How does this all work
STEP 1: SCHEDULING YOUR SESSION:
In order to reserve a date, I will send you a booking proposal that will include my availability calendar, photo contract, and fill out a session questionnaire.
As you pull out your calendar, here are a few things to consider:
Given the beautiful colors and temperate weather, summer and fall are the busiest times of year for outdoor family photos in Wisconsin. If you'd like a session during one of those times (ESPECIALLY if you want a weekend spot), please get in touch as soon as possible! If you have a particular date or holiday by which you need prints or gifts (Mother's Day, Father's Day, Hanukkah, Christmas, etc.), be sure to book a date at least one month in advance of that date to ensure sufficient processing and printing time.
Babies and young children are almost universally at their very best first thing in the morning, which just happens to also be a great time of day for beautiful light. If you have children under five years old, I encourage you to consider a session at or as close to sunrise as you can reasonably be ready. If you have older children or have one of those rare babies that don't do mornings, the other time of day that gives us great light is late afternoon/early evening... usually around 1.5 hours before sunset.
Beautiful photographs can be made in any kind of weather, but I understand that there are some downsides to being photographed in the pouring rain or the freezing cold. I can and do reschedule sessions for inclement weather, but am also happy to use your home or one of my indoor or semi-indoor locations if sticking to the schedule is a priority.
STEP 2: THE SESSION ITSELF:
Once we've decided on a time and date and officially put your session on the books, I'll send you a getting-ready guide that will walk you through everything from choosing outfits to strategies for getting kids to cooperate. That guide has been created and refined over years of experience, so it typically answers 90% of the questions that come up, but I'm always happy to set up a time to chat if you want additional help. A few days before our session is scheduled, I'll reach out to confirm our time and location... at that point, if the forecast is questionable or someone seems to be coming down with the flu, we can talk about our rescheduling options. Otherwise, that's the perfect time to ask any last-minute questions or let me know if you've come up with a fun idea we haven't discussed.
On the day of the session, please block off 2-2.5 hours (3-3.5 hours for a newborn). Typically we're done within 60 minutes or so, but I don't charge by the hour, so if there's some kind of wardrobe malfunction or child meltdown, I like to stay flexible. If a parent has to leave for an important business meeting but the rest of the family is still available, that's fine... just let me know ahead of time so I can focus on getting that parent in the frame more while they're still available. Finally, take a breath and relax... I promise to give the grown-ups (and kids) breaks throughout the session as needed, and to make it as painless as possible for everyone involved. If it would ease tensions to crack open a beer before I arrive - or better yet, serve mimosas with breakfast - well then I say go for it!
STEP 3: THE FUN PART!
Within just a couple of weeks of your session, you'll receive an email from me letting you know that your photos are ready. Once you've had a chance to see them and marvel for a bit, you'll let me know which collection you want to purchase. After that, you'll have a full month to select the specific digital files and print items you want to use to fill that collection... zero pressure! If you're like me and like to see and feel things like album covers and paper types in person, I have samples of all the physical products I offer at my studio, and I'm more than happy to set up a time to have you come by.
Alabaster Photos Flexible Collections (collections is just a fancy way of saying packages)
What you're going to do with your images is perhaps the most important aspect to consider when you're planning for a photo session, but it's all too often the aspect that's overlooked... all that time and money invested deserve a better return than photos gathering dust on a hard drive somewhere. You'll never get the same feeling looking at your photos on a screen as you will seeing them on your wall or flipping through the pages of an album, so I include a substantial print credit with every collection.