What should we wear for our photosession?

Since this is the most frequently asked question, I’ve taken the time to put together some important points to consider when selecting your wardrobe.

  • Don’t be matchy. I know this isn’t a real word but I’m hoping you remember this first point. Unfortunately, the normal tendency for people planning large group photos is to have everyone wear the same color or nearly identical clothing. Although this may sound like a great idea, it rarely works out because everyone will blend in together and your photos will lack personality. Instead, we recommend you select clothing that has some details, contrasting and/or similar color themes. For example, girls could wear prints and boys could wear solids/stripes. Dressing in layers is recommended too, it helps create depth and texture. Remember, color is your friend! I do not recommend wearing black and/or white because it doesn’t resonate in color photos.

  •  Avoid outfits with distracting logos or writing that will cause the viewer’s eyes to wander from the main subject; you.
  • Be comfortable with what you’re wearing. If you’re not comfortable, it could show in your photos. This is particularly important for maternity sessions. Make sure you can easily move around in your clothes. If you’re constantly pulling down your shirt or fixing your dress straps, chances are, at some point, I may capture shots where your wardrobe is out of place. This also holds true for children. Select clothing they can freely move around in and perhaps let them help make wardrobe selections.
  • As every girl knows, accessories and shoes complete the look. I can’t tell you how many times my clients show up in flip-flops, looking great from head to ankles. Don’t forget about your shoes because your feet may show in some of your photos. Also ladies, don’t forget hair accessories and jewelry can add a lot to your overall look. You don’t want to be looking at your photos and wishing you could change some of those details after the fact.
  • Consider the setting and backdrop of your photos. If you’re planning to wear formal attire, be sure to communicate this because I might be planning on bringing you to a location which requires you to sit on the ground, grass or rocks. Another example is that if you’re planning on wearing a colorful summer dress for a spring or summer photosession, I would want to avoid any awkward urban or brick wall backdrops. Instead, I would visit a park, field or grove. This holds particularly true for seasonal photosessions. Whatever your vision is please share it with me. Great communication always leads to better photos!
  • Bring a change of clothes. There are so many good reasons to bring a change of clothes. Not only to help bring variation to your photos, but in Arizona, you never know when a clean dry shirt will come in handy!
  • While it’s great to dress current or be fashion forward, I don’t recommend dressing in trendy clothing for your photosession. This will only date your images and by dressing more timeless, your images will last longer!

What should we do to prepare for our photosession?

There are lots of factors to keep in mind when getting ready for your photosession. The first factor to take into account is the time of day your photosession is scheduled. This holds particularly true for engagement sessions, which I like to schedule towards the end of the day. This allows us to take full advantage of different lighting situations, such as bright sunlight, low light and sunset. I also like to photograph families with very small children near the end of the day because it’s challenging for infants and small children to avoid squinting while in harsh outside lighting.

For newborn sessions, I recommend feeding your baby an hour before the session. I also recommend closing the ceiling vents in the nursery to avoid blowing cold air on them. Just like us, newborns are happiest when they’re warm and full. Lastly, we try not to use a lot of props in our work. I believe your newborn is cute enough just the way they are and don’t feel over-the-top props and unnatural poses are necessary. However, if you’d like to use props in your photos, you are more than welcome to bring them to the shoot and we’ll do our best to incorporate them when practical.

Where do you perform photosessions?

Since we specialize in weddings and events, a majority of our shooting is on location. As a result, we are constantly discovering new and exciting places for your photosession. Living in the beautiful state of Arizona, we do a majority of our engagement and family photography at outdoor locations. For newborn photography, we can come to your home and conduct the entire shoot in the comfort of your home.

How many images will I receive? 

I capture a minimum of 100 shots an hour. Of those images you can expect to receive a minimum of 80%. Why 80%? We will not supply you with photos where I’m performing a light sample test shot, someone is blinking or a breeze moves hair/clothing. I take pride in delivering much more than a handful of great shots but a quantity that demonstrates a high level of professional consistency.

Do we receive retouched images?

Yes. We know you have lots of options when shopping around for a photographer. So what makes us different? While some photographers provide clients with low resolution photos, we only deliver high resolution photos. There is no “up-sell” after your event or shoot. While some photographers give you a choice to pick your favorite images for your disc, I provide you all the retouched images. We don’t withhold images and you’ll be amazed how many you get! In addition, you can expect to receive all of your images without a studio watermark accompanied with a signed printing rights release granting full personal use.

What does edited images mean? 

Your images are sharpened, brightened, color corrected and have adjustments to black point/white point. You can expect to receive more than half of your images in color and the rest as a mixture of black & white and sepia tone. If you would like all of your images in color please specify ahead of time.

When will I receive my images? 

I know you’re excited to see your photos. You should know I’m excited to sit down and start working on them to look as beautiful as possible. I never outsource your photos for someone else to edit because I want to maintain a high level of quality and consistency. For photosessions, the average turn around time is about one week and for weddings it’s two to four weeks. For weddings during the busy Fall and Spring wedding seasons, you can expect to receive your images anywhere between two to four weeks.

What happens if you’re sick? 

You should know that since the first day we created this business, we’ve never missed a single meeting, event or wedding. We also strongly believe in being fifteen minutes early rather than one minute late. In fact, the only thing that could keep us from capturing your wedding or event would be an act of God where we couldn’t walk or function. Basically, we’d have to be dead. However, the only occasion we would call you to reschedule a photosession would be for a newborn shoot and we were ill.

How do we hire you? 

For weddings, we require both a signed contract and a $500 retainer to book your date. We never shoot more than one wedding a day, so your retainer reserves the entire day. The remaining balance for your package is due no later than 7 business days before the wedding. For photosessions, we require a $50 retainer and the remaining balance can be paid on the day of the shoot.

Do you travel? 

Yes. We love to travel and always keep our passports on hand for destination weddings and events! We have already had the opportunity to shoot in Mexico, Las Vegas, New Mexico, Denver, California and Hawaii. We offer our services with no travel fee in the state of Arizona and have minimal travel charges for out-of-state events.

Why is providing a digital copy of the video so important?

If you’re anything like me, no matter how well you take care of your DVD’s, they always end up scratched or covered with fingerprints. In other words, it’s just a matter of time before they lose their quality or stop working. We provide you digital copies because we know that 100 years from now, they will maintain the same original quality. You should also know digital videos actually have a much higher picture quality than a DVD. Lastly, we understand it can be impractical to invite all of your friends and family over to watch your video on a DVD player. With your digital videos, you can share them online via Facebook or other websites. You can also use your mobile friendly devices (iPhone, Android, etc.) to store and play the digital videos.

How are the wedding videos edited?

We offer three types of wedding videos and each is uniquely edited.

  • The first option is a one song, professionally edited highlight video that combines the best moments of your day into a fun, fast-paced four to five minute video. This video contains short audio clips of your vows over the music and is meticulously synced to one song.
  • Val Vista Lakes Wedding Video from Mike Howard on Vimeo.

  • The second is a full length, professionally edited highlight video that can be selected in lengths of 10, 15, or 20 minutes. These videos are set to music but include longer audio clips of your vows and the best moments from your toasts. Additional live audio clips can be included in these videos if requested. This full length video allows me to capture all the emotions and highlights of your day.
  • The third type of video is the raw footage. This video is placed in sequential order and includes all of the video captured throughout your day. Because it’s unedited, it’s not set to music and all of the audio is live.

What types of products do you offer?

We offer a large variety of products including photographic prints, albums, photobooks, thank-you & save-the-date cards, holiday cards, engraved USB drives, DVD’s with custom labels, custom USB & DVD cases.

USB Drives

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