Frequently Asked Questions
What is Lifestyle Photography ?
Lifestyle photography is a gently guided session aimed to capture the ordinary everyday life of people in a beautifully artistic and memorable way. It is like a documentary approach, very fluid and candid, and focuses on the interactions between you and your family members or significant other. It's about the in between, unique details that show the personality of a family. Those moments that tell the story of our lives.
It's authentic, it's natural, it's raw.
What collections do you offer ?
For more information on different sessions and collections send me a message on my contact page. If you want a glimpse of pricing then feel free to head over to the page that fits your needs the best. They are broken into three categories: The Everyday (traditional lifestyle sessions), The Big Day (weddings), and The First Day (birth stories). Under each section, I have information about them, galleries, and of course, prices.
If you still have questions, do not hesitate to contact me. I can't wait to hear from you!
I'm not in Jackson. Do you travel at all?
Yes, I do. I do have a toddler though, so I'd need some notice to get everything in order.
I am a huge wander-luster and I live for travelling to new places. I do frequently provide sessions outside of the state of Michigan because of this. You can normally find my travel schedule in the blog under my availability and travel schedule posts. I keep them updated monthly. If your location is not on that list, no problem! I travel anywhere, but there may be a travel rate that will apply for sessions outside of Jackson, Michigan.
I have bucket-list sessions and locations as well, ask me about it ! If you are eloping in the mountains, on a beautiful beach, in Europe, at the dessert, or somewhere else that is significantly awesome, you may qualify for $0 travel fees!
What should I expect?
Photo sessions are generally 45 minutes to an hour long, plan for a bit longer for a newborn session though. I will talk, laugh, and play with your children in order to warm them up to capture their personality in all the photos. and then, I take a step back and just observe with my camera and let your family do it's natural thing. I am telling your story, so I shoot until I feel it is told to my liking, and what you will cherish.
Since I am photographing those intimate moments with your family, please feel more than free to bring any personal items that you would like to include in your session, it makes all of your moments that much more personable and special. This could be a quilt that grandma made, a favorite toy, or even bubbles and balls.
My goal is to make you and your family relax, play, have fun, and BE YOURSELF. More than anything, don’t be afraid to play with your children during our session. They may get a little rambunctious, and that’s ok! It is apart of your story, I want to tell it! I have a little baby tyrant at home who destroys everything in his path, but with the biggest smile on his face while it's happening.
Sometimes it’s the best way to get a natural smile and not that forced cheesy grin that grandma hates.
What should I wear?
Clothing choice is always the biggest decision when planning your session. While this is completely up to you, I can offer some simple guidelines to ensure your family photograph beautifully.
There are some things though I will tell you to avoid right off the bat..
amilies and groups don’t have to wear all the same color or same outfits. Remember the trend from the nineties where everyone always had to dress in identical denim and crisp white tees? Don't do that. In fact, try to avoid matching at all. Instead, focus on choosing outfit tones that compliment one another. I suggest choosing from the same color family, or compliments to that family. I have a color guide you can take a look at HERE.
Soft or natural and earthy tones are fantastic and photograph really well, as do rich colors such as burgundy and mustard. Yes, I thought I would hate mustard at first as well too. Using small pieces of bright color can also work wonderfully to create a captivating image.
Children look great in fun, bold colors, textures or patterns, but I would say to avoid shirts with large logos or text if you can. These do not photograph well when there is more than one person and will take away from the timeless nature of your images. But, in saying that, if your little is currently refusing to remove their precious Batman costume, you might choose to let that go and embrace it, there are always and will be exceptions to the rules. After all, we're all about capturing memories here.
It's best sometimes to keep it simple. Jeans, sweaters, hats, scarves and boots are all fun for winter and fall sessions. Sundresses and lighter clothing are suited better for the summer months. Varied textures in your choice of clothing is great (think denim, wool, linen, corduroy, cotton) and layering is excellent (such as scarves, beanies and vests if the weather requires).
Ultimately, what you wear will not matter. If I come to your home and your toddler's in a onsie and your son is refusing to put on a shirt, those are still going to be stunning pictures and showcase the realness of your family. Those shots will be authentic and sweet and will capture something raw.
