What to expect & answers to FAQ’s

I always like to have a pre-shoot consultation with my clients to get a good idea of what they are after in terms of style, location, wall art, and to also help educate them with tips to try and achieve the most out of a session.  Here are answers to a few common FAQ’s, as well as session tips and what you can expect for each type of shoot.  Hope it helps!

“Do you include high resolution digital files?”   Yes.  The complete set of high resolution digital files are included with a minimum spend on physical products, or they may be purchased individually, or in groups of 5 or 10 from the a la carte menu.

“What is included in your session fee?  Do I receive any files or prints with that cost?”  The session fee includes a pre shoot consultation, the time and talent of the photographer during your custom shoot, post processing, ordering appointment, and order completion.  Most of which goes on behind the scenes, and far past just the session time itself.  It also acts as a retainer upon booking, reserving your scheduled session slot just for you.  Prints and products are then selected from the A La Carte menu.

“How would you describe your style?”  I love to capture the life and love that blossoms from the families and relationships I’m invited into.  My photographic style has been described as serene, natural, and relaxed, finished off with a touch of style and polish.  How could I ask for more, that’s exactly what I hope to achieve with every session!  I try to shoot in beautiful, soft evening light mainly on location, or in the warm and inviting studio for newborns.  All of which plays a big part in the final look and feel of the images.

“What is the best time of day to schedule an outdoor session?”   I try to recommend scheduling an outdoor session during the “golden hour” which is approximately 1-2 hours before sunset.  Such beautiful, soft, delicious light, that gives the best possible conditions for an outdoor session.  This is usually around 4pm for a shoot in Winter,  7pm for a shoot in Summer, and somewhere in-between for the rest of the year.  Obviously if it is a family shoot with young children, this may not work for you, but I do highly recommend trying it, as you may be pleasantly surprised at how well kids can cope for a special occasion.

“If our session is outdoors what will happen if it rains?”  As much as we’d like to bend the weather to our desire at times, wet weather is often an issue, especially in Auckland over winter.  This is where communication comes in, and we will talk about it on the day if necessary.  If the day is just lightly overcast we’ll generally go ahead with your session and use it to our advantage as a massive soft box, but pouring rain can be another story.  If we don’t feel like having some fun in the rain splashing in gumboots and covering under umbrellas, we can easily reschedule your session to a new date.

“What do we wear for our session??”   I’m not a big fan of telling people what to wear, or what not to wear, as clothing should show your personal style, and also be something that you are comfortable in.  Whether that is dressy, or casual, just try and think about what you want to be looking at on your wall for the next X number of years.  Layering always looks good with nice neutrals, or rich colours both working well.   My main tips are to please try and avoid logos, and crazy bright colours or strong reds, as they don’t typically photograph well.  A vivd pattern can also be distracting in photos.  If you really want to make the best of your shoot, trying starting with one colour combination that you love, and try to work a bit of it into everyone’s outfits.  That way you are not all matching, but everything works really well together.  The best way to see if it works is to lay it out all together on the floor and stand back to take a look.  I’ve got a couple of great clothing ideas at the bottom of this post from Wardrobe Wednesday, a great blog where fashion meets photography.  These looks may not work for everyone, but give a great visual on how to work outfits together to make the most of your shoot.

“Sounds great!  How do I get more info on packages or book a session?”  Yay exciting!  Looking forward to hearing from you!  Navigate to the contact tab above, fill out a contact form or email me directly at info@cherryontopbyshari.com, and I will be in touch to discuss your session via e-mail or phone.  Zero pressure, no obligation.  I’ll send you a link to my online product magazine which outlines more of what Cherry On Top Photography is about, package options and prices, and has samples of previous work.  If that’s got you keen and excited, we then arrange your session date and time!  Upon booking I’ll send you a booking contract for you to fill out and return, along with payment details for your session fee.

 

Pregnancy Sessions

Maternity sessions are usually shot between 34-36 weeks so as not to leave it late in case your baby decides to make an early entrance.  Typically they are done at an outdoor location or in your home surrounded by the loving items awaiting your new baby.

