I know you’ll have some questions, so here are some answers to get us started!
Q: What does documentary mean? Do we have to pose? How do we act?
My documentary-style approach of capturing your family means no posing is necessary and no props will be used. I do my best not to alter the environment in any way. All you have to do is be yourself and carry on as you typically would with your family. My job is to make the experience feel like we are hanging out together and that the camera is almost an afterthought. Sometimes I will quietly observe, other times I will join into the fun that your family is having!
Q: How long is our session?
This varies, depending on your session of choice. Day in the life sessions are either half-day (4-5 hours) or full day (8-10 hours). Hospital newborn sessions are usually 2 hours long, although an in-home newborn session may run slightly longer, depending on the needs of your baby for nursing, comforting, and diaper changes. Birth sessions are the wildcard – I will try and be there as soon as active labour begins, and stay for 1-2 hours after baby arrives to document skin-to-skin, first feeding, cuddling, and weighing/examination. If there are older siblings, I will definitely stay to capture them meeting their new baby.
Q: What kind of locations do you recommend?
I shoot both in-home and on-location, but regardless of the “where”, the more important question is – will this place be meaningful to your family? Think of places that your family visits as part of your ritual or routine. The connection between people is important, but if the environment can enrich the story, it will be even more meaningful!
Q: What should we plan to do?
For longer Day in the Life sessions, no plan is needed. However, for 1-2 hour sessions, it is always helpful to have a few activities to help with the flow of the session, but in my experience, just let the kids be as their awesome selves! Offer up a couple of options to get things rolling, and then let your time together unfold organically, with no expectations. Just relax, enjoy, love on your family, and let me capture all of that!
Q: What should we wear?
Please do not go out and buy new outfits for everyone. It is not that kind of session. Dress with comfortable clothing you already own, something you feel great wearing and that your kids can play in. It would not really reflect everyday life if you are dressed in well coordinated clothing, would it?
Q: Do we have to clean our house?
Not at all! But if you really must, think of it as friends are visiting – tidy up like you would for them. Please don’t stress about cleaning every baseboard and plate rail, and staging it like it belongs in the pages of Houzz. Sometimes a little mess tells a good story too! To me, it means a room well lived in and a home well loved.
Q: What if our child doesn’t behave ideally?
If you child is being who they are with me, as they would with you, then I cannot ask for more. Children are often the most authentic of the bunch, their actions and expressions are pure and unfiltered and that, to me, is gold. Please don’t feel the need to bribe or discipline, unless of course it is a situation that requires your attention at that moment. Please do not be alarmed if I document those tender or challenging moments as well, because family life is a full spectrum of joy and tears.
Q: Can we have traditional portraits?
Sometimes traditional portraits are important too! Grandparents love to have them framed on the mantle or their wall – I know mine do! Please let me know ahead of time if this is something you would like. We can spend 5 to 10 minutes at some point during your session to do a few camera aware shots. This is the portion of the program where I will offer some direction, particularly to keep the children engaged long enough to capture a few images. Please note that this is not guaranteed, as some children are just not willing or feeling up to it at that moment.
Q: What are the payment timelines like?
First, your booking is confirmed with payment of the session retainer. Then, after your session has been edited and ready for sharing with you (typically 6 to 8 weeks after your session), this is when payment for your Collection of choice is due. If you order additional products, payment is required prior to placing the order with the labs.
Q: Do you accept payment plans?
Absolutely! I want to work with your families to create this visual diary legacy, so we can definitely find a way to stagger payments out in such a way that fits with your monthly budget.
Q: What is a print release?
When you purchase digital files, you will receive a limited print release that will give you permission to use the images for non-commercial purposes. This includes the permission to print an unlimited number of copies of the images in any size and share the watermarked version on the web. However, copyright and artistic ownership remains with me.
Q: What if we prefer to keep our images private?
For sessions, the model release adheres to a normal industry standard, which allows me to use the images for any reasonable purpose for my portfolio and marketing. That being said, if you give permission to use these images, but do not wish to have your real names used in connection with them, I will respect that request to retain your family’s privacy.
Q: What if I have to cancel?
Your session retainer serves as a non-refundable fee. If you cancel more than 7 days before your session, the retainer may be transferred to a session at a future date within the calendar year. However, if you cancel less than 7 days before your session, I reserve the right to retain the amount in full.
Q: Would it be possible to customize my own product collection?
Yes, if you wish to order more products than the ones offered in the collections, be my guest! I can walk you through anything you may need, individual fine-art prints, grandparent albums, canvases, wall art collage, or otherwise.
Q: I have a vision for a wall gallery in my home for images from our session. Would you be able to help me design it?
Absolutely! I have a nifty little software that can take a snapshot that you give me of the wall you have in mind, and design a collage of your favourite images for virtual display, to scale. That way you’ll get a really good sense of how it will look like once mounted for display.