as possible. While some photographers might just take pictures and quickly burn them to a CD, I use powerful software to enhance your photos and touch up your portraits.
That said, I do try to keep my prices reasonable and in reach for most people. Many area photographers charge a session fee, but that fee doesn’t actually include anything beyond their time/talent. They charge additional prices for prints and digital images (and often there is a minimum purchase requirement). Sometimes these prices are very very high. Make sure you ask to see a complete price list from any photographer. I prefer to keep it simple and give my clients what the majority of them want – access to their photos to do with as they please.
Do you sell prints?
No I don’t. My packages include all of your edited images with printing rights. You will also have the option to purchase more. This means that you can print your photos anywhere you’d like. I email my clients with my personal printing recommendations.
Will my pictures come on a CD?
Your pictures will be sent directly to your email as a link to a direct download. This means that they can be downloaded right to your computer. From there you can have them printed, shared online, or placed onto a CD if you’d like. The majority of printing services allow you to upload directly from your computer, so there really isn’t a need for CDs anymore.
Why did you structure your pricing they way you did?
I decided early on that I wanted to offer a lot of pictures for the money. This stemmed from my personal experiences looking for a photographer for my family. I love to make photo books. With photo books, I use tons of pictures that tell a story. I have a hard time narrowing pictures down – I tend to want them all! I want the happy faces and the crazy faces. The sitting still shots and the action shots. The sweet pictures and the not so sweet ones I had a hard time finding a quality photographer who was reasonably priced that would just give me a bunch of my digital images. And I figured if I felt this way, other people out there probably did too.
I would definitely make more money if I sold prints. Photographers tend to mark up their prints and canvases like crazy. This is how they make a lot of their money. But again, I like to keep my life simple and my prices reasonable!
Do you bring props?
Sometimes, depending on the type of session. I do bring props for my newborn sessions (see newborn FAQ for more information). But for my family sessions, I don’t bring a ton. Depending on the age of the children in your group, I might bring a chair, basket or bench. And I might bring a blanket or two. But that’s pretty much it. There are several reasons why I try to keep my props to a minimum. First off is that I have to fit it all in my car! Then once we are at the session, I have to carry it all or ask for help from my clients. This can be quite cumbersome when we are moving from spot to spot, trying to get the best light and a good variety of poses. I’d rather have my hands free to be holding my cameras, ready to snap a picture at anytime. Kids are fast,and I want my focus to be on capturing as many adorable moments as possible. Also, keep in mind that trends come and go. I’d rather you have portraits that are timeless. Props do have their place, but I never want the prop to have more focus than my subjects. I will see photos with elaborate prop set ups and I will think it’s cute, but my eye is sometimes more drawn to the props than they are to the people. I don’t want that to be the case for my portraits in most cases.
I saw these cute ideas on Pinterest? Can we try them?
While I tend to like minimal props, I totally appreciate it if my clients want to try something different. You are always free to bring anything with you that you’d like incorporated. I love it when people bring things that are special to them!
I’m looking at the weather and it looks like its going to rain on the day of our session. What do we do?
Don’t panic! Weather in Wilmington, NC is notoriously unpredictable. This is especially true for summer sessions at the beach. Just because it says it is going to rain in two days doesn’t mean it actually will. I keep a close eye on the weather as your session approaches. Sometimes I will change the time of the session or even the day if necessary and if your schedule permits.
That said, don’t let cloudy weather scare you. Some of my favorite photos came from stormy beach skies. As long as it is not actually raining steadily, we can get your session in if you are game. Many of my clients are here on vacation and have a limited window to get their family photo sessions done. But we will not do your session in unsafe conditions. That means no lightning!
Do you require a deposit to book a session?
In some circumstances I do. This is usually for newborn sessions, larger family sessions and weddings. The deposit is $50 and goes towards your total session price.