FAQs - AstoriaPhotography

- FAQs -

Hints, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions given here.  Be sure to click on the Pricing & Info tab for lots of important info.  If you have a question that wasn't mentioned, be sure to click the 'Connect With Me' link, above, for ways to get in touch.  Be sure to also check out my blog at, Astoria: The Moviefor a little more in-depth explanation of things, exclusive content, and a little personal commentary, as well!


1. What am I paying for, exactly?  When is my payment due?

Your session fee, including any applicable travel fees, are due before we begin the session.  I accept cash, local checks, debit/credit cards, or you may prepay using PayPal.  If you've been asked to pay a deposit to hold your time slot, only the remaining balance is due at the shoot. Deposits are non-refundable. The session fee pays for my time/travel to, from, and during the shoot, all of the behind-the-scenes editing work, your online gallery, a video to share, and in most cases it also includes a free Facebook Timeline cover photo, along with a print credit.  Your session does not include prints.  Prints, wall art, and novelty items are all made available for separate purchase.  This may vary, of course, with session type...Special Occasions/Weddings and Mini-Mini promo sessions are subject to a different pricing model.


2. What do I need to do to get ready?

Make sure you're comfortable, and that everyone's cleaned up.  I've got a ready-kit at the studio if additional primping is needed.  It's a small studio, so for everyone's comfort, I ask that you leave your food & drink in the car.  You're definitely welcome to feed or comfort your infant, but please bring a plastic bag with so you can take any changed diapers home with you, because I have no place to dispose of them.  When deciding on a location, remember to be practical, keeping in mind things like: How far do you want to walk? How might weather impact this site (e.g. no windbreaks- swampy or muddy after rain)?  Is it a safe location?  I can help you pick out a spot, as well, but there are a couple of places I just won't shoot.  Cemeteries, live RR tracks, inside animal/livestock enclosures, and healthcare facilities are all spots I won't conduct a session, but everyplace else is pretty much up for discussion!  I also won't shoot outdoors if it is less than 35 degrees out...because I'm a weenie.  Bring any personal items you'd like in the shoot, i.e.: keepsakes, toys, dolls, blankets, etc.  This is a personalized session, so I do not use any studio props - only personal items that you bring, so pack accordingly!  


3. What should I/we wear?

You can be casual or dress it up, but there’s no need to venture out of your comfort zone! It is important to dress for the weather, though, if part of your shoot is outdoors. If you feel uncomfortable in your clothes, you’re going to look uncomfortable in your photos. It’s not just the style of clothing that can make you uncomfortable, clothes that are too tight are no fun to wear, plus they can create unflattering lines or bulges that you may not want in your photos. Clothes that are too baggy can look slouchy or wrinkly, and might be a little more casual than the look you were going for. Neon colors are fun, but very reflective and can cast an unflattering color onto your skin, so keep that in mind when dressing or accessorizing; also be sure that what you’re wearing doesn’t show any inappropriate text or imagery. Ladies, be aware of any wayward straps or sheer materials that might show a little more than you’d like, especially under bright studio lights! Makeup looks best in photos when it’s light & natural- think more “brunch with friends” than “night out on the town,” when you’re applying your favorite colors. This is not a day for glitter- glitter is your ENEMY at a photo session…same goes for shimmer powder and bronzer. Also…and this is important: NO tanning, spray-tanning, or self-tanning bronzer for the week prior to your shoot. (Please search Google Images for “Oompa Loompa,” “Tan Mom,” “John Boehner,” or “Mashed Carrots” for examples of what you’ll definitely look like if you choose to ignore this warning.) I have very powerful editing tools to give you a warm, healthy glow, if needed, but it’s extremely difficult to even out or correct the skin tone of someone who tans.


4. What can I expect from our session?

I like to keep things rather stress-free and easy going.  A negative attitude can ruin your whole day, so I like my workspace to be as pleasant as possible.  It's important to me that everyone's comfortable, and I’ll work with you to make sure our time together is both productive AND fun.  I don't do any awkward posing and I try to steer clear of super-trendy, niche, or "Pinterest-y" photo shoot techniques.  I prefer shooting more classic portrait sessions, but I love to get your input and I'm happy to honor special requests, when possible.  It's very important to book a photographer that best suits your personal taste, as opposed to booking simply based on price.  I want you to enjoy your photos, but it's up to you to make sure you like my style before you book with me.  I celebrate my community's diversity, and my studio welcomes all families, couples, and individuals.


