So a lot of people ask me about how a typical session is, what is involved, what do you get, how long does it take? And that is what this article is all about. So we want to lead you through a typical experience.
Booking an Experience
So you may have been interested in how an “Experience” works. And it starts from the first day you talk to me about reserving it. What we do is decide on a certain date that you want to have your session. I try to keep my sessions to weekdays and I only do one client per day. This way I am concentrating ONLY on that one client. I hate rushing and that is the reason I really do not do Mini Sessions.
So we fill out the contract and pay the session fee. And then it gets booked.
About a week or two before the session, I will reach out to ask if you had any questions and what outfits you are planning on bringing. I typically will ask to send a photo of the outfits, so I know the color and style you are looking for. Also, I go through a list of things to prepare for, like drinking lots of water, groom areas that will be shown, etc.
The hardest part of a session is forcing yourself to drive to the studio and walk upstairs determined to do it. I have had more clients who could not do that part. It is scary and that is true. You are coming to have photos taken in the most vulnerable form possible. I do ask you how your comfort level is as soon as you arrive. And you are greeted with a lighted sign saying “Hello Gorgeous ((Your Name))” and then you get with our Makeup and Hair team. Who will take great care of you.
We spend about an hour and a half working on you and when done, I ask you again how your comfort level is? This time is crucial for your experience, because it gives you time to get to know me and my Makeup/Hair Team. That is why Hair and Makeup is included in the price, because it is required for sessions. Often Hair/Makeup time relieves nerves and makes you a little more comfortable. You can ask questions at this stage, have a small drink, chit-chat, etc.
You Look Fabulous!
When Makeup/Hair is complete, we move to the studio, where we get a look at what you brought. And we determine which outfit to get into first. But I also ask two questions: 1) What part of your body do you absolutely love? 2) What part of your body do you not like? These questions are crucial for me to know what parts to hide and what parts to emphasize. Many women love their butt and so we do tushie shots during the session later when you are comfortable. And many do not like their tummy. So we do things to de-emphasize that area.
But I will also inform you that YOU ARE 100% IN CONTROL!! If you are not comfortable with things I ask you to do, you have the full right to say no. I want to make this an experience that you can walk away from feeling empowered and if you are put in poses that you do not feel comfortable with, then you will not feel empowered. I have heard of stories from past clients that had a session done before by another photographer and they have walked away feeling ashamed. If you walk away feeling ashamed, then I didn’t do my job.
Seduce the Camera!
Now is the photo session part. We help you to pose, often times I will do the pose first and then have you do it. We will start with outfits that cover you the most and then move to outfits that cover less. This coincides with how your comfort level is. And this may or may not lead to implied shots. (AGAIN comfort level) I will never force you to do full nude shots. Nor implied if you do not feel comfortable with. Even with implied shots, I instruct what I am looking for in the shot and then I turn away or go out of the room, so you can get into position in private. To this date, many of the implied shots I have done, I never saw any private areas. Of course there is the occasional wardrobe malfunction, but that happens and it is quickly corrected.
My general rule, is I DO NOT photograph clients below the waist uncovered.
A photo session could take 1.5-2 hours on average, but if shots are turning out awesome and the client’s comfort level is going really well, then it has been known to last 3-4 hours.
Many of my clients eat a light breakfast before coming in for a 10:00 or 11:00 am session and won’t eat lunch, so we offer a blood sugar bowl, with protein, salty, or sugary snacks, which you are welcome to have. We do not want you fainting during your session.
Are We Alone?
This goes again with comfort level. We want you to feel safe and empowered. I have an assistant who comes in every once in a while to help out, or when she can’t, my wife has been known to help during sessions. Most of them I have been one-on-one with the client. But I have had clients bring a friend or spouse (husbands can be funny, because I put them to work :D). My general rule with friends is to bring someone who is supportive and not distracting. They need to be positive and encouraging, and not negative. I have had a couple of those and I asked one of them to step outside. I can’t do my job of empowering you when I have a friend saying “why did you wear that?” or “Ewww, I don’t like that pose”.
That’s a wrap! What do I get?
So when we are done, I say good bye and then I go back to my office and start editing your gorgeous photos. Now to be clear, photos do not come with any sessions. Photos are an additional cost, which is where we come to that next.
So about 1-2 weeks after your session, we invite you back for a photo reveal and ordering session. At this point, we get to show you a slideshow of your photos set to music. We encourage you to invite your friend, spouse… even had a couple of clients who brought their mom. So you get the chance to see your photos. And at this session you get the chance to decide what you would like to purchase. On average, we have sales that are around $1000 or more for each client. You have the options of purchasing Albums, Digitals or Wall Art. But you don’t have to decide right then which photos you want to include in albums. We get you a link to the gallery, where you can go through in more detail and decide which photos you want.
And yes, we offer payment plans for any products, this is often in 2-3 month payments. No products will be ordered until payment has been made in full.
Display your new you!
So after you order your products, you get them back and you can proudly display them wherever, or gift them to your significant other as a gift. But more importantly, we want you to walk away feeling different. We want you to feel empowered. And it wouldn’t hurt for you to come back for a future session.