Anyone who has met me knows how much I care about my clients walking away happy and not just coming back for more pictures, but being excited to tell their friends and family that they have just found the most awesome photographer!
I believe that a big part of that overall excitement and satisfaction depends on how well I’ve communicated what my clients can expect from start to finish. If ever you think I could have communicated some detail better, please let me know!
Here is what you can expect:
While I am happy to chat, the best way to contact me is via email. I will more than likely request that we move Facebook chats to email and phone conversations should be followed up with something in writing.
When you first contact me, I like to make sure I understand exactly what you need and expect from me, will check that you have seen my packages and pricing, and start planning a date, time, and location for your session. While I meet my prospective birth clients in person, I do not find that necessary for other sessions.
Picking a DATE and TIME:
It is best to schedule outdoor sessions either before the sun is high in the sky (depending on the time of year, we can get awesome light as late as 9 or 10am) or about an hour and a half before sunset (let me know if you are hoping for any sunset pictures when you book!). I can still get you great pictures at other times, but we will be more limited in locations. If you have small children, think about the time of day they are most happy and cooperative. We don’t want to schedule a session that might end up overlapping with a nap or meal time.
I schedule sessions year round during weekends and on days when all three of my kids are in school (MWF). We can be much more flexible with times for studio sessions.
Picking a LOCATION:
Your session can take place in my home studio, your home, or at a location of your choosing! There are even some great indoor public places that will work well if the weather is not cooperating.
We have some truly beautiful spots around Manhattan for outdoor photo sessions. I like to avoid the parks that are surrounded by houses and cars, but we have lots of great parks where that is not an issue, including: Tuttle Creek Outlet Park, CiCo Park, Wildcat Park, and Anneberg Park (to name some of my favorites). The KSU campus also provides some fantastic backdrops year round. I might recommend a specific location depending on the time of day, time of year, or even the weather. Some locations are safer for your high energy kids and some are easier to get to than others.
There may be an additional fee for locations more than 20 miles from Manhattan and there may be times I am unable to travel for sessions (during the busy Fall season for instance), but don’t be afraid to suggest spots I haven’t been to!
BOOKING and PAYMENT:
To reserve your photo session with me, I ask for a $30 booking deposit. You are welcome to pay the total session fee in advance; sessions must be paid in full before I will edit any of your pictures. Typically, I collect the balance before we finish up on the day of your session. I accept cash, check (payable to Little Leapling Photography), and PayPal (to firstname.lastname@example.org). I am required to collect sales tax on all purchases.
Before you arrive at your session, please complete my online contract.
Detailed terms and conditions are linked at the very bottom of the contract.
Between the possibility of Kansas weather not cooperating and kids getting sick, I am always as flexible as possible if a session needs to be rescheduled. If Mother Nature mucks up a session and you really need your pictures right away, we can always use my studio as a back up location. I’m a mom, too. We are living the same insane lifestyle, so you can count on me to bend over backwards to make things work, especially if a session needs to be rescheduled because my family needs me or I have a birth client calling me in.
When you ARRIVE:
Feel free to call or text if you don’t see me right away, but know I’m mostly likely en route and not necessarily able to answer my phone. If you see my maroon Honda Odyssey, but I’m nowhere to be found, I am likely wandering around (with my phone in hand) scouting out the best photo backdrops and lighting.
I like to spend the first few minutes chatting with you and your family so that we are on the same page and your kids can see that I’m friendly. We’ll jump into pictures with some traditional poses. I know that your littles are ticking time bombs and adults get tired of posing pretty quickly, too. We’ll probably get a couple standing and sitting poses of the full family, then get a couple poses of just the kids together, then I will spend a few minutes with each child. By that point, attention spans are exhausted and it’s time to play! Usually at least half of your photo session is dedicated to catching you in action and having fun. Those pictures usually end up being the favorites!
I’m very good at adapting to children quickly and can work with the ornery ones, the shy ones, the silly ones, the hyper ones, and even the stubborn or angry ones. Hungry or overtired kids are pretty much the only situations I’m doomed for failure, so focus on satisfying those two issues and I’m good to go.
The best thing you as a parent can do, is relax and laugh at the insanity. Getting frustrated or angry with your kids makes my job more difficult. Plus, the difference between you laughing or giving the death glare in the background is huge. It’s a rare kid that smiles pretty for 30 minutes, let alone an hour. I’m used to this and I understand your frustration with your kids 100% (I’m the same way with my own kids!). Trust me. You can’t force a smile. Just relax and watch me work my magic!
After your Session:
Even during the busiest picture times (October and November are by far the hardest!), I always do my best to share at least one teaser from your session within 24 hours. Facebook is the best place for me to do this, but I will always respect your wishes if you’d prefer not to have any images posted to Facebook (or even my website). Please tag and share your images! If you don’t, only my most loyal followers will see them!
If you have an urgent need to print an image before your gallery is ready, please let me know and I will work with you to more carefully select your teasers based on your needs and get those high resolution files delivered to you in advance.
I love to blog my sessions, so you can usually expect to see some action over on the Frog Blog within 2-3 weeks. This can take 4-6 weeks during the Fall season and when I find myself in very high demand. I will share that link to my Facebook business page and I ask that you share from there rather than posting the original link. As a small business, I live at the mercy of Facebook’s frustrating and ever changing policies and algorithms, so thank you for sharing the love!
The next step is for me to go back through and put final perfections on your images, perform black and white conversions on select pictures, then create an online gallery for you. I do not provide USB or DVD. You will receive an email with instructions for accessing and downloading your pictures. Your download will include your contract, a print release, and your high resolution images for printing. Please do your best to download your images as soon as possible so that you can let me know if there are any problems. I leave your files online for 30 days. After you download them, consider backing up those files on an external device and off site location. I am doing the same on my end, but I anticipate you will want to keep these pictures for a lifetime, so take good care of them!
What you Receive:
My packages are a little different than what you might ordinarily see. I have created affordable packages that come with the bare essentials along with plenty of ways to customize your session with upgrades. A family on a budget can get amazing portraits for less than $200, including their sitting fee, my time and talent hand-editing every image you see, and a print release to go with the high resolution digital files. I cannot even begin to imagine what that would have cost at Sears or Picture People when my now 10 and 8 year old were tiny and I never would have expected the quality of work I’m crafting for you.
Those clients who want more of my time, more pictures, or the opportunity to hand select images can upgrade their package for very reasonable costs. Like the vast majority of professional photographers, you will not receive any unedited images. What is listed in my packages is what you will get and I feel confident that you are getting a phenomenal value!
While I do not currently provide printing services, I strongly encourage you to avoid local stores for your prints. Places like Walgreens, Walmart, and Target have terrible color reproduction and low quality papers that tend to fade with time. Honor your investment and my artwork by taking the time to upload your high resolution images to a professional printing company or printing directly through your ShootProof.com gallery.
My favorite professional printers at great prices (and quick turnaround!) are MPix.com, ProDPI.com, and NationsPhotoLab.com. Some higher end professional printers include: SimplyColorLab.com, CGProPrints.com, WHCC.com, and MillersLab.com.
Since my computer monitor is not calibrated to a specific professional printer, if color correction is offered, I recommend selecting that option.
I care very much about your happiness and love receiving feedback. Occasionally, I will receive a picture of some of the products that were purchased using my artwork and that always puts a big smile on my face. I have an online client survey and love reading the reviews on my Facebook page. Tell me what you think of your pictures, anything that might have made your experience better, and drop me a line when you are ready for more pictures!