Portraits

UPDATE: As of August 2013, my husband and I are living in Daegu, South Korea. If you happen to live in this area and would like to do some photos together, please get in touch. Please note that the FAQS below are left over from my work in the States and may or may not apply. But at least view my portfolio gallery to get a sense of my style!

 

What makes you different than other photographers I might consider?

Both I and my mom, who’s my amazing assistant, are completely dedicated to putting the woman first, no matter who else might be in the shoot with her. You and the women with you will get our special attention—on top of the double makeover included in EVERY shoot!—to help you look and feel your very best.

We’re told we are approachable and relaxing, and that we make photography experiences refreshing and fun. We’ll blend the authentic loveliness of natural light with the soothing care of a salon experience and the flattering styling of the modern glamour movement.

You can read for yourself what clients have said about our time together.

What will I invest in portrait photography with you?

Your purchase starts at $175 for a 2-hour photo shoot in my natural-light studio in downtown Wichita and/or any other locations we choose together.

This fee also includes a double makeover—professional makeup and hair styling for TWO women*—at my partnering salon in Old Town. Additional women can join the shoot and get styling for $50 each. Bring your mom, sisters, daughters and/or friends, and let’s have a girls’ day out!

Senior girls, consider splitting your shoot into two 90-minute weekday shoots for just $50 more, so we have more time for more outfits, hairstyles and locations before we run out of energy and daylight! 

To enjoy your pictures for years to come, you can purchase custom crafted products during our private viewing session 1-2 weeks after your shoot.

While you’re always free to order gift prints and wall prints a la carte, starting at $25 per image and with no minimum spend requirement, I’d love for you to choose one of my signature product collections starting at $250 and enjoy $10 gift prints of the included images.

Most clients can expect to spend $500 to $2,000 total on their portraits. Once you get in touch for your free in-person consult with me, we’ll go over the full price list together to make sure you know exactly what you can get within your budget.

All rates and prices are subject to the Kansas sales tax for state residents.

How does the booking and ordering process go?

After you contact me, I’ll reply to any specific questions you have. Then I’d love to get together for coffee, tea or drinks at a 30-minute, no-commitment consult, so we can start getting to know one another and dreaming together about your images, and so you can see the gorgeous portrait products I offer!

Once we schedule a date, I’ll provide you with an electronic invoice with a link to PayPal. The full session fee is due within 72 hours (mailing a check is also fine) to secure your shoot date.

On the day of your shoot, we’ll meet at the salon in downtown Wichita. Once your hair and makeup are looking gorgeous, we’ll drive down the road to my natural-light studio, and then on to any other locations we may have chosen together. I’ll encourage you to bring at least 6 outfits for us to choose from (at least that many tops if not as many bottoms). Read on to see my advice for what to wear!

Before you take off to enjoy your night on the town while you’re all glammed up, we’ll also schedule a private viewing session for 1-2 weeks later in your home or a coffee shop, to order your images together, after I have handpicked and partially edited about 30 final images for you.

At that time, I’ll help you choose your signature products—accordion albums and keepsake sets of 8x10s or 5x7s—as well as any wall prints and gift prints on top of that. I’ll take 10 percent off the regular prices of anything you order at this session, as I’ve found that most of my clients are happiest with their ordering decisions when I’m there to offer guidance!

If you need more time to choose exactly which images you want, we can set up an online gallery for additional ordering during a 48-hour window of your choice, with a pre-purchase of at least $100 print credit.

For each image you get in print form, I’ll also post on my Facebook business page and/or send to you a low-resolution, discreetly watermarked version of it, ready for the oohs and ahhs of your friends!

Your custom portrait products will be hand-delivered by yours truly about 2 weeks after your order is finalized.

Why is $25 the lowest I can pay to get prints of a single image?

I’ve refined my pricing for 2013 to better account for the time, energy and expertise that goes into preparing each image I create for you, no matter what size it’s printed at. When you order a print, you’re paying not so much for the paper and ink as for this TLC I’ve put into making sure the photograph is just right—particularly, the retouching that’s critical when photographing women.

In this more-more-more society of ours, I want to give you quality over quantity—to help you choose just the images you love most, and to help you see each one as valuable, not just because of my efforts but because of the persons whose images they bear.

And, each $25 gift print purchase gives you not just one print, but either a set of 8 wallets or TWO 5×7/4×6 prints (one to keep, one or more to give!) so more people can enjoy the image we’ve created together.

What time and day of the week will my shoot be?

Your shoot will be in the early to mid afternoon (starting as late as 3:30 in the summer if you also want to be photographed outside), and will last 3-4 hours from start to finish. My winter shooting days are Wednesday and Saturday, and I only book one shoot per day.

I still want to lose ___ pounds. Am I ready for a shoot?

Ah, such a fun question. I know how many of you feel, as I’ve gained a good 20 pounds in the last 5 years of marriage, without having any kids yet!

