Small Family: 2-5 people
$500+tax. Includes 1.5 hours of shoot time, 50-75 edited JPEG files in a high-res format via electronic download, and a personal use release (so you can print your images, post them to social media, make cards and books, etc). Sessions are scheduled Monday-Thursday. There is a $50 upcharge for weekend slots (Friday evenings, Saturdays, and Sundays). If outside, shoots begin in the last 1.5 hours before sunset. If inside your home, we’ll shoot whenever your house gets the most light.
Large Family: 6-12 People
$700+tax. Includes 2 hours of shoot time, 75-100 edited JPEG files in a high-res format via electronic download, and a personal use release (so you can print your images, post them to social media, make cards and books, etc). Sessions are scheduled Monday-Thursday. There is a $50 upcharge for weekend slots (Friday evenings, Saturdays, and Sundays). If outside, shoots begin in the last 2 hours before sunset. If inside your home, we’ll shoot whenever your house gets the most light.
WHAT IS THIS TAX YOU SPEAK OF?
North Carolina makes photographers collect sales tax. Yesss, we are a service, but it’s a service that results in a product (the JPEGs) so NC deems that the entire fee is taxable. It’s automatically collected based on your county. No, I can’t look the other way and you can’t pay me under the table.
LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHY – IS IT FOR YOU?
Hey! Have a family? Need them documented in time so you don’t forget them, but aren’t big on wearing matching outfits and shaking puppets around to force your kid to smile in a garden somewhere in a suit? Then you’ve come to the right place! I photograph families in a documentary, day-in-the-life sort of style that’s often called “lifestyle photography.” Basically, it just means that the photos aren’t posed, but are focused on capturing your natural family interactions and relationships. It sounds kinda fancy-pants but really is just about people having fun together… with me kinda quietly lurking around the sidelines in a weird way while you pretend I’m not taking your picture (it’s not really as awkward as it sounds).
BUT WAIT. HOW WILL I KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MY HANDS IF YOU DON’T POSE ME? WILL WE ALL JUST STAND AROUND AND NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO?
Nah, the key is good planning (plus I’m a pretty solid director). Before these sessions, I’ll have you pick three activities that your family enjoys doing together. This can be anything, but it has to be kind of specific. So, instead of using the words “playing” or “exploring” (which are vague and usually result in nobody knowing what to do), think: making breakfast, gardening, playing with Legos, picking pumpkins, going out for ice cream, jumping on our trampoline, swimming, flying kites, building a pillow fort, etc. Once we have three activities, we’ll mold the session around these things. It gives you all something to do with your hands, and elicits natural smiles and responses from everyone so nobody looks awkward.
I do, for the sake of everyone’s elderly grandmother who will insist, pose about 3-5 pictures per family session where everyone [attempts] to look at the camera [with various degrees of success depending on ages and attention spans]. But, the rest of the photos are entirely unposed. So if you’re looking for something with more structure and more looking at the camera, you might want to skip me for now. But, if you want to document a normal day for your family in this point of your lives in mismatched outfits jumping on the bed, running down the hall, spilling milk, cleaning up cat hairballs, and other normal stuff, I’m your girl!
STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?
Absolutely! Two people are a family! You and your cat are a family! You and your mom are a family! It does not need to be a traditional, nuclear family by any means. I’m more about focusing on relationships. Some of you may know me from my days as a wedding photographer. My husband Geoff and I shot weddings together for 10 years, so a large part of my background is photographing couples and various types of traditional and nontraditional families.
Nope! They can be any age. However, I find that the best photographs of kids are taken when they’re 12 months and older, since they begin really smiling and interacting around that age, and you can do more with them once they start to move more independently.
I love photographing sessions in peoples’ homes. I feel like kids are naturally more relaxed there in their natural Cheerio-covered habitat, and parents are also more relaxed due to the readily available wine and coffee. It’s also much easier to switch tactics if your kid decides they don’t want to do any of the various activities we’ve planned for them. But, I also understand that not everyone wants to vacuum and clean up, so we can definitely photograph your session outside! As long as you choose activities that your kid wants to do (this is key to making the session successful), the session can take place anywhere. You can choose a place, or I can suggest locations that will suit your family best based on the activities you’ll be doing.
If you have a newborn, the session must take place in your home (or outside in your yard immediately around your home). It’s just easier to access necessary baby stuff, have access to controlled temperatures, and have some place to go for frequent breaks.
No, sorry! I specialize in groups from 2-12 people only, and I don’t photograph family gatherings around the holidays as I’m with my own family at that time (Thanksgiving/Christmas).
