You mentioned that you create mostly black & white portraits, so does that mean I should bring only clothes that are black and white?

No, ideally your clothing should have NO WHITE at all (with the occasional exception). White is usually too bright and creates a distraction that your eyes tend to fixate on. In b&w images light pastels can have the same issues (and virtually turn to white). Some black can be okay but too much black can create visual holes or dead space in the images. The beauty of Black & White is that all clothing colors and skin tones will blend together. Different colors will become varied shades of gray.

Do you provide hair and makeup for your sessions?

I strongly discourage your getting “too ready” for my sessions. Women should not wear more makeup for their session than they do on a normal day. A little eye makeup and lipstick for some contrast is usually plenty. Going to a makeup salon is never a good idea. They are generally not trained for photography and the results will not be good. Often, the best look is to fix your (and your kids’) hair in the morning and then don’t touch it again. A just-combed look is usually not natural looking.

I got a big zit on my cheek this morning. Should I cancel my session or try to cover it up with makeup?

Ah, the wonders of Photoshop. Don’t cancel your session! We have amazing retouchers that can fix almost any problem you have: Acne, wrinkles, double chins, shiny skin, stained or ripped clothing. Don’t try to cover any flaws with makeup. It’s easier to fix a blemish with Photoshop than to try to undo the blemish and the makeup you used to try to cover it up!

My kids are real rascals, what should I do to make sure they behave themselves during the session?

The best thing you can do is nothing! Unless they’re actually putting themselves in danger, don’t try to control their behavior during a session. When you walk through my doors, you’re basically off duty as a parent. Kids will always be more cooperative with strangers than they are with you. I don’t want your kids to be “obedient”, it will ruin your photographs!

Will we parents be watching as your work with our kids?

Usually I have parents wait in the next room while I’m working with your child. Most people (of all ages) are more comfortable without an audience. And, I hate to say it but most parents can’t stop themselves from directing their kids.

We don’t really care about clothing, we’re really a casual family. Can we just “come as we are?”

I try to never dictate what style your clothing will be. However, clothing is extremely important for me as the tones/colors can determine whether or not your images are balanced. It’s very important to follow my guidelines about what clothing to bring. It’s never a good idea to only bring your “favorite outfit”. Much of the time that outfit won’t be the best choice for the photography. I can’t say it enough times, BRING A LOT OF CLOTHING! You really can’t go wrong by providing me with more options.

How should I coordinate the clothing for our family shot?

Don’t try to coordinate the clothing! When everyone in a group is dressed in the same color or style it screams of cheap, department store photography! You don’t want that!

My little boy has suddenly come down with the flu. If we cancel the session at the last minute will we lose our session fee/deposit?

You will not lose your session fee if one of you gets sick. Try to let me know as soon as you see signs of illness so we can make the decision about postponing the session. I’m always flexible with important reasons for last minute cancellations.

Here are some example of valid reasons for late cancellations:

  • A close relative passed away last night.
  • My 8 year old broke his arm.
  • I got fired from my job.
  • My brother, who’s on the Dodgers, won the playoffs and will be pitching the opening game of the World Series tomorrow.

Here are some not-too-good excuses for a last minute cancellation:

  • My daughter just got invited to a sleepover tonight and she’ll be tired.
  • My eight-year-old’s soccer coach just called and said they have an extra practice tomorrow morning.
  • My friend just gave us free tickets to CATS and it’s right at the same time as the session.