I can’t presume to know for sure whether you’re emotionally ready to be photographed, but I do believe you’re not as many pounds away as you might think.

With good clothing choices, expert posing and a little bit of Photoshop, it’s pretty manageable for me to slim 10-20 pounds from your frame if you want me to. Yet, you’ll still look like yourself for all the family and friends who will see your images.

If you’re actively in the process of losing weight, you might wait just a bit till you’re closer to your goal. Or, having some beautiful photos of yourself at this stage might be just the reward, as well as motivation, that you need if you’re still 20 pounds or more from where you’re headed…and it just might show you that you don’t even need to lose that weight after all!

Whatever you choose, I would encourage you to learn to love the body you have now (you may not really be overweight anyway), and to even more broadly embrace the life you have now rather than living in the past or some unguaranteed future. It would be my honor to help you do so, by giving you photos that show you how lovely you are RIGHT NOW to those who love you most.

What should I wear for my shoot?

Hugely important question, women! I’m not naturally all that fashionable, but I’ve done my homework and I do have some tips for you. First, if you’ve ever watched TLC’s television show What Not to Wear, consider following their rules for your session, and even just a little more fitted! (Most of the following info is from their show and books.) They give great advice for choosing clothes that create long, curvy body lines (which can be seen at any height and size, really) without pulling or revealing in the wrong places.

Here’s a quick list of some clothing options that can help most women accomplish this goal:

  • Da
    rk denim jeans or trousers
  • Snug V-neck or scoop-neck tops with detail at the collar or neckline
  • 1/2- or 3/4-sleeved cardigans to slenderize arms in certain poses
  • Belted dresses and tops, cinched at the smallest part of your waist
  • Structured jackets to nip your tummy
  • Pencil skirts that go to the knee
  • Wrap dresses (faux is easier to wear) for an instant hourglass
  • Good-fitting bras that keep everything high and fully contained
  • Some amount of color that you love, mostly solids and a beloved print or two (completely monochromatic is not necessary for a slimming outfit)

And here’s a list of looks that many women should avoid for the most flattering portraits:

  • Loose, oversized clothing items (almost always make you look larger in a shapeless sort of way)
  • Turtlenecks, unless your neck is really long (we have other tricks for removing a double chin)
  • Tight pants and bras that create various “muffin tops”
  • Bare upper arms (they tend to draw attention from your face…at least bring a cardigan so we can cover them up for certain poses)
  • Lots of beige and pastel pink near the face (Caucasian women especially)
  • Gapping button-downs
  • Shirts that are tight on your lower waist (cinch them higher instead)
  • Horizontal stripes (if you’re really wanting to stretch yourself vertically)
  • T-shirts with writing, sweatshirts and other athletic wear
  • Cargo pants and overalls

Ready for ideas of complete outfits that I think could look great in your portraits? I’ve created an online picture board with some favorites!

Want to keep learning (with images) about flattering clothing choices? I recommend the following Real Simple articles:

Finally, during your makeup and hair styling before your shoot, my mom and I can also take a quick peek at your clothes selection (bring lots!) to make sure we’ve got your best pieces lined up. We’re here to help you look your best!

What else can I do to prepare for my session?

We’ll take care of your hair and makeup, so all you might do is find some photos of styles that appeal to you and bring them on your phone. Make sure your outfits are on hangers and as wrinkle-free as possible.

Feet and shoes are unlikely to show much, but consider getting a manicure to whatever level you normally do. At least have them trimmed to similar lengths and free of old nail polish.

If you color your hair, make sure your roots are touched up. If your eyebrows need tweezing or waxing, have that done a couple days before your shoot. If you have short hair, the stylist will wash it before she styles it, but if it’s longer than chin length, come with it freshly washed that morning or ideally the night before so it has just a little natural oil to work with.

NOTE: If you’re not going to have your shoot for several months yet, starting now to do some yoga or Pilates workouts will do wonders for your flexibility, posture and range of motion, especially if you’re a woman in your 50s or older. This will aid us significantly in our posing.

Otherwise, just get a good night’s sleep the night before your shoot, moisturize your skin, and then come and relax. We’ll take it from there!

I want photos with you, but the $500+ price is not in my budget right now. Do I have any options?

You sure do! By special request, I offer marathons of mini-shoots, each with 20 minutes of shooting and about 10 final images to choose from. For just $175 total, you also get a matted or mounted 8×10 print and fully retouched high-resolution file of 3 images.

Let me know if you’d like to schedule and help me fill up a day of mini-shoots, by booking one for yourself and spreading the word to your circle of friends and family!

If my purchase comes with high-resolution files, what will they be? Just files straight out of your camera?

High-res files aren’t the original files from my camera…they’re much better! They are full-resolution JPEG files, at the size of the largest print you purchased of that image, that I have technically and artistically enhanced for composition, color or black-and-white toning, contrast and sharpness. Most final images will also undergo mild retouching such as removal of blemishes and softening of facial lines, before you ever see them.