5. Can I bring people or pets with me?

A friend or a helper are definitely welcome to tag along for your shoot, if needed, but remember, my studio is small, and extra people can be very distracting to young child who's getting their picture taken.  You can also bring someone with to be in your photos, but if they are under the age of 18, I'll need consent from their parent or guardian before we get started.  Piggy-backing is not permitted, though; meaning: the person you bring isn't getting their own session on top of yours.  You can totally share a session, but you'll still only get the number of proofs your session calls for.  No pets are allowed in the studio.  Sessions can be scheduled at an alternate location to have your well-behaved pet included in your photos, though!

6. My bff's/cousin's/co-worker's photographer had her do some really sexy/risque/pin-up poses in her bikini, with a sports car.  Can we do some like that, too?

Uhhhhh.....No.  There are many photographers in the area who can help you with a boudoir or pin-up style session.  However, none of those photographers are me.


7. Is it alright if my kid comes to their senior picture session without me?

Absolutely!  While most parents do choose to attend their teen's senior portrait session, you're definitely able to sit it out, too!  I do have some paperwork to sign, and, of course, there's the payment - both of which would need to be taken care of in advance.  You'll also want to work out transportation, if we're shooting in more than one location.  I cannot provide a ride for your child, under any circumstances.


8. I'd like to just have my photos on a disk/memory card to print on my own; is that an option?

Sorry, no.  For the sake of print quality and copyright integrity, a digital copy of your gallery is not available for purchase.  I make no exceptions, so please keep this in mind when booking.

9. How long will my pictures take to finish?

I'll usually spend 2 to 3 weeks editing, but it can vary depending upon your session size, the amount of correction needed, any special customization, my availability, and my current workload.  I typically complete all sessions in chronological order, but a priority-rush can be placed on your gallery for an additional fee of $25.00, paid in advance.  I CANNOT guarantee delivery dates of your photos unless you've purchased the priority-rush service.  The turn-around on weddings can vary vastly from regular session edit times, based on numerous factors which will be discussed at our consultation appointment.  No priority-rush is available on wedding photos.


10. Why do you use some poses, but not others?  Shouldn't it be my choice?

I do try to be as accommodating as I can, but some requests simply can't be met.  Your session is broken down into (3) steps: shooting, culling, and editing.  The way you and I compose a shot in person could vastly differ from how it ends up looking "on film."  Not every shot works -that's why you'll see me snapping so many.  Oftentimes I take 10x more images than your session calls for, just to be safe.  Culling is the painstaking process of viewing each image, discarding any with color/lighting issues, problematic angles, or unflattering facial expressions, and reducing the volume of images to a workable number.  Next, I begin edits on the remaining photos, followed by a second round of culling, then the final edits on each photo.  Once your gallery has been delivered, you DO get to choose any additional edits you'd like made to those photos, e.g.: changed to B/W, cropped closer, custom text added, artistic enhancements added or removed.  I really want you to be happy with my services, so it's important to me that you understand what my services entail; part of what you've paid me for, as a photographer & artist, is to make the tough choices for you, ensuring you get the quality work you deserve.


11.  They're my photos, can't I just have the unedited ones, too?

So, the quick answer is: no.  They actually aren't your photos, they're mine; this is a common misconception.  As I started talking about, above, you're hiring me to provide you the service of taking your photos, and presenting you with a set number of finished proofs.  I retain the copyright (ownership) to all photos taken, and the truth is, I don't want my unedited work released.  It's not a true representation of my work, and there's a reason the photos didn't make the cut in the first place.  Some photographers may choose to release the originals, but it's not a common practice.  You wouldn't commission a painting and expect the artist to also provide you a canvas full of paint blobs he didn't use, right?  Right.


12. Can you explain the whole process to me?


Yes!  If you need more info, you are welcome to contact me via: email, phone, text, or Facebook!  You can also check out my blog at Astoria: The Movie!  Be sure to also take a few minutes to read the important session information in the Pricing & Info tab!!
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