The main thing is to wear clothes that represent you and who you are. Feel free to also bring a change of clothing in sessions that are applicable.
Do you use props?
I don't require props and don't provide them, but if there's a special object, like a passed down blanket or quilt, that you'd like included in the session then be sure to bring it along.
Will we get any shots of the whole family together?
If it's important to you - yes.
I try to follow a documentary approach for my sessions, acting as a fly on the wall and photographing your family connections without too much scripting and prompting, but there will be time to ensure we get some shots of the family together.
And don't worry these will not be family portraits as you know them. I'll not be lining you all up and telling you to smile. We'll keep it light and loose and play a game or two to ensure we're capturing your lovely authentic selves.
Where will the session take place?
The location of the photo session is up to you, with both local and destination collections available. Ideally, I prefer to use natural, available light, but for some weddings and indoor sessions I do use an external flash and artificial light sources. I want your location to be representational of you and your family, etc. So I always suggest picking a place that is close to your heart.
Once your photo shoot date is booked, we will discuss what type of feel you are looking for in your photographs, and we can then work together to come up with the perfect location. If you have a location special to you and your family, I do not mind traveling, but I may charge a bit extra based on travel distance. I do also have a location guide of popular places in the are that you can view HERE.
*Newborn photo sessions are always held within the comfort of your own home and grounds, but I am more than happy to travel for those as well if requested.
We're not booking a newborn session, but may we still do the session in our home?
Absolutely. I love to shoot in your special spaces! And nothing is more representational of yourself and your family than your home. Having your session take place here also makes it easier for your children to relax and cooperate better because they are in a setting familiar to them. Less stress makes for lovely children photos.
I'd love an in-home shoot but I'm worried my house is too dark or too plain.
It's not. I promise you.
Honestly, the saying less is more takes full effect here. Basic color pallets in homes are my favorite. As for light, the years of birth experience has me prepared for any lighting situation. But if you are still concerned, I have made the idea that has worked well in the past. If I arrive at your home and find the lighting isn't great, or for whatever reason the space is one I can't work with, we will re-schedule your session for another brighter day or at a different location at no additional charge to you.
I like the idea of an in-home session, but will I get any images I can frame for the walls?
You certainly will. In fact, un-posed photographs are the only kind I frame at my place. Which is actually what is shown in the images on this page if you were curious.
My specialty is taking what you deem ordinary and creating something beautiful out of it, something that you would normally not think of.
What if we can't think of anything we want to do for a session?
Don't worry about that, I have plenty of ideas.
I can send you some prompt questions that will get you thinking about the memories you might like to preserve, or location suggestions if you're planning a session outside of the home.
When is the best time of the day for a session?
This depends on a lot of things.
For location sessions, the hours before sunset are best for that beautiful glow you see in the images in my portfolio.
If you're planning an in-home session, the timing is a little looser. In fact, giving the sun longer to rise can sometimes be a good thing, as it can mean more light inside. Plus, we are not limited to decent weather days.
If we're organizing an in-home session, watch the light in your home during different times of the day and let me know if there's a special window of magic - dappled light on the bedroom wall or sunshine pouring in through the kitchen window. We can absolutely work with that.
Bottom line though, we're planning your session around an activity and your family's connections, not the time on a clock.
I don’t want you to worry about the perfect time for photos, as I will make you beautiful photographs, regardless of the time of day. I promise.
Can you do mid-week sessions?
Yes, I really enjoy working during the week, as it means I can be home with my family on the weekend.
Evening sessions are available on certain week days. I do have limited mid week openings, so be sure to ask ahead of time and check out my availability schedule on the blog. I try to keep it updated as often as I can.
If you have a day of the week or specific time that's best for you but you don’t see it open, please ask - we'll see what we can work out. I often have some wiggle room between sessions that I can fit another in on the same day.
Can you do parties or events?
It depends on the nature of the event. For example, I have specific openings and pricing for Weddings and Elopements. However, I do not offer sessions for family reunions or large gatherings. I tend to focus on the intimate moments between families.