Payments are broken up into two parts. A $100+NC sales tax deposit is made within 7 days of signing the contract, and the remaining balance is due the week before the session. All monies are paid through a secure online checkout using your credit or debit card. I’ll give you a username and password once a contract is signed.
I travel for portraits within the Durham, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill area and the kinda-extended-Triangle of Apex, Hillsborough, Wake Forest, Pittsboro, etc. I generally don’t travel outside of an hour for portraits, but feel free to ask if you aren’t sure.
If it rains, we simply reschedule. Boom! Problem solved. If your session is indoors, we typically won’t need to on account of the roof. But occasionally it’ll be super dark and rescheduling might be necessary depending on how gloomy it is. If you reschedule for rain, the deposit and remaining balance just carry over to the new date.
For all other reasons other than rain, I permit one totally random rescheduling.
For indoor sessions, the pet that lives with you is encouraged to be there. For outdoor sessions, it depends. Sometimes taking photos outside can be stressful while lugging around bags of snacks, diapers, and clothes, all while trying to look happy and keeping an eye on your kids. So, minding an 80lb Shepherd might not be that easy to handle in addition if he keeps trying to eat the squirrels. Know your furry friend, and know yourself in terms of whether or not you think this would stress you out. Keep it simple if you aren’t sure.
Be comfortable and casual. With kids, you’re bending down a lot, so I’d advise against wearing something low-cut (unless heyyy that’s your thing!). Wear something you easily sit and lounge in. There’s usually a decent amount of kiddo wrestling or movement, so being able to be somewhat flexible is key. Patterns are fine, and so are graphic tees, just don’t put something like a Hawaiian shirt next to lumberjack plaid and you should be fine. Regarding colors, don’t all wearing the same color and don’t be super matchy-matchy, but try to wear the same family of colors… think blues/grays/greens or cream/brown/green or dark red/brown/tan or something along those lines. The only thing I would specifically avoid (besides everyone wearing the same thing) are articles of clothing that are neon colored (electric yellow, highlighter pink, etc). Anything that makes you look like you’re about to help a bunch of children cross the road or are trying to avoid being hit while jogging along a busy street are usually colors that don’t photograph well. Bright, crazy colors often reflect back onto your skin tone if you’re pale, and then kinda turn your skin that color too. So go for more neutral, earth-toney, or jewel-toned colors. Ask if you aren’t sure! I’m happy to help.
After we hammer out a date, I’ll send you an e-contract. Once you sign the contract, I’ll give you access to a client section where you’ll make your payments and fill out a questionnaire. This is where you’ll come up with your three activities and give me other key info on your family. Then, a few days before the session, I’ll call you for a phone consult where we’ll discuss your questionnaire answers, the weather for your shoot date, location info and hammer out any other details that we haven’t figured out yet.
After your shoot, I’ll take the pictures home, cull them down to the ones where you look good and edit those with my snazzy editing style. My editing style is pretty specific, so make sure you like it! All of my shoots are posted on the blog, so feel free to have a gander and enjoy. A couple days after the shoot, you’ll be able to see a sneak peek of your session on my Facebook and Instagram. The rest of the photos will be uploaded to your online gallery 2-4 weeks after the shoot. At that time, I’ll send you an e-mail to give you a heads up which will include instructions on how to access the gallery and send it to family and friends. Because photos take 2-4 weeks for return, If you’re planning on printing and using for holiday cards or some other announcement, please plan accordingly.
Because as a photographer my business is entirely visual, I rely on my ability to blog and post to social media every session I photograph. I post what I consider to be my best work and work I wish to continue doing, so I do not permit my clients to have control over which images I post. People seeing these photographs is how I continue to get more clients and grow my business. However, I also understand respect privacy concerns. It’s not my intention to make anyone worry or be uncomfortable in order to have good photos. So to strike a happy medium, I offer to keep your photos entirely private and kept hidden off every corner of the internet (no blog, no portfolio, no social media) for an additional $50 charge. Alternatively, you can also ask me to keep your names and any written info entirely offline (no tagging, no words on the blog post to identify you, etc) for no charge and I’d be happy to oblige.
My editing style has a lot of colors and contrast, and is a bit bold and modern. Make sure you take a good look at my portfolio and blog to make sure you like how everything looks! If you like my content but not my editing, I’m not the right photographer for you, so please make sure we’re a good fit before booking.
When I edit photos, I edit for basic color and contrast in Lightroom. I don’t routinely Photoshop things, and I’m not a professional retoucher. I can take out a zit or two if they occur, but if your kid dropped chocolate all down the front of his shirt, it’s just going to have to stay there. Same thing with crazy rashes, the bangs that your daughter cut herself the night before the shoot, and that tattoo you didn’t give your son permission to get.