HOW WE PREPARE FOR YOUR SESSION
You have reached out to me and after your initial enquiries you want to go ahead with a session. Yay!
I always require your deposit payment to secure and confirm your session date. Unfortunately I can’t hold availability based on enquiries alone. Once your session is locked in we move to the planning stage. Please let me emphasis that you are free to ask me as many questions as you like, I am here to help after all! We will email as many times as you need, and I am even happy to give you a call in the planning stage. I want you to be as prepared and ready for our time together as possible. To get the very best out of your session I am also happy to style you for your big day so please feel free to send as many links or images as you need.
By now we should have settled on a date and time for your session, as well as a location. The only exception is newborns. These are organised a bit differently because most people don’t know the exact day their baby will be born. I just note down the due date and know to expect a session around that time. Once your baby has arrived we can confirm the time and date.
I generally send you a confirmation email about a week before your session. This confirms all the details – time, location address, any necessary preparation required, what to bring and an account summary. Your session fee will be due by the date of your session. Here is a sample checklist of things to prepare for your session:
- Lay all your outfits out and see if there is anything you want to add or is missing.
- Dress kids after they have eaten and just before getting in the car (for location sessions).
- Pack CLEAN snacks and water, wipes, a brush and bug spray.
- Talk about me as a friend and not just a photographer to your kids. Make suer they know this will be fun.
- Bring towels and a warm change of clothes in the car for the ride home in case there is any water at your location and you are ok with getting wet!
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR SESSION
Our session day has arrived. You have likely spent weeks if not months planning for our time together. Whatever should happen before the session, know that when I arrive you need only relax and love on your family. There is no pressure involved. We will meet and chat for a few moments before I even get my camera out to get to know each other even better.
I will actually arrive a few minutes early to set up – that’s either on location or in my studio. I love to use natural light where possible and ideally want to use locations that you love to help tell your story. This way you will love your photos forever as they mean something to you. At in home sessions I’ll look around your space a bit and work out the most beautiful corners of your home and where the best light falls. But on location I can generally move straight into the session. I will begin shooting shortly after we meet so that we take advantage of that initial excitement and wonder.
At all sessions I have a loose workflow I like to follow. I usually do the “stand and smile/everyone looking” obligatory shots straight up to get them out of the way first. As I mentioned earlier, at this stage I like to capitalise on the kids attention and co-operation. Both on location or as an older sibling holding their new baby, it is at the beginning of the session that I have the greatest chance of capturing the happy smiles.
From there, I’ll work on a few “combination” portraits, siblings, and parents etc. I’m aware young kids have a very short attention span for the sitting, smiling and following instructions so I like to get this done super quick.
Once we have these safe shots its fine to let your hair down and let the kids run free. This is the part where I encourage my clients to play and have fun. I can’t capture those genuine interactions if everyone is sitting stiffly smiling at the camera. So be prepared to play chasey, throw kids in the air, roll around on picnic rugs, tickle, cuddle – you name it. I will also encourage us to move to take advantage of all the natural elements of the location. And of course follow the gorgeous light.
Remember the key to looking good in photos is to relax and have fun!
Illness and really bad weather are the only reasons I see for cancelling a session. If it rains we reschedule. I usually don’t like to make a final call on this until the day, the weather man is often wrong or the bad weather may only last for an hour and have no impact on your actual session. If I am concerned about the weather I will be in touch beforehand to discuss options.
If you, your kids or I are sick, we should definitely postpone. Sick session attendees are not at their best, it isn’t fun, and you won’t get those smiles and tender moments you have hired me for. I don’t want to share germs with you or your kids or the other way round – sharing is not caring in this case! Also, if any of you have a running noses, crusty eyes or spots all over, I’m not going to attempt to photoshop every image to try and “fix it”. I am much happier for you all to look your best – let’s pick another date.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE SESSION
Your portraits will be culled to include the very best images. I will individually hand edit these images, colour corrected and fine tuned for presentation.
Within two to three weeks you will be presented with your private online viewing gallery to look over with your family. At this stage you will have two weeks to review your gallery and make your selections for the included files or a package upgrade if applicable. Once the final payment has been received I will prepare your package for delivery either digitally direct to you inbox or a USB shipped to your address.
All your gallery images will be archived for at least one year. However, I strongly advise and encourage you to copy and back up your session files to several locations. With the continual advancements in technology your USB may become outdated if is has not already corrupted before then. I recommend you print and copy files to all devices, and ideally a cloud based storage option too. If you lose your files and contact me later, there will be an admin fee to replace them if I still have them stored. So please do take care to store and back up your files carefully.
My products are all digitally based as I know you want to leave with digital files to do as you please with. But I ask please print off some of your photos. A tangible product to look at and adore is so much more special then snuggling up on a cosy couch with your USB! You are welcome to look through my selection of fine art printed products that I have researched and sourced from around the world. If you do select a printed product delivery times vary due to the special, hand made nature of these products but I will contact you to organise pick-up as soon as your art arrives (postage options are available).
Sharing of images on places such as Facebook, twitter and Instagram is encouraged. Jessica does however thoughtfully request that you include photographer credit on any image posted. Any creative changes (like filters) made to the images created by Jessica Lockhart Photography may lower its quality and subsequently damage my reputation. Thank you for respecting the creative works.