Answers to Frequently Asked Portrait Questions
There are a few tips that can help make a portrait session a huge success.
How much should I look to spend on custom portrait photography?
Portrait photography with a private photographer can run you anywhere from $150-$500 just for the time of the photographer. It can seem so outrageous to spend that kind of money just to have someone show up and take a few photos. I mean, its only a quick click with an iPhone, right? Know there is more to it than that. The cell phones have really taken the shine off professional photography.
First, just to hire a professional photographer there is time involved in setting up the shoot, scouting the locations for the right light and right time of day. Then the time to take the photos and edit them.
When it comes to editing, here at Cordele Photographer I don't just dump the photos right out of the camera onto a website. I carefully go through each photo and select the best of the best. From there, we improve the image for lighting, contrast and color. Each one of my photos goes through a distinct process in the editing room. For every hour spent shooting, I spend two hours at the computer making sure every image is perfect. It’s rare that clients need to come back to me for requests to fix an image. Our own in studio sessions are $150 for 30 minutes on a seamless background, or $200 for on-location and one digital file.
Why such the range on portrait photography prices?
Well, like anything else, there is a range of experience with photographers. Some photographers have studio spaces, and some have home work spaces. I am fortunate enough to have a wonderful space in my house to work if I need it. While I am 98% on location photographer, maybe 3 times a year, people need to just take a quick headshot photo and I have a space for that. My shooting space has its own private entrance and bathroom. Having studio space that's not retail helps keep my overhead low. Which assists in the experience you have with me. Which goes into the various pricing between other photographers.
What should I expect for the process of booking a portrait photographer?
First, I like to set up a phone call. From there I ask some key questions that really help me to better understand your photography needs. I will also ask you to take some snapshots of your walls (if it's a family session) where you might consider hanging art work. From the initial call, you will receive a packet of information that answers questions you may still have. After the shoot, I come back to the studio, maybe put a teaser image on Facebook or blog. Then I go back to editing, cull the images down to the best of the best. From there, we will schedule a time to sit down and go through the images together. It's my job to help you select the best images of your portrait session.
Do you have any quick tips for what to wear for a portrait shoot?
Yes! Keep outfits simple. Go for solids. Avoid patterns. Keep everyone in the same color family. If you have one person that is earth tones, put everyone in earth tones. If you have one in pastels, put everyone in pastels. White shirts and jeans tend to date photos. Part of my style is bright and bold. I like to have colors that pop in the photo. I also will tell you to consider where you might hang these photos. You want to be able to pull in colors from the room a big portrait might hang. If you have a gray them, think about wearing blues. I have a orange wall in my home and we dressed neutral for our shoot. It ties the room together so nicely.
Where should I or how should I find a great portrait location?
Well that's one area that I really work at! I have a list of places that I have collected over the years. I go out on location hunts and find locations that have interesting backgrounds and architecture. I have been known to ask friends to use their barns or living rooms. I want locations that are original. If you have a look or feel you want for your photo, let me know. I am sure I can find a location that is perfect for you. I also will consider the room you are hanging these in. If you are looking at hanging something fun in your child's playroom we might hit up a park. If you are hanging something in a formal living room, we might head to a more sterile location. We want the photo to match the location it's going to be hung.
What kind of style portrait photography options are there?
Well, it depends what kind of portrait photography you are doing. If it's family and kids there are a few options: you can have standard portraits on a backdrop or you can do an outdoor portrait shoot. With an outdoor shoot, you have the option to make it just standard portraits of looking directly into the camera (mini sessions) or you can have a more involved shoot that captures your life as a family. During those shoots you end up having more interaction, more laughing, more poses and just plain old more fun!
How long should it take to get portrait photographs back?
This is all dependent on a couple factors:
-the time of year
-the length of shoot
-the type of shoot
-number of people in the shoot.
If it’s between the months of January-April our turnaround time can be as quick as a few days and if two weeks. During Wedding season (April to October) turn around can run up to 3 weeks. If it's between October -December turn around can run 3-4 weeks. Fall in New England is a huge season for fall portraits.
When is the best time or season for portrait photography?
For outdoor photography you really must watch the season. While Spring is pretty you sometimes get late tree growth, so everything still looks stark and bare until late May. During the fall, you must watch the weather as it can turn cold quickly. You don't want to wait too long to photograph your little ones outside. Cold kids are unhappy kids! October gets tricky as the weather can really change, plan early!