1. When should I contact you for my portraits?
If you are looking for portraits or a family session, then contact me at least 6 weeks before your preferred session date. I do family sessions year round, not just in fall before the holidays. I sometimes have to reschedule things and dates pop up, so don’t be afraid to ask if we are within the six weeks of your date, especially for sessions offered during the day during the weekdays. The busiest time of year for portraits is the Christmas/Holidays season. Those dates generally open in late August and early September, and fill within a few days. Please plan in advance, trust me, you will thank me for making the process easy for you to book, and get to know you before we even meet in person. The planning is part of the session, and allowing more time allows you to feel pampered and prepared. If you are an expectant mama, make sure you contact me while you are still expecting! I fill up quickly, especially weekend dates, so I recommend setting up your newborn session by the time you are seven months pregnant.
2. How do I pay and book a session with you?
If you have decided on a date (or tentatively set up if you are expecting a baby), then I send you an electronic booking. Once you sign the booking and make your first retainer payment, you are officially on the calendar. Half of your retainer is due at the time of booking and is easily made through a secure online merchant service. Or, if you prefer to pay by PayPal let me know in advance and I will invoice you directly that way. Otherwise, my payments are done online through secure credit/debit card payment. The second half of your retainer is due two weeks before your session date. If you session is within two weeks of your session date, then payment is due in full.
Special Mini-Sessions set up a couple times a year also require payment in full to secure your spot due to limited spots.
Wedding payment plans are slightly different and set up when your contract is sent out, but a 25% non-refundable retainer is required to book your wedding date.
3. I want all the digital copies of my pictures, can I have them?
I love to take pictures, I literally can’t stop taking them because I love every moment big and small of our session. I don’t show you every picture I take, I mean, even Blake Lively has some bad pictures. You don’t want to see them all. Part of my custom photography offering is deciding which ones to edit for your gallery. Within two weeks of your session (except weddings, which take longer) you will have access to an online proofing gallery to make your selections from. If you prefer to order in person, please set up an in-person ordering session at the time we book your session. My retainer does not include digital downloads in the price. I offer digital negatives with personal printing rights as you purchase artwork collections, or you may purchase digital negatives a la carte for $50 each. The art collections that include digital negatives are offered at a discounted rate for the digital negatives, as well as gorgeous, tangible artwork to hold/hang and enjoy every day in your home.
There are two art collections with some digital negatives included with the artwork. Typically, clients want to have a digital back up of the art they chose, or a few shots to share on social media. If you truly just want all the digital negatives for your entire gallery and you cannot live without every single picture in your gallery you may do so.
4. I have no idea what to wear, or how to stand, I am feeling overweight, and I am so uncomfortable in front of the camera, so I should wait to take my pictures, right?
Please don’t let your body image stop you from getting pictures with your kdis! There is no time like now to photograph you and your loved ones. I will help you feel your best, and help you pose and take photos at flattering angles for you. The session will be so fun and full of love you will hopefully let all those fears and worries go. Don’t think it matters if you are in the picture? Try again, trust me, it does. Read this amazing article about how self-esteem can be boosted by showing family photos in your own home: http://designaglow.com/blogs/design-aglow/17493452-how-family-portraits-boost-your-child-s-self-esteem.
Have ever you lost someone you loved? What do you remember about them? What memories do you have? How do you tell their stories to your loved ones who may not remember them? Pictures are a great starting point. Losing my own father a few months before I started my photography business has had a significant impact on why family portraits are so important to me.
As far as what-to-wear, a quick search of the Hamilton Creek blog and you will find a lot of tips for what looks best. What colors to start with for family photos, why neutrals are best for timeless newborn portraits. Why I feel pattern and texture are important in your images as well. One of the first thing you receive from me with full bookings is a welcome packet that includes a what-to-wear guide. I am available by text and emails if you want to send pictures or bouncing ideas. I pride myself on being honest and helping your own personal style still show through, they are your photos in the end after all, so they should look like you!