Feel free to bring along a few outfit changes, but most importantly bring what feels most like “you” and that you are comfortable in.  Clothing should be nice and fitted around the belly to help show off that beautiful shape.  A fitted white or black cami top is always nice, and can look great paired with a soft flowing skirt, or even choose one of the fabric options I always bring along which can be wrapped into a flowy skirt or dress.  Maxi dresses offer excellent comfort and style too, so make sure to bring one along if you’ve got one.  Try and stick to solid colours as one option, as stripes and strong patterns can be distracting to the beautiful bump.

Consider getting your hair and makeup done for your session.  Not only do you deserve to be pampered, but you will feel that extra bit beautiful.  I can help arrange this!

Partners and siblings are welcome to come and be part of the shoot if desired,  it’s such a special time that they should be included as well!

 

Newborns

Newborn sessions are best done before 10 days old while they are still really sleepy and love those snuggled poses, so get in touch before bubs arrives to make sure you are booked straight in for an approximate date.  If you decide after baby arrives that a session is something you’d like, don’t worry, still get in touch and I’ll do my best to fit you in right away.

Allow approx 3 hours, sometimes longer for your shoot.  Between all the feeding, changing, and snuggling, the last thing we want is to feel the need to rush.

A well fed baby is a happy baby so plan to feed just before arrival, and bring lots of nappies and wipes, and a change of clothes for everyone because accidents happen.  Bubs travel clothes that they arrive in should be loose and comfortable so as to help prevent those little clothing marks that will be noticeable when your baby is undressed.

The studio space will be warmed up with heaters ready for your special little one, along with a sound machine playing white noise to help them dooze off into dreamland.

I encourage you to bring along any items that you may want to incorporate into the shoot.  I love using blankets or hats that hold special meaning for you.

Do not worry if your baby messes on any items, it’s only natural, and everything is cleaned after each session.

Partners and siblings are welcome to come and be part of the shoot,  It’s such a special time that they should be included as well!

Bring along some water and snacks for yourself, even a book or magazine that you can relax and enjoy while bubs is being taken care of.

Most important – Sit back and relax!  Enjoy the time and rest assured that your new little baby is in good, safe, experienced hands.

 

Families

Family sessions usually take place at an outdoor location that we decide on after your pre-shoot consultation.  I love heading to the beach or park where we can have some fun and just let you all enjoy being together naturally.  Early evening is usually the best time of day so we can take advantage of that soft beautiful light that comes just before sunset.

Bring along any special items, or toys, or games that you like to play.  And a little treat for afterwards always helps to go a long way with little ones.

I’m not a big fan of telling people what to wear, or what not to wear, as clothing should show your personal style, and also be something that you are comfortable in.  Whether that is dressy, or casual, just try and think about what you want to be looking at on your wall for the next X number of years.  Layering always looks good with nice neutrals, or rich colours both working well.   My main tips are to please try and avoid logos, and crazy bright colours or strong reds, as they don’t typically photograph well.  A vivd pattern can also be distracting in photos.  If you really want to make the best of your shoot, trying starting with one colour combination that you love, and try to work a bit of it into everyone’s outfits.  That way you are not all matching, but everything works really well together.  The best way to see if it works is to lay it out all together on the floor and stand back to take a look.  I’ve got a couple of great clothing ideas at the bottom of this post from Wardrobe Wednesday, a great blog where fashion meets photography.  These looks may not work for everyone, but give a great visual on how to work outfits together to make the most of your shoot.

 

After the shoot

After the shoot wraps I’ll do my best to have your photos ready for viewing and ordering within two weeks, usually sooner.  We can meet up for a coffee on me, mmmm any excuse for a chai latte, or you can come to my studio space during daytime hours for your ordering session.  Online galleries will be available for out of town clients.  Once we’ve worked out what you love, and what package works best for you, I’ll get right to work on it, with completion times varying depending on what has been selected.  Your print order will then be lovingly packaged in my custom handmade paper photo cases, and digital files on a custom 2gb flash drive.  You’ll love receiving your order I promise!

 

Click here to get started on plans for your custom session!  Or need more info/time to think before booking?  I totally understand.  You want to make sure I’m a good fit for YOU, and what you’re looking for. Drop me a note and let me know what’s on your mind.  Zero pressure, no obligation.  I’ll send you  my online product magazine which outlines more of what Cherry On Top Photography is about, product options and prices, and image samples.  I’m also more than happy to reply back with answers to any questions, so ask away!  I’m so looking forward to hearing from you soon!  info@cherryontopbyshari.com

xx Shari