My enhancement and retouching choices are usually enough to please my photography clients, but I am happy to provide additional retouching at your request for an added fee. I want you to still look like you, but I also want you to feel like your most lovely self!

If I don’t purchase the high-res files, can I make prints from online images or from scanning my own prints?

Sorry, but no, for a couple reasons. First, being photographed or ordering prints of these photos doesn’t give you ownership or rights to reprint images, even in this digital age. Ownership always stays with the photographer, but a client may obtain reprint rights for personal use only by purchasing prints that come with high-res files. Any low-resolution JPEGs I post on my blog or Facebook are only for sharing online or displaying in slideshows and on electronic devices!

Secondly, the quality of prints from online images or scanned prints will be much lower than that of the professional prints I can provide, and even the prints you can make from digital negatives. Online images have a resolution (pixels per inch) too low for printing and will contain a lovely but visible watermark, and prints you purchase will have a beautifully textured finish that makes them look great but scan poorly.

So, if you want to print an image in any form, please order the product through me or go ahead and purchase the file!

What if I don’t live in Wichita?

You can come to me, or I’m happy to come to you! We’ll just add $1.50 for every one-way mile over 25 from central Wichita (i.e., for a session 75 miles away from Wichita, we’ll add $75 to your shooting fee). Want a shoot more than 200 miles from Wichita? We’ll customize your portrait photography purchase to account for travel time and expenses, including overnight stay.

Good news! Because of family and friends living throughout the country whom I love to visit, I’m able to provide portrait photography for much lower travel costs in and around these Midwest and East Coast cities: Colorado Springs; Denver; Dallas; Chicago; Baltimore, Maryland; Washington, DC; Arlington, Virginia; and Greensboro, North Carolina.

Organize 5+ shoots in your area and get a FREE photo shoot!

Will you photograph my wedding?

I’m not currently marketing myself as a wedding photographer, though I would be thrilled to provide you with bridal or couples portraits before or after your big day. I am experienced in wedding photography coverage, however, so if you absolutely must have me photograph your special event, get in touch to see my portfolio and discuss my prices, starting at $2500. Or, ask for my recommendations for other Wichita photographers, and ask them to contact me about being their second shooter!

What are my options for maternity and newborn photography?

Congratulations on your pregnancy! I’m so excited to help you capture this amazing time for your family. The best time for maternity photography is around 30 weeks. We can go a little sooner or later, but this gives us the most noticeable bump we can get before you start getting too uncomfortable for a shoot. I suggest planning at least one outfit that can show off your tummy (we can Photoshop stretch marks) as well as others that cover but still feature your bump.

Once you give birth, we’ll schedule your in-home newborn photo session for when your little one is 5-10 days old. Newborn acne and colic often appears around 2 weeks. This timeframe also allows us the best opportunity to have a sleeping baby that we can gently arrange into natural but precious poses for part of your session, as well as allow some time for me just to provide fly-on-the-wall documenting of you caring for your lovely little one. A super-clean home is totally not necessary, so don’t stress!

My shooting fee for a maternity/newborn set is $325 and includes up to 5 hours of photography between the two shoots. See the FAQs above for more details about the booking and ordering process.

Do you offer boudoir photography?

Yes, I do! Please note that because of the intimate nature of these images, I won’t ever publicly show your photographs without your specific permission for each image, and even then only during in-person consultations or password-protected galleries for other women interested in boudoir photography.

I’m still in the portfolio-building phase of this kind of photography, so if you’re interested in scheduling a discounted session, please get in touch for a free consult!

What if I’m not happy with my session images for some reason? Or with any of my prints/products?

If you’re unhappy with absolutely all of your photos, I’ll do a reshoot at no additional charge. If anything is wrong with one or more photography prints or products, we’ll fix and replace it at no extra cost and as little trouble for you as possible.

I want you to love your portraits!

Why are your rates higher than when you did a photography session for my friend?

When your friend booked me, it was likely I still had my day job to help us pay the bills as I built my portfolio, skills and equipment on the side. The portfolio-building phase of my business has ended, and I’ve implemented my full-fledged pricing for custom photography and prints. Fees and prices are still subject to change, but are unlikely to drastically increase in the near future.

I understand that I’m not the least expensive photographer around, and I’m not intending to be. My clients are women who value a highly customized, personal photography experience, and I understand that not everyone does. However, you can trust that I’m requesting carefully chosen, market-competitive prices that will enable me to continue providing women with thoughtful portraiture, top-quality products and “I’m here to spoil you” attention for the long term. It’s truly my mission to serve you the best I can.

If my style and methods resonate with you, get in touch so we can start planning our photo shoot together. I can’t wait to hear from you!

*Each hair and makeup styling is only redeemable on the day of your shoot, and may not be exchanged for print credit or a discount on your shoot fee. Take advantage of this opportunity to get pampered with another woman you care about!