5. What happens if it is raining?
I do a last check in a few days before your session, so if rain is in the forecast, we start talking about what to do next. You should have my cell phone ready the day of the shoot, and make sure I have your cell phone, too. I like to wait until the day itself to make a final decision on rescheduling because weather is so fickle and always changes. I will photograph you on overcast days, and don’t reschedule for clouds, but rain, that is where I draw the line. I also recommend rescheduling if we have had a large amount of rain and we are shooting at a location that doesn’t hold rain well. Not that it happens often, but if the weather is too cold for little ones, we can also talk about rescheduling, so we start talking about that a couple days before the session date.
6. I see you offer digital downloads, can I get that on a disc or USB instead?
I offer digital negatives as downloads for clients who purchase them or upgrade to art collections. This is because most clients prefer to have instant satisfaction that downloading the images offers. If you prefer a USB, you may add that on to your digital collection purchase. You must purchase the digital option to add this option.
I don’t offer discs any longer as they are already outdated. Digital delivery systems change as quick as technology, and it is constantly changing. Having a hard copy print, a canvas, hand made wood photo block, or gorgeous album will never go out of style. That is why artwork heirlooms are a big part of my full service photography experience as well.
7. Do you offer any discounts?
Repeat clients get special offers and referral credits, sent usually in quarterly newsletters. If you are a new client and have been referred by someone, be sure to let me know. I offer a gift 8×10 print for new clients who book with me at the help of a current client referral. Not only do you get the print, your friend who referred you gets a print on their next Hamilton Creek Photography session. If you referred to me and book a newborn or maternity session, then you both get a $25 print credit when their session is completed as a thank you!
8. Why do your prints cost more?
You are investing in professional photography. Why wouldn’t you trust your prints and artwork for your home to be professional as well? Professional labs that are calibrated to my computer are how your prints are going to look their best. Walmart and other one hour print labs are just not the same quality. I also do the ordering for you, fill the order and ensure they look great before delivering the final product to you. This time is part of my service and that is part of the cost as well. Building albums, creating canvas displays and ensuring prints are cropped appropriately is part of my expertise. Want to read more about the difference in professional versus consumer labs, here is a great article – http://www.clickinmoms.com/click/blog-print-lab-comparison-pro-lab-versus-consumer-lab/?fbclid=IwAR03uxc56RIwt-pw_5RqK3gjzKvE9OvGqdFjtlBI-S5QKhEV1N2gEl5KXdI.
9. Now that I ordered my artwork, when do I get it?
Prints and most artwork take about 2-3 weeks to process and ship to you. Albums and the custom hand-made wooden photo blocks take up to two months, but I promise it is all worth the wait!
10. Why do newborn and beach sessions cost more?
Newborn sessions cost more because they also include more of my time at the session. They also tend to take a little more time in editing. Newborn skin can be very uneven, and takes a bit more behind-the-scenes magic to create amazing artistic photographs. I still prefer to keep baby’s natural look and don’t smooth out all perfections, as I think it makes look babies look plastic and doll-like. But, I do help even out skin tones and simple baby acne if requested. If baby needs a diaper change or feed, you don’t want to limit our photographic time. I want to put baby’s safety and well-being first and part of that means just taking our time with them.
Beach sessions include a $50 fee as they require additional driving time. If you pick one of the lovely beaches in Hillsborough County, there is no beach fee. However, Redington Beach Pier and Anna Maria Island or other beaches in Pinellas or Manatee County will require the beach travel fee.
11. Do you offer grow with me packages?
I don’t do milestone packages or grow with me packages. However, if you book a full retainer session within six months of another session, your next session fee/retainer is discounted 25%. If you book a maternity session, you also receive $50 off your newborn retainer.
Ready to book your own Tampa family photography session or newborn pictures in Tampa now? Please be sure to use the contact button above, or email me directly at Brooke@HamiltonCreekPhotography.com.