Well, hello there! If you're reading this, it means you have decided to book with me and boy am I SO excited to work with you! For some, just deciding to get in front of the camera is a huge step, so know that I am so incredibly proud of you for even making that decision if it's something you're worried about. And if you're still not there yet and only reading this for research purposes, that's cool, too! Either way, I wanted to make a post about the entire process, from start to finish, of what happens once you've decided to work with me. Not only does this create a transparent relationship between you and I, but it also allows you to see just exactly what goes into the work I do to provide you with the BEST experience possible! So, here's a breakdown and some words of wisdom to go along with them:
Whether you found me via a friend, or you've been scouring my Instagram for months, the first step is to contact me with any and all questions you have about how to start. I have a contact form on my website that asks all of the basic questions I need to get started in providing you with a price quote, but I am also totally open to DM's and Facebook messages!
Of course, one of the first things I get asked is how much this is going to cost, which is 100% understandable since it can be a financial commitment! The one thing to note about my pricing is that I don't want this to break your bank. I mean for God's sake, I was a musical theater major for four years, I understand what it's like to not have any money. So, my pricing is reminiscent of that. Plus, I am always giving discounts to college students, repeat customers, and other artists in order to keep these memories budget-friendly! Pricing also depends on what's included in a shoot. For instance, a mini session is most definitely not going to be the same price as a full session; but, that means you also won't get as many images. I make it known at the beginning of our communication what's included in that shoot price, so there's never any confusion as to what you're paying for!
Payment & Contracts
So, you've decided to go for it! Woohoo! Know that I'm always as excited (if not more so!) as you are. If you read my last post, you'll understand why I love what I do. So, the next step is to sign your contract and pay your retainer. I use a system called HoneyBook (literally the best thing EVER invented...once you see it, you'll understand why). With HoneyBook, everything is done digitally. Not only is this helping to cut down on paper waste, but it also keeps everything super accessible and without fear of misplacement. It also keeps Kailey very, very sane. So, you'll get an email with the link to your contract and invoice, all together in one document. You can pay via credit card, and even set up auto-pay for the second payment! If you prefer not to use a credit card, I can also take cash or check, and I even have a business Venmo that eliminates the credit card fees. Crazy what technology can do these days, am I right?? As for the contract, that can be signed digitally, as well! What's great is that once I sign it, I cannot change it, making it a binding document. If I do change anything, HoneyBook makes me resend it. This allows for complete transparency on both ends! Oh, and speaking of transparency, I have absolutely no access to your credit card info, either. It's a completely safe tool for both of us :)
If you ever have any questions about anything I ever send you, always ask. I am an open book when it comes to the business side of things, because I've dealt with shady business owners and let's just say it was *not* fun.
Scheduling & Rain Date Policy
Okay, so we've settled on a date and time based on your preferences or my recommendations, and possibly a location. If you don't already have a location in mind, I always recommend going through my gallery and picking what photoshoot fits the type of vibe you're going for. 95% of my shoots are done in the Greater Philadelphia area, so there's a good chance we can use the same location or one very similar to it. I mean, have you been around this area recently? We live in an incredible place! Now, if this winter has proved anything, it's that the weather can be unpredictable. With that being said, I have built-in rain dates in my photography schedule in case we need to reschedule. I always check the weather the week leading up to your shoot, and if there's even a slight chance we might run into bad weather, we pick a rain date ASAP. Luckily, I very rarely have to use rain dates, but it's helpful to know that there's that option!
Ahhhhh! It's here! I'm so excited!!!! And I truly hope you are, too. Even if that excitement is mixed with a little bit of nerves, it's a-okay. If I had a dollar for every single person who has ever told me they're not photogenic, I could buy a house in the Hamptons. It's normal to feel this way, especially if you're not used to being in front of the camera. Heck, even I get this way in front of the camera! And no, I'm not just saying that to make you feel better. The last photoshoot I did as the model, I was literally shaking beforehand because I was nervous about being awkward, trying too hard, or just looking like a downright fool. And guess what? None of those things happened (shout out to Tori Sokalski, you're the real MVP). You want to know something else? And here I'm going to toot my own horn a bit: every single person who has told me they aren't photogenic before a shoot has ended up emailing me after they got their gallery that they love how they look (possibly for the first time in their life). Seriously, I'm not kidding. And, at the end of the day, that's my goal. To show the world how freaking beautiful you are as a human being, even if you have a hard time believing it yourself ❤️
After the Shoot & Processing Time
The first question I usually get asked after the shoot is done and we just had a freaking blast is "so when will I get the photos??" It warms my heart that you're already so excited to see the photos, and I'm just as excited to edit them! While every photographer's editing time differs, I average about 4 hours of editing time for every hour of shooting. That involves upload, 1st cull (deleting any blurry pics or duplicates), 2nd cull, creating the personalized edit/preset for every individual shoot, exporting to hard drive, upload to Pixieset (the gallery and website service I use), creating the "highlights" album of my favorites, personalizing the entire gallery by making sure it's as aesthetically pleasing as possible, and FINALLY sending it to the client.
Now, even with that timeline, I ideally like to get them back to you within 24-48 hours. Say whaaaat? Yes, you read that correctly, and here's why: 1. I love editing, and I like to do it all in one sitting, especially if I have a clear vision of what I want the photos to look like. 2. I know what it's like to have the excited anticipation of seeing the final product, and I don't want to torture you by making you wait, and 3. The way I schedule shoots allows me to have that editing time in between to keep on top of the process and have the photos to everyone in a timely manner. However, by reading through my process above, I hope it also puts into perspective that by booking with me, you're booking soooo much more than just the time it takes to capture the actual photos. This is also how pricing plays a major factor, too!
A Lasting Relationship
Even when the shoot ends and the photos are delivered, the relationship we've created certainly doesn't. Sounds cheesy? I know, but let me explain. When you hire me, you're allowing me to help create memories that will last forever (even more so in this digital age where you don't have to worry about anything happening to prints!). So, I am going to thank you until I'm blue in the face because you've allowed me to see into a super intimate moment in your life. Whether it's weddings, graduation photos, newborns, families, portraits, or any other life-changing event, the fact that I was able to capture that for you is freaking amazing! And, if for whatever reason you're not happy with the photos or you don't want to continue the relationship, that's cool too. I won't hold it against ya 😉
So, if you've made it to the end and want to continue, PLEASE do! You can fill out the contact form located under the "Contact" tab, or just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get more information. I already can't wait to meet you!