Send me a message and let me know what you have in mind, as I am open to any and everything.
Can we request certain shots/poses?
I encourage you to let the session unfold as naturally and authentically as possible. I do find that this allows me to be my most creative instead of constantly checking a list of poses. However, I do allow a few minutes at the end of each session for you to make requests.
When is my payment due?
For Portrait Sessions, payment is due in two parts:
One at the time of scheduling an appointment, which is a non-refundable retainer of 50% the total session price and is required to save the date.
The remainder is due at the beginning of your scheduled session, unless agreed upon otherwise in writing. You are more than welcome to pay ahead of time, or even in full if that is easier for you.
Weddings are paid in 3 parts:
The 50% non-refundable retainer due at the booking,
25% due at the engagement session,
The remaining 25% is due 1 month before the wedding.
*If the date is booked less than 3 months before the wedding, 75% will be required as a retainer to book, with the remaining due at engagement session before the wedding.
*Weddings booked under a month in advance will be required to pay in full at booking.
Elopements are paid in 2 parts:
The 50% non-refundable retainer due at the booking,
The remaining 50% is due 1 month before the wedding.
*If the date is booked less than 3 months before the ceremony, 75% will be required as a retainer to book, with the remaining due a month before the wedding.
*Elopements booked under a month in advance will be required to pay in full at booking
Birth Stories are paid in 2 parts:
$1,000 non-refundable retainer due at booking
The remaining $2,000 is due at/before 37 weeks gestation, before any on-call time is started.
What if I need to reschedule my session? Will I lose my retainer?
We can always reschedule, I understand that things happen that might make it impossible to make it, or if the weather doesn't cooperate with us. I allow 1 reschedule per a retainer, unless agreed upon differently in writing. The only way you’ll lose your retainer off the bat is if you don’t show up at all, or if you want to reschedule and then never commit to a date in a 3 month time frame.
Mini Sessions, however, are only able to be rescheduled during the event time frame. In the event of a "No Call, No Show," (failure to show up and/or give me 48 hour notice of cancellation without just cause) the retainer is forfeited and the full balance is still due, plus a $50 NCNS fee will be applied.
If I have to reschedule you due to a birth, it does not count against your reschedule limit. I know births are unpredictable, and while I try to accommodate everyone to the best of my abilities, sometimes life intervenes. Which is why I don't penalize you for it.
When will I receive my photos?
Approximately 2-4 weeks after your session (weddings usually take about 8-12 weeks), I will have your custom gallery completed, your precious story told, edited, and put together; in both high resolution for personal printing and web resolution for online sharing.
I will usually post a sneak peek photo of the session on my Facebook page within a few days of your session. You will receive a link to a all of the photos in the gallery, and from there you will pick out your favorite images for your package, unless you choose one where the entire gallery is included. If you can't pick them out, no problem, you have the option to have ALL the pictures in your gallery if you want. Plus, the ability to make prints from anywhere, and to post the web shareable images where your heart desires. Although, I do recommend ordering from me to ensure the best quality of your memories.
If an album is ordered, you will use this gallery as well to pick the images you want in there. There is an option to "favorite" your selections in the gallery for those that you want put into your album design.
Recently, I added the option to print right from your gallery. This way you can select the image and sizes you want, check out and have them shipped directly to your home. I do recommend watching out for crops before ordering, because certain sizes do crop off some of the image. Normally this is an easy fix, but if you have questions to contact me before placing your order. Once they are placed, they go directly to my lab and I have no control.
This doesn't take away the option to order directly through me though. I still love to be able to sit down with you over coffee and plan out a specific order for your family's needs. Order directly through me ensure the best quality as I control every aspect of my lab handling.
Galleries will be open for 30 days to download images, afterwards they will be closed and a $50 reactivation fee will be applied. I do offer digital image preservation services, where I keep your images archived for a certain amount of time that can be purchased as a back up plan to make sure your memories are never lost.
*Orders through me will not be placed until selections are given to me in writing, whether it is in paper form